Hopatcong Council Meeting: Refi of Bonds Savings – New Town Hall Meetings – Hopatcong Home Town Heroes

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The following are the highlights and the full recording of the Borough of Hopatcong Council Meeting that was held on March 3, 2021, by Zoom Technology.

Council Meeting Highlights:

The following should be considered the more important community developments for residents:

  • A new Borough Town Hall Meeting has been suggested for later this month to gain residents' feedback on the new medical marijuana laws.
  • The Community Center has posted more information on COVID Vaccination sites in our area.
  • Hopatcong Schools are looking to return to a full-time schedule, with the superintendents holding a single-issue meeting on March 10th at 6:15 PM.
  • Hopatcong Home Town Heroes banner program is continuing into 2021 with new applications due by March 30th to be posted on Memorial Day.

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Council Meeting Highlights: Watch the Full Video

Council Member Updates:

Local COVID Vaccination sites in our area, are as follows:

    • atlantichealth.org ~ the old Sears in the Rockaway Mall and Newton Medical Center, 175 High St, Newton
    • vaccines.shoprite.com ~ ShopRite of Byram and ShopRite of Newton. No phone numbers are offered. You are encouraged to go on their websites to register.
  • The Community Center is stepping up for Younger families who are seeking Baby Necessities. Please contact the center with any questions. (973) 810-3238
  • Meet the Mayor is March 15th, and Care Givers Support Givers group meets on March 16th, next Wellness Yoga is April 6th (recommend saving your seat ASAP.
  • The Hopatcong Home Heroes banner program is continuing into 2021 with new applications due by March 30th to be posted on Memorial Day.
  • Jefferson Dog Park continues to move forward for a 2021 launch.
  • Hero Boys running program will start soon.
  • Borough of Hopatcong Schools is looking to go full Schedule starting soon, which will allow Recreation to use the school facilities for things like Movie Night.
  • Hidden in plain sight will be replayed on March 24th for detecting where teens may hide drugs.
  • Whitten Park is due for a new Rain Garden, and the possibility of turning it into a full park within the Borough.
  • The Hopatcong School District will have a single-use meeting on March 10th at 6:15 PM.
  • On May 23rd, the Hopatcong Ambulance Squad will be holding a golf outing to raise funds.
  • The Hopatcong Police Department has several members retiring, with several promotions to help fill the gaps, and they are in the process of purchasing body cameras to meet the June deadline.

Administrators Report:

  • Borough of Offices has issued a Chlorine Solution for cleaning surfaces to further ensure employee and residents protection from Covid-19.
  • The Borough of Hopatcong and been fully cleaned as of 02/07/2021, and it will be continued to be cleaned weekly.
  • Salt has been slow to be supplied across the State, the Borough borrowed two loads from the county to hold us over from the last weekend.  

Public Comment:

  • The Father of the homeowner once again appeared before the Council regarding flooding that occurs on their property due to run-off from a catch-basin, during his public comment he expressed the disappointment in not receiving contact from the Mayor on a proposed meeting.

    A: The Mayor forwarded the request to Borough Attorney John Ursin, as he asked to be the primary contact for this matter. John Ursin outlined that the Borough is NOT able to modify the land in question which is the final Borough decision.
  • Resident thanked the DPW for their work during the winter.

Ordinances:

Final Hearing (roll call vote)

1. Ordinance 1-2021, Refunding Bond [PASSED]

REFUNDING BOND ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE OF NEW JERSEY (THE “BOROUGH”) PROVIDING FOR (i) THE REFUNDING OF CERTAIN OUTSTANDING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, SERIES 2011 OF THE BOROUGH DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 TO PROVIDE DEBT SERVICE SAVINGS, AND (ii) AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF NOT TO EXCEED $1,550,000 AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF GENERAL OBLIGATION REFUNDING BONDS OF THE BOROUGH TO AFFECT SUCH REFUNDING AND APPROPRIATING THE PROCEEDS THEREFOR

Note: Councilmember Jennifer Johnson was looked for clarification on the Consolidation of Bonds being Refunded.

A: Councilmember Rich Schindelar stating in his investigation the Water Bonds will run for the same term but will save the Borough about 6.5% in interest.

No Public Questions.

2. Ordinance 2-2021, Stormwater amendment [PASSED]

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, COUNTY OF SUSSEX REPLACING ARTICLE IX OF CHAPTER 242 OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG REGARDING STORMWATER CONTROL.

No Public Questions.

3. Ordinance 3-2021, Auction of 16 Oklahoma Trail, Block 41001 Lot 43 [PASSED]

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE OF NEW JERSEY AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY AGENDA FOR THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, MARCH 3, 2021 PUBLIC SESSION BEGINS 7:30 PM OWNED BY THE BOROUGH AND NOT REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES AND MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 16 OKLAHOMA TRAIL, BLOCK 41001 LOT 43

No Public Questions. The auction will take place on March 17. 2021

4. Ordinance 4-2021, Auction of 37 Madison Trail, Block 20303 Lot 2 [PASSED]

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE OF NEW JERSEY AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY OWNED BY THE BOROUGH AND NOT REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES AND MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 37 MADISON TRAIL, BLOCK 30203 LOT 2

No Public Questions. The auction will take place on March 17. 2021

Resolutions:

  1. 2021-44, Authorization to refund a tax overpayment and to cancel future property taxes,

    Block 31012 Lot 6 [PASSED]

  2. 2021-45, Agreement with the County of Sussex for Certified Recycling Professional

    Services [PASSED]

  3. 2021-46, Authorization to purchase new affordable vehicles for the DPW [PASSED]

Old Business: None

New Business: None

Mayor’s Comments:

The mayor hit on the these main topics during his presentation:

  • Mayor suggested that the Council look into allowing Dogs in the Modick Park area to augment the Dog Park currently being finalized in Jefferson Park. “We do care about residents who like to walk their dogs in a safe place.”

  • COVID Cases in Hopatcong still causes concern, and please pay attention, please take this seriously!

  • The Mayor is trying to make a case with the New Jersey State as to expediting the vaccines for all school employees, and Borough Employees. To date, his calls to the Governor’s Office have not produced measurable results. “If we are going to keep and maintain our schools, we need to make sure that everybody is taken care of.”

  • The Mayor is set to speak at the Board of Public Utilities, where he will ask for help with the slow service of Optimum.

  • Mayor voiced his concern for the recent Marijuana law that was approved, as it has significant gaps regarding younger kids, where usage shows brain damage can take place. See effects THC has on children’s brains

                 - What Pot Really Does to the Teen Brain - Scientific American

    Attached is a response from the NJ Governor’s Counsel’s Office that indicates that underage kids caught using Marijuana gets a pass of their parents being told on the first response.

Good afternoon Mayor,

As per our conversation on Monday, below please find the response I received from the Governor’s Counsel’s Office regarding usage by minors:

“The legislation states that, for a first offense, law enforcement shall not provide a parent/guardian a written notification that the minor violated the underage law. For subsequent offenses, law enforcement must provide parent/guardian notification...”


 

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