Property Discussions Take Hold at Town Council Meeting

The meeting began with a call to an executive session where the council members spoke to representatives of the Sasson Nabi Property and White Rock Lake Association regarding “matters relating to the purchase, lease, or acquisition of real property of the investment of public funds” and to representatives of Special Homes of NJ and New Club 15 about “matters relating to litigation, negotiations, and the attorney-client privilege.”

After the executive session closed, a representative for Nabi Property asked Jefferson for $150,000 to maintain this land. This money won’t be taken off the tax roll and instead will come from money set aside from the state, costing the residents nothing.

Jay Dunham reported on the previous Planning Board meeting, which approved the plans of the Lake Hopatcong Marine and started to discuss the Lake Hopatcong Ventures’ newest project at the corner of Homestead and Espanong Road. A more detailed report of this meeting can be found here. Dunham reported that the labor contract negotiations are progressing and the finance subcommittee are working on future plans for expanding the building for the police department and prepared for the retirement of the tax collector.

Robert Birmingham talked about the first municipal concert and its great success. The Jefferson Arts Committee hosts a concert every Friday night in July and August at the gazebo by the municipal building.

Ronald Smith went to the Lake Hopatcong Commission meeting (further details can be found here) and reported that weed harvesters will be coming to the Jefferson area of Lake Hopatcong in the coming weeks. Mayor Russell Felter wasn’t able to attend the meeting, but addressed the failure of Roxbury to sign the Memorandum of Agreement that would provide $200,000 per year from the NJDEP for weed harvesting on Lake Hopatcong. He hopes that this agreement between the four towns bordering Lake Hopatcong and the NJDEP can still pass without Roxbury’s approval.

Kim Finnegan announced that the Jefferson Township Rescue Squads will be hosting a joint event on September 9 at 4 p.m. at Fireman’s Field. The Jefferson Township Fire Departments will be hosting a similar joint event on August 5, celebrating its 75th anniversary.

Debi Merz praised the success of Jefferson Fest and is excited to see it grow into its new form in the next few years. The National Association of Town Watch will be hosting the National Night Out Program. More information can be found here.

James Leach reported the resignation of the tax collector and the appointment of a new tax collector, Kathy Hammond, for the next 90 days. The Council worked on a public safety project and appropriated funds to fix a fireboat on Lake Hopatcong. However, it cost a little more than they thought and the Council will need to appropriate funds differently to accommodate for this.

Before finishing the meeting, the Council tabled an ordinance authorizing their purchase of the White Rock Association’s property and an ordinance raising the license fees for dogs and cats. The Council did pass an ordinance, though, making a $50 fee for food handlers at each event in town.

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Kalen Luciano is a senior at Jefferson Township High School. He's involved in many different activities from chorus and the musical to UNICEF and Stand Up to Cancer. In his free time, he enjoys going on hikes, reading, writing, and hanging out with friends. He can be reached at kalen.luciano@thejeffersonchronicle.com.

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