Hello Frenchtown.


Please remember to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 5, at Borough Hall. Polls are open 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
There are contests for seats on the Frenchtown Board of Education and on Borough Council. There is also a referendum on the creation of a municipal Open Space Tax to support our parks.
Borough Council meets on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m. at Borough Hall. There will likely be at least a brief discussion of the Election results during the meeting.


On the agenda are public hearings on two proposed ordinances: 1) to change language regarding an ordinance that governs certain aspects of the police department (a housekeeping change), and 2) an ordinance to establish the position of Borough Administrator. The second ordinance would create the position, but it would neither fund the position nor fill it. That would come at another time. I’m sure there will be discussion by council on both items and your input is appreciated.


We will also introduce an ordinance (the public hearing will be next month) that would increase the speed limit on Milford Road from 15 to 25 mph. This would put the speed limit in conformance with what has been sought by the county and would permit the police to more effectively enforce speeding on that road. (There has been a question for some time as to whether the exising 15-mph limit is defensible in court. This change would remove any question about it our authority to ticket vehicles exceeding the limit.) Borough Council has been stalling in addressing this issue because until recently the state Department of Transportation would not allow us to set the limit less than 45-mph. The state DOT has now dropped the issue, allowing us to work out a 25-mph understanding with the county that provides for the county Roads Department to take responsibility for some maintenance of the road.


We will introduce the newly hired Police Secretary (she replaced Jennifer who left for another job in September) and congratulate Officer Matt Kelly on completing a year of service to the borough.


There will likely be discussion of the broken leaf vacuum machine and plans to address leaf pickup this year and in the future.


Council must formally accept two recent grants. The first is a $20,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey to develop a food waste recycling program, including installation of machinery that would convert the waste to compost. The second is a $50,000 Hazard Mitigation grant that will enable us to purchase emergency generators that would power Borough Hall, Police headquarters, the fire house, the DPW building and the new waste water treatment plant.


A few other things:


I’ll be providing an update on the Philadelphia University Sustainable Design students’ efforts to create designs for two parks and adjacent building projects downtown (the students are presenting their ideas to Phila U faculty on Tuesday night and we’re to hear their plan in December.)


Frenchtown has been recognized as a leader in the “complete streets” movement, which seeks to create communities that design streets, walkways, crosswalks, sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. to accommodate the needs of all kinds of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. We’ve been asked to participate in a panel discussion on the topic at the annual League of Municipalities convention later this month in Atlantic City.


Frenchtown’s second annual menorah-lighting ceremony is set for the first night of Chanukah, Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at the TDBank parking lot where we also place the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association Christmas tree. Last year’s event was well attended and much fun with donuts and other treats provided by Chabad of Hunterdon and led by Chabad Rabbi Eli Kornfeld. This year is shaping up to be a repeat. I hope you’ll join us.


At the end of Wednesday’s meeting, Borough Council will go into Executive Session to address topics allowed under the Sunshine Law to be discussed in private. Specifically, we’ll discuss contract negotiations with Tomar, the waste water treatment plant contractor, and Bridge Street LLC, George Michael’s company developing the River Mills project. Under the attorney-client provision exclusion, there wll also be a discussion of PBA Local 188.


Hope to see you then… and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!