CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK FREE... Home Buyer Seminar...
Don’t buy a home without attending this program!
At this seminar you will learn... • if now is the time to buy a home • who should not buy a home • how to buy with little or no money down • which mortgage is best fixed or variable rate • the pros and cons of new construction vs. resale • what to know before you look at houses • what to do if you want to buy a home and have a home to sell • how to get your best buy in today’s market • plus MORE!
Date: February 19, 2000 Time: 9:00 10:30 a.m. Place: Scotch Plains Public Library
1927 Bartle Avenue Call: (800) 475-1515 To Register
Seating is limited! Presented by Kim Marks
(908) 322-5454 Ext. 17
Summit Home Team Experienced ERA Queen City Realty Bank Inspection Attorneys & 310 Park Ave, Scotch Plains
Service Title Company (908) 322-5454
Mountainside, Fanwood Boroughs About to Go Separate Ways as Each Gets Own Cable Station
Freeholders Okay $70 Million to Fund Renovation of Newark Airport Hilton Hotel By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
ELIZABETH — The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has given approval to the Union County Improvement Authority to finance the expansion and renovation of the Newark Airport Hilton Hotel located on Route 1 in Elizabeth, also called the “Elizabeth Project.”
The Union County Improvement Authority, an entity created a number of years ago by a county ordinance, must gain the freeholders’ approval for projects and public bond funding.
The Elizabeth Project would in clude expansion of the hotel’s conference,
convention and banquet facilities for the accommodation and entertainment of tourists and visitors. The Authority stated in the ordinance, which received approval on second reading during the Freeholder meeting February 10: “it is in the public interest to accomplish the project, for the health, wealth, convenience and betterment of the inhabitants of the county and that the cost of the project is not unreasonable or exorbitant.”
Statewide Realty and the Newark Airport Hilton Hotel has requested the Authority’s assistance in the financing of the expansion and will
give a mortgage to secure the Authority’s bonds, “not to exceed $70 million,” according to the ordinance.
The Authority intends to finance the Project through the issuance of one or more series of its “Taxable Mortgage Revenue Bonds.” The funding for the project does not deplete the county’s budget in any way, according to County Counsel Carol Cohen.
The board also approved a resolution which allows the county to apply for and receive $180,649 in grant money from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to cover six days of household hazardous waste pickups. The DEP receives the grant money from the federal government and distributes the funds to the counties, according to Harold Gibson, Director of Public Safety.
The hazardous waste days estab lish special pickup locations
throughout the county where households can bring items such as lead, paint or batteries, not permitted in normal waste.
The freeholders also amended their 2000 temporary budget to incorporate a Community Service Block Grant in the amount of $192,627 received from the federal government for special community assistance projects. This money is distributed to special needs groups throughout the county, according to Ms. Cohen.
Another resolution approved by the board and cosponsored by Freeholders Lewis Mingo and Deborah Scanlon provides funding for breast cancer and research through the purchase of special postage stamp booklets. The booklets are available at local post offices for $8, which donates the extra $2 to the program.
MEETING WITH THE MAYORS… Scotch Plains Mayor Martin L. Marks, left, and Fanwood Mayor Louis C. Jung, far right, are seen with Scotch PlainsFanwood High School DECA students, juniors Brett Bushinger and Erin Watson. Each mayor proclaimed the week of February 1623 as DECA Week in Scotch Plains and Fanwood.
By MELISSA A. BETKOWSKI
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
MOUNTAINSIDE — The boroughs of Mountainside and Fanwood currently share usage of Comcast Cable local access station Channel 35, but that is about to change.
According to Bob Smith, Director of Public Affairs for Comcast, “we are moving toward splitting the two towns” so that each municipality will have their own public access station.
Both municipalities will have their own local Channel 35 and will not be able to see each other’s programming.
Mountainside passed an ordinance September 21 calling for the borough to have its own channel within the Comcast cable system.
When Mountainside negotiated a new cable contract with Comcast almost a year ago, borough officials had asked for its own local access station. After Comcast agreed to the request and finalized the contract, the Borough Council then passed the ordinance calling for the new channel.
According to Mr. Smith, by order of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the channel must be split within one year of the passage of the ordinance.
Mr. Smith said that Comcast hopes to have the split done well in advance of the September 21 deadline.
“The issue is,” he said, “that there are four towns — Westfield, Scotch
Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside — and three local access channels.”
Currently, it is a matter of which towns’ programming will be viewed in the other towns, he said.
Additionally, Mr. Smith said that Westfield eventually would like to use a second channel, which will be either Channel 34 or 35, to run more programming. Mr. Smith added, however, that Westfield officials have asked that their request be put on hold until they make some changes in their current local access channel operation.
The Town of Westfield has set up a separate board to examine and revamp the way in which the local public access channel is run. All programming currently is generated out of the Westfield High School.
