At the Common Council meeting on April 17, there will be a presentation by the Mayor’s Partnership for Public Art/Summit, budget hearings on the municipal budgets and for the Special Improvement District (SDI) budget, two hearings for ordinances on increasing Zone A parking rates at 90-minute meters in the downtown and for changes in the sewer fee authorization process. Two ordinances will be introduced for changes in parking on Lowell Avenue, and for establishing 2018 salaries for city employees, along with resolutions on accepting more than $18,000 in private donations for the Hometown Heroes project, and on placement of illuminated pedestrian warning signs at intersections on Morris Avenue and Weaver Street, Morris Avenue and Aubrey Street and Broad Street and Elm Street, as well as setting fees for the Department of Community Programs recreational activities.
To view the complete Common Council agenda, go to: https://www.cityofsummit.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_04172018-549?html=true
Mayor’s Partnership for Public Art/Summit
There will be a presentation by co-chairs Vivian Furman and Estelle Fournier. The privately-funded committee evaluates what art should be placed in public spaces and then makes recommendations to the city and council’s buildings and grounds committee for approval. Public art is essential to any community, not only because studies have shown that it increases property values, but because art nourishes the soul.
Budget Hearings and Resolutions
There will be a hearing on the city’s 2018 budget. As the Municipal Budget Snapshot showed, there will be no increase in municipal taxes with a nearly 22% decrease in spending on capital projects from last year, an increase in Summit’s tax base by $25 million from last year, and that only $0.19 of each tax dollar collected goes toward municipal expenses. In addition, while council does not directly control the school budget, it increased 1.3% for the 2018/2019 school year and the county budget is expected to come in below the 2% cap. Council will vote on the city’s operating and capital budgets. There will also be a hearing on the budget for the Special Improvement District and vote on it. The downtown property owners pay the taxes associated with the budget, which has been previously approved by the SDI board of trustees.
Ordinances for Hearing and Introduction
There are two ordinances for hearing and two for introduction. The first ordinance for hearing would increase the parking rate on Zone A, 90-minute meters in the downtown. This proposal has the support of Summit Downtown Inc. as well as parking consultants. The intent is not to increase revenue for the Parking Authority, but rather to incentivize turnover on meters that are conveniently located in front of stores and, especially, to discourage employees who park at the meters. The second ordinance for hearing is a change in the process for sewer user fees from ordinances to resolutions. The two ordinances for introduction address restrictions on parking on Lowell Avenue, and establish 2018 salaries and compensation for city employees.
Resolutions for Consideration
There are three resolutions of interest: First, there is a resolution to accept more than $18,000 in private donations to pay for the Hometown Heroes banners that will be placed on Deforest Avenue; second, there is a resolution to enter into an agreement with Union County to install pedestrian warning signals on Morris Avenue and Weaver Street, Morris Avenue and Aubrey Street and Broad Street and Elm Street; and third, there is a resolution to set fees for recreational programs hosted by the Department of Community Programs.
Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30PM.