Cranford's Township Committee met Jan. 15 for its second official meeting of 2013. Commissioners discussed ongoing repairs to the municipal building and heard comments from the public. Here's what you missed:
1. Township attorney Daniel J. McCarthy gave an update on the affordable housing lawsuit, otherwise known as the Birchwood litigation. He said he spoke with former township attorney Phil Morin and announced that Cranford's objections to the Birchwood site plan were received by the court. The objections addressed recommendations approved by Special Hearing Officer Douglas Wolfson. There will be a hearing on Feb. 4 at the Union County Courthouse.
McCarthy said he doesn't believe final judgement on the matter will be made at the hearing, and that it likely will come in the middle of March. A final judgment will allow Cranford to file and appeal on the matter. McCarthy wouldn't say whether an appeal would be handled by Morin, but said the committee was exploring all options.
2. Mayor Hannen announced the appointments to the 2013 Emergency Management team which included the following city officials:
Deputy Coordinators Police Chief Eric G. Mason and Fire Chief Leonard R. Dolan III; Mayor Tom Hannen; Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Campbell; Health official Monika Koscova; Superintendent of Schools Gayle Carrick; Township Engineer Richard A. Marsden; Public Works Coordinator Steven Wardell; Consultant Robert D'Ambola; Construction Code official Richard Belluscio; TV35 Representative Ed Davenport; Citizen Representative Dr. Margaret Pipchick, Ron Marotta and Support Team member Dr. Michael Beams.
3. The Committee unanimously approved resolutions authorizing change orders for the repair of the municipal building, which includes $72,163 for a new fire alarm system and $48,508 for a wheel chair lift. In all six change orders were approved.
4. Commissioner Andis Kalnins announced that the 2013 budget process is underway. "As part of that we will be having public hearings," he said. Kalnins plans on meeting with the “Citizens Financial Advisory Committee”
5. Mayor Tom Hannen gave a recap of his talks—along with other mayors— with Congressman Leonard Lance, and the state DEP about the Rahway River Basin feasability study. He called it a good meeting and said that momentum was building to "push the process along a little faster."
He said he would be checking with other mayors this week to ensure that communities along the Rahway River Watershed have entered into a shared services agreement for flood prevention work. "We would like to make sure that everybody is onboard and we're all contributing economically to this endeavor."