5 Things From Feb 4th Council Meeting

51. R -15 -31 Resolution Establishing Additional Public Portion Comment Period – This in essence would allow questions and comments from residents on the consent agenda items before the council voted on them in addition to at the end of the meeting. The scope would be limited to the consent agenda items being voted on and the 3 min time limit would apply.

Typical consent agenda items are routine, procedural decisions, like approval of minutes and decisions that are would not be considered to be noncontroversial and most likely not invite public comment.  However, the council has in the past have included controversial items to this agenda, such as the Facebook item R-14-220 knowing full well it couldn’t be discussed by the public until after the vote was executed.

The end result was it was voted down.  Mayor Nolan stated he didn’t like hearing some people at the end of the council meeting so he didn’t want to have to listen to them twice during a meeting. Apparently Councilpersons Rebecca Kone and Kevin Redman agreed with as they both voted “No.”

2. R-15-55  Resolution Authorizing Bid for Lease of Clam Depuration Plant, the clam plant which is owned by the town has a 20 year lease up in August. They want to get a more of a market value for the building as with Sandy and all our taxes have increased as our property values have decreased any increase revenue stream is gravely needed. Its really just a negotiation tactic because the 20 year lease is up. If two companies bid on it, Highlands has a fair shake at getting a higher value for the lease. Reality being (and everybody knows this) Highlands is hurting since Sandy. We still have to pay the cops and if you even suggest that they tighten their belts you’re labeled a cop hater. We still have to staff and run the schools and if you suggest they tighten their belts you must hate children. We still have to pay for the engineering and lawyer fees and if you suggest they tighten their belts the council says it did by posting the notice for RFP on the highlandsnj.us web site and its not their fault nobody else bid on those positions.

The bid for the lease is expected to go out in March of this year and the minimum bid is expected to be set at $76,000 a year. Normally an industrial lease would go for between $3 – $15 a square foot, depending on the area, the building etc. I’m lumping that in to all industrial real estate, I have no idea what a clam plant lease should go for.

3. R-15-36 Resolution Awarding Professional Engineering Service – Street Scape – remember the grant we got last year? Then at the last council meeting they table awarding the job but said they were going to start sometime this year?  They awarded the job and are planning on doing sometime this year. So they say..

4. Presentation from Gateway National Recreation Area about the three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for leasing up to six historic Army buildings within the Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark, which encompasses all of Gateway’s Sandy Hook Unit. The park will accept lease applications through April 17, 2015. Maybe the Park service could throw some of the rejected RFP’s Highlands way, we could use some more business in town..

Sandy Hook lease project5. Borough Trailers & PD – Tim Hill in his report indicated that he is meeting with FEMA this Friday to go over rebuilding 171 Bay Ave. Where have I heard that before? Oh I know last August in a Two River Times article about Highlands running business out of trailers.

“We’re not closing the door on any options” said Borough Administrator Tim Hill, who hopes to have a more definitive direction by next month.”

I guess by “next month” he meant……

To see the meeting in its entirety click here

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