The Jefferson Township council formally adopted an ordinance appropriating $1,632,000 for an addition to the police department at its January 20 meeting. With the funding finalized, the project will go out to bid in March, with construction set to begin in late spring or early summer.
Mayor Eric Wilsusen announced that he received information from the NJ Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the repair of the Weldon Road Bridge. Demolition of the damaged section of the bridge is expected to take place within two weeks. The demolition is expected to take two weeks, after which engineers will evaluate the structural safety of the remaining portion of the bridge. If all goes according to plan, the hope is after the demolition, the DOT will partially open Weldon Road over Route 15, one lane in each direction, in approximately four weeks’ time.
“Let’s hope everything goes according to schedule,” Wilsusen said.
Councilman Jay Dunham expressed his frustration with the DOT not providing an emergency turnaround for police and first responders.
Wilsusen also advised that the council received their budget workbooks. He requested that budget hearings start budget with an hour session before the two public council meetings in February, with additional work sessions on the weeks that there are no public meetings. at the first meeting in February.
Township attorney Thomas Ryan discussed Jefferson’s sign ordinance. Jefferson Code Enforcement Officers have been receiving numerous complaints from residents concerning political signs being left up more than 10 days after an election as per current township ordinance.
“There was a recent court decision Supreme Court which cracked down on sign ordinances based on content,” Ryan said. “This decision provides that we cannot restrict signs because of content, but only in general. Whatever restrictions we make about signs must be across the board, for any signs.”
Wilsusen noted that the township will revisit its sign ordinance to be consistent with the Supreme Court ruling.