Three major topics from the township committee meeting

At the January 14, 2019 regular meeting of the Township Committee three major topics were covered.

First, a series of four ordinances were introduced that are needed to execute the Township’s plan to comply with the Fair Housing mandate. We have discussed the plan at length in prior Thumbnail reports. These four ordinances will alter Township code to accommodate our COAH plan.

Second, the Township passed a resolution to allow Hurstmont Estate Acquisition LLC. to have access to the Glen Alpin Property (presumably with engineers and surveyors) to “determine the feasibility of utilizing a portion of the Property for an onsite wastewater discharge for the Hurstmont Estate development”. Hurstmont Estate Acquisition is under contract to purchase the Hurstmont property, which is contiguous to Glen Alpin. Hurstmont Estate Acquisition seeks to build an assisted living facility on the former Hurstmont mansion site and is now investigating the purchase of Glen Alpin and using some of the land for a septic system. Of course the purchase would be part of the Harding’s “diversion plan” to put Glen Alpin in private hands. The GA structure would remain and not be demolished as per the terms of the diversion. Members of the public expressed concern that there could be unmarked graves, possibly of slaves of African descent, on the site as the original owner was thought to have over 20 slaves. More recently, a person was reputed to have found bones while gardening. The resolution passed unanimously.

Third and most importantly, an ordinance was introduced to increase the number of sergeants from four to five. This seemingly minor change is part of a plan to re-organize and expand the Police Department by two officers. The re-organization would create a Support Service Division and a Patrol Division, a structure that was called “best practice.” The Support Division, headed by one of the sergeants, would perform investigatory follow-up of which there is little to none now and help to increase the case clearance and property recovery rate. It would also handle training, fire arms applications and other tasks. At least in the short run, the plan is expected to save money by reducing overtime and compensatory pay. A Special Meeting of the TC is scheduled for January 28 at 7:30pm to consider again and pass this ordinance.

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