Borough Council Meeting 6-12-23: Drew Forest and Community Events

As we ease into summer, this was a fairly uneventful meeting, but an important Drew Forest update was shared. And, there are many exciting events coming and new businesses opening in town. Due to a sound issue with the livestream, some meeting content was not available.

Watch the meeting hereView PresentationsSee past meeting recaps
View Agendas hereView Ordinances hereView Resolutions here

Mayor’s Update

  • The meeting began with remembering beloved Madisonians that we lost since the last meeting.
  • An update about the Drew Forest:
    • This past Friday just ahead of the deadline, Madison submitted an application to Morris County Open Space Trust Fund for $10 million in funding, which represents a substantial part of the purchase price and would mean permanent preservation of the forest.
    • This was a major step towards saving the forest, but we aren’t there yet. The grant request was based on a March 28th written offer presented to Drew for the purchase of the forest. As of Friday’s grant submission, we have not heard back from Drew on this offer. An agreement on price and then subsequent purchase contractor are required for the grant to move forward.
  • On June 3rd council president John Hoover and the Mayor met with members on of the Madison Community Pool. This was a follow up to resident comments, also a chance to hear an update for the coming season. The Mayor explained the differences in structure and funding for MCP vs. other area pools (no taxpayer funds) and the recent challenges and commented that the business plan is headed in the right direction there were still memberships available.
  • Also recently new accessible trails opened at the MRC on national trails day and many from the community attended the ribbon cutting. The trails are already making a huge difference for residents.
  • Next, the Mayor presented proclamations from the HPC to recognize commitment to historic preservation. Included were 29 Main Street (Madison Wine Cellar), built in 1912 and recently restored. Next was 27 Kings Road, which is owned by the Mantone family and was originally constructed in 1942 and is now Sunday Motor Company. Also recognized was 62 Ridgedale Ave in Madison’s Bottle Hill Historic District, originally built in the late 18th century.

Committee Reports Highlights

  • Community Affairs
    • The Madison Farmer’s Market is now open on Thursdays at Dodge Field from 1 to 6 PM
    • Live music weekly at the downtown concert series held at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts will begin with Jumping the Gun on Friday, June 23rd, 6-8 pm
    • Affinity Federal Credit Union located at 18 Elmer Street will hold its ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 13th.
    • Starbucks will close its location at 309 Main Street and move across the street at Madison Plaza sometime before the end of June.
    • At the Madison Community Arts Center, the Pride Month Gallery is up on the walls, and a series of events are planned throughout the month.
  • Public Safety
    • The MPD was confirmed as meeting all standards and the department was given approval from the commission with high standards accreditation. This is done every three years and represents high achievement for our department.
    • Congratulations were given to the fire department for celebrating engine number three wetdown
  • Health
    • Interns are undertaking a pet census.
    • The Board of Health is also reviewing Borough code to amend regulations on prohibition of smoking on school property. The definition of the Borough code currently does not include smoking with a device called a vape pen. They are reviewing the policy, how they will enforce it, and what penalties might exist for minors who smoke a vape device on school property.
  • Finance
    • Staff from the auditor’s office were in Borough Hall last month gathering information, performing tests, and talking with staff. The draft audit’s been completed and the audit will be finalized soon thereafter and forwarded to the council and posted on Rosenet.

Other business:

  • One comment was made urging for the saving of the Drew Forest
  • Agenda discussion took place on Madison Environmental Commission and Madison’s water
  • Ordinance 35-2023 was introduced for hearing and increases residential affordable housing development fees
  • Consent agenda resolutions approved

Next meeting is June 26