Township Committee – Menorah, Walking Trail, Tennis Courts

The first item was a request by Rabbi Shalom Rubin of the Chabad of Southeast Morris County, to allow a Chanukah Menorah to be placed on municipal property, likely Bayne Park. The rabbi said that the menorah symbolized “light and learning” – appropriate for a “dark world”. He said holiday season menorahs are common and are displayed at the State House in Trenton, the White House in DC, and many towns in Morris County. The rabbi said that the only Morris County municipalities not displaying a menorah are ones that have not been asked.  Mayor Yates said the TC will take the request “under advisement” and will discuss.

The TC is discussing proceeding with an application for a grant from Morris County for $30,000 to extend walking trail at Bayne Park. The grant carries a requirement of a 20% match from Harding. A lively discussion, that included members of the public, ensued regarding the best route that the path should take.

The need for maintenance of Harding’s Traphagen Tennis courts was discussed at length. The courts were resurfaced and made usable again in 2014 with a gift of $125,000 from the Traphagen family. The courts have been a popular addition to the assets of the town and get a lot of use. However, the years and weather have been unkind. Maintenance has been deferred, perhaps unwisely. The cost of the repair is just over $31K. The funds were approved and will be taken from the Harding Open Space Trust.

In addition, the TC approved $40K to buy a bit of real property from NJ Dept. of Transportation, reappointed two Class II special police officers to one-year terms, approved alcoholic beverage licenses for the Fire Department and Mt Kemble Lake Country Club, and bumped up the authorized amount for a few contracts.

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