Last night Council President Pro Tem Susan Hairston made history as the first woman of color to lead a meeting of Common Council in Summit.
At the meeting, Mayor Nora Radest reiterated the message that extensive infrastructure work will take place in the Central Retail Business District during the next several months. This work will be disruptive, but it is critically important that it be completed. PSE&G will be attending the Tuesday, March 21, Common Council meeting and the city is committed to communicating project information received from PSE&G.
City Administrator Rogers explained the recent decision by New Providence to unexpectedly withdraw from the agreement that formed the Mountain Valley Communications Center. This is the center that provides emergency dispatch services to Summit, Millburn, New Providence, and some services in Springfield. It is a top priority of council to work with the dispatch center administration, emergency responders, colleagues in Millburn, and Union County to determine the best course of action for the Summit community. Council will explore options, perform a cost-benefit analysis, and communicate this clearly to the community.
One hearing was held on an ordinance to install a four-way stop at the intersection of Blackburn Road and Prospect Street. A vote was held to suspend the vote and continue the hearing at the next council meeting, when more detailed information can be included for public discussion.
Several resolutions were adopted unanimously and include:
- Two housekeeping resolutions related to the temporary municipal and utility operating budgets;
- Authorization for a second round of advertising of public bids for road improvement projects;
- Bid award for landscape maintenance;
- Grant submission for paddle tennis court improvement;
- Addition of council liaisons to the GRACE Board of Trustees, following a memorandum of understanding that was executed last year;
- Appointing a new member to the Summit Parking Advisory Committee;
- Declaring vacancies and promotions of a Lieutenant and Sergeant in the police department;
- Two resolutions authorizing sick leave for employees.
Council held a discussion about the PSE&G infrastructure work and how it impacts the potential for the seasonal closure of Maple Street. Councilmember Levine opened the conversation by sharing that the Capital Projects and Community Services Committee does not recommend a seasonal closure this year. Considering the scope of the critical infrastructure work, councilmembers agreed with that position. There were comments related to the improvement work, the process, and the potential for the closure of Maple Street in the future.
At the end of the meeting, several councilmembers shared updates on items related to their committee work:
- Councilmember Hamlet spoke about Department of Community Programs updates and the Hometown Heroes program;
- Councilmember Minegar shared that the Silver Summit Senior Citizen Advisory Committee will be meeting again soon and one important topic is the Senior Freeze, a tax freeze program for which some seniors in Summit may be eligible;
- Councilmember Fox reported the city was awarded $250K in federal grant money for the Parkline project;
- Councilmember Levine said an update should be expected soon on the permanent dog park at the Transfer Station;
- President Pro Tem Hairston praised the ongoing pedestrian and traffic safety campaign led by the Summit Police Department.
Watch the meeting online on the City of Summit YouTube channel.