Similarly, Scotch Plains and Fanwood, which now run educational and local government programs on each of their local access channel, have each asked for a second channel specifically for educational purposes, Mr. Smith said.
He noted that Comcast must reallocate how the three channels are used. He said that there would likely be a number of moves.
Mr. Smith added that Comcast also is working to bring programming from Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights to Mountainside. Mountainside high
school students attend Governor Livingston.
He called the issue in getting the high school’s programming to Mountainside a matter of engineering.
“Suburban Cable, Comcast’s predecessor, was extremely generous in allocating these local access channels,” Mr. Smith said. He noted that it is very rare for a cable provider to offer as many local access networks as Comcast does.
He said that the cable provider will be “creative in reallocating those resources in a way beneficial to all involved.”
Joseph Nagy, one of the two volunteers who runs TV35 for Fanwood, was unaware of the plans to split the station into separate segments for Mountainside and Fanwood.
Since they share the channel, they have to alternate days of broadcasting.
Mr. Nagy noted that the change would be beneficial for Fanwood if the borough wanted to broadcast a Borough Council meeting live. Normally, if it is a day when Mountainside broadcasts, something would have to be worked out to switch the days.
He said that Fanwood also would likely look into doing more programming once the channel is split.
Under the shared channel, Mountainside has mainly broadcast
council meetings and a community calendar of upcoming events.
With the new channel and presumably expanded programming in Mountainside, a new parttime paid coordinator, Annemarie Kovacs, has been hired to work for TV35.
Ms. Kovacs could not be reached for comment.
According to Mountainside Mayor Robert F. Viglianti, the station also is looking for volunteers.
“We have increased programming and upgraded our audio,” he said.
Borough Council to Issue $7 Mil. in Bonds to Fund
Infrastructure Repairs By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
MOUNTAINSIDE— Officials of Mountainside announced Tuesday night that the Borough Council will issue $7 million in municipal bonds which will be dedicated to make improvements to approximately 60 roads in the community as well as to fix storm drainage systems and reseal sewer lines.
Mayor Robert F. Viglianti announced that Borough Engineer Michael Disko had been doing a sixmonth indepth study of these roads and reported that about 75 percent of the borough’s 90 streets were in dire need of repair.
The Mayor also said Mr. Disko’s findings indicated that many of Mountainside’s drainage systems and sewer lines have collapsed and, thus, are also in need of vast improvements.
During the meeting, council members were given copies of the report and there was a preliminary discussion of the repair needs.
Acting Borough Administrator James Debbie said a letter of explanation to all borough residents detailing Mountainside’s engineering needs and the bond itself is scheduled to reach residents sometime next month.
Mr. Debbie, who also serves as Police Chief, explained that an ordinance introducing the bond ordinance on first reading would also be scheduled for March.
In other business, officials announced the sudden retirement of Police Lieutenant John Olock, effective Wednesday, March 1. He has been with the Mountainside Police Department for almost 27 years.
The council agreed with Chief Debbie’s recommendation to promote
Lieutenant Richard Osieja to fill the position of captain.
The Police Chief explained that captain’s position has been vacant since 1971 when Captain Edward J. Mullin was appointed police chief.
Sergeant Todd Turner will be appointed to the rank of lieutenant. Both appointments will be effective March 1.
In other business, the council unanimously adopted, upon second reading, an ordinance that addresses building permits, certificates of occupancy, issuance of replacement signs and increases the minimum penalty for violation of the borough’s land use ordinance.
Mayor Viglianti explained that ordinance is in accordance with the recent merging of the borough’s Planning Board and Board of Adjustment. He said the boards were recently merged to “streamline government and to expedite paperwork.”
The council also passed on ordinance to create the new position of assistant recreation director.
Recreation Director Sue Winans noted, “There is a need for this new position because of the increased activity going on within the Recreation Department.”
Mrs. Winans, now in her 26th year as Recreation Director, noted that there are many groups and organizations utilizing the borough’s Community Room as well as increased recreational programs that are held there.
She also noted the increased activity because of the addition of an ice skating rink and heightened enrollment in the borough’s sports programs.
This Week in Government Thursday, Feb. 17 – 7: 00pm Freeholder’s Agenda Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 17 – 7: 30pm Westfield Planning Board
Saturday, Feb. 19 – 9: 00am Union County League of Municipaliities
Union County College
Tuesday, Feb. 22 – 8: 00pm Scotch Plains Council Agenda Meeting
Wednesday, Feb. 23 – 7: 30pm Scotch Plains Planning Board
Wednesday, Feb. 23 – 7: 30pm Fanwood Shade Tree Commission
Wednesday, Feb. 23 – 8: 00pm Fanwood Planning Board
Wednesday, Feb. 23 – 8: 00pm Westfield Council Meeting
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)