The next Common Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 20 at 7:30 PM. Members of Common Council, Mayor Radest, and city staff will be participating electronically in this meeting. For this and all future electronic meetings, members of the public will be able to comment by video or audio conference. Comments will also be accepted by email or by mail to email@example.com. Comments must be received by noon on April 20. Those that submit written comments will have their comment read by the clerk or summarized if substantially like other comments and will not be permitted to speak on that same subject at the meeting. The rules for public comments and the Zoom access code are posted on the city website. The access code for the Zoom platform for this meeting is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82569509410?pwd=VWNlYTgwbVpCOGhBTzRqVW96aFg3Zz09
Every Common Council meeting is broadcast live on HTTV Verizon channel 30 and Comcast channel 36 and 34. The meeting will also be broadcast live on the City of Summit YouTube Channel.
Police Chief Andrew Bartolotti will report on the process and police response related to the abduction of a 19-year-old woman on Saturday, April 10. I share the community’s concern about this event and commend the Summit Police Department for their quick response to identify and apprehend the perpetrator.
Council will introduce the 2021 Municipal Budget, as well as budgets for the Parking Utility and Sewer Utility. The proposed municipal budget is a 1% increase over the 2020 budget. Once again this year, the proposed capital budget is extremely lean, which will allow us to control our debt service burden while still maintaining city facilities and infrastructure.
Council will also authorize temporary appropriations to the municipal operating budget and the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) temporary operating budget to keep the city running until the 2021 budget is passed on May 18. State law requires the city to use “emergency temporary appropriations” to fund government operations before the budget is adopted.
The budget presentation that is usually given by our City Administrator, Michael Rogers, will be posted on the city website before the meeting. During the meeting, he will provide an abbreviated presentation highlighting salient points. Following usual procedure, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions or comment at the budget hearing on May 18.
Council will hold a hearing and vote on the Law and Labor ordinance to amend the lease agreement between the city and the Reeves-Reed Arboretum to extend the lease of the property until September 6, 2046. The lease extension was necessary for Reeves-Reed Arboretum to apply for a state Green Acres grant.
The Capital Projects and Community Services Committee will introduce two ordinances. Council does not engage in discussion or accept public comments on a proposed ordinance at the meeting when it is introduced. The public hearings and final votes on both ordinances will be on May 4. First, as mentioned at the last meeting, council will consider an ordinance amending the noise ordinance to allow for a hardship waiver to the gas-powered leaf blower pilot program. The ordinance sets forth the procedure for seeking a hardship waiver and the standards that will be applied. Second, council will consider an ordinance to amend the Development Regulations Ordinance to reduce the required side yard setbacks for air conditioner units in certain zones from 10 feet to 5 feet. This amendment will allow residents to install air conditioning units in a timely manner as the summer approaches without the need to seek variances from the Zoning Board.
The Finance Committee will introduce two additional resolutions. One is to authorize the use of a three-year average calculation for COVID-19 affected revenues in the 2021 budget. In this case, revenues from the Summit Family Aquatic Center in 2020 were adversely affected by the pandemic. The State Division of Local Government Services has allowed municipalities to use a three-year average to determine the amount of revenue to be anticipated in the 2021 municipal budget. Second, council will vote on a resolution to authorize the Summit Free Public Library to submit a grant application for a generator. The city will contribute $37,170.20 from a fund earmarked for the library and the library will contribute $152,402.80 from 2018 and 2019 budget reserves, to make up the library’s share of matching funds from the grant.
The Capital Projects and Community Services Committee will introduce four resolutions. First, council will consider a resolution to support the Hometown Heroes Banner program. The program is in the fourth year and because of continued interest in the program, the city needs additional locations to hang banners. This resolution will authorize future years of the program as well. Three additional Capital Projects resolutions concern the appointment of the Director of Community Services, the City Engineer, and representatives to the Affordable Housing Committee and the Union County Community Development Revue Sharing Committee.
Finally, council will consider three Safety and Health Committee resolutions to: (1) accept a $5,000 donation from the Summit Police Athletic League; (2) authorize submission of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety for the Click It Or Ticket grant program for a seat belt enforcement campaign; and (3) authorize submission of the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety Body-Worn Camera Grant to purchase body-worn cameras, storage and equipment.
To view the complete Common Council agenda, go to http://summitcitynj.iqm2.com/citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=1658&Inline=True
Printable Agenda Preview: https://www.cityofsummit.org/DocumentCenter/View/5598/Fox-Council-President-Preview-042021
Next Common Council Meeting: Tuesday, May 4, 2021.