Election Day Tuesday June 3, Borough Council meeting June 4 and much more!

Hello Frenchtown.

Tuesday, June 3 is Primary Election Day. Polls are open at Borough Hall 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please vote!

Borough Council meets Wednesday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall.

On the agenda is a public hearing and vote on the 2014 municipal budget and on salaries and wages of borough employees and employees of the Holland, Alexandria, Frenchtown Joint Municipal Court. In the municipal budget, overall spending increased a little more than 3% over last year, but the tax levy — the portion of revenues supported by property taxes — increased just 2%.

As part of the 2014 budget plan, Council will vote to establish the borough’s Open Space, Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund as an outgrowth of last year’s successful referendum to institute a municipal tax to support borough parks. While the referendum provides for Council to institute an up-to-two-cent tax for this purpose, there will be no municipal open space tax in 2014. A “town hall” meeting is set for Saturday, June 21 to have a community discussion on the future of borough parks. (More about this in a separate email.)

Also on the agenda are reports from the Frenchtown Fire Department, the Sewer Operator and the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association.

In addition, Council is set to name a new animal control officer and award contracts to bidders for the Creek Road restoration project and the Horseshoe Bend Road improvement project. There will likely be an executive session at the end of the public session.

Council President Brad Myhre has submitted his resignation. Brad, who has served on Council for two terms, has purchased a home outside the borough. Brad has worked hard for this community and his efforts will be missed. Personally, I’ll miss his many insights into the Frenchtown community and his reliably good advice. We all wish him well (and hope he’ll soon move back to town.) But, because Brad is no longer a borough resident, he can no longer sit on Council. The process to find his successor is two-fold. First, because Brad is a registered Republican, the Frenchtown Republican Committee (comprised of former Mayor Ron Sworen and former Borough Council member Robb Arent) must provide Council with the names of three candidates. On receipt of that list, Council has 15 days to choose one of the recommended individuals to take Brad’s seat. That appointment may occur at the June 4 meeting.

On Saturday, June 7, we will collect debris, tires and trash along the riverbank west of the bike path. The cleanup is sponsored by the Frenchtown Green Team and Environmental Commission, hosted by the Delaware River Basin Commission, and led by AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Lindsay Blanton. This is a daunting endeavor, and we’ll need all hands on deck to make a difference, but if you walk or bike the path you know how bad things have gotten. Please clear your calendar and plan to help. Sign up online at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4AAFAD2CA2F85-drcanal. We all know how important the river is to our community. Here’s our chance to show we care about its wel-being.

If you weren’t able to make it to the opening day of this season’s Frenchtown Farmers Market last Sunday, you’ll have a second chance this week 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot across from Kathee’s General Store. The market will run every Sunday through October. Don’t miss it!

I would like to publicly acknowledge Frenchtown good neighbor Stem Bros. On Wednesday, May 28, J.D. Stem appeared before the Frenchtown Planning Board, seeking approval to change the sign at the Citgo station to one with LED-lit numerals, a move wanted by Citgo corporate headquarters. During the course of the conversation, Mr. Stem was asked to consider removing the lower portion of the sign, which contained information already on the upper portion but which blocked the line of sight of motorists entering the intersection from Kingwood Avenue. The Planning Board has no authority to force such a decision, and that was made clear. But when Mr. Stem and his attorney left the meeting they inspected the sign and Mr. Stem made the decision to remove the lower portion, which was done the very next day! We owe Stem Bros. a big Thank You for making the intersection less cluttered and much safer.

Hope to see you at the Borough Council meeting on Wednesday.

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Author: Warren Cooper

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