Future of Pools Remains Unknown
West Caldwell councilman says costs and conditions will be discussed publicly in coming months
West Caldwell councilman Dominick Aiello said Tuesday that rumors about one of the two town pools closing are just that, rumors.
Aiello spoke in response to the most recent email sent to the Council inquiring about whether the governing body plans to shutter one of the two pools operated by the West Caldwell Recreation Department.
Aiello said that operating costs for Westville Pool and Cedar Street Pool would be reviewed in the coming months. He said the council will also discuss what repairs are necessary at the two facilities, as well as the cost of making those repairs. He said that no decision would be made behind closed doors.
“We will be discussing all that in public session,” Aiello said. “You can be secure that nothing is going to happen in the next couple of months.”
Later in the meeting, when the Council discussed how to possibly use CDBG money that might be available to the township, the pools were brought up again.
Although the Council agreed to focus on other potential projects, it briefly discussed again the future of the pools.
“We need to figure out where we are going with these pools,” said Mayor Joseph Tempesta. “I don’t think we are closing any of these pools this year.”
The snack bar at Westville would not be able to open in its current condition, said Jock Watkins, acting township administrator.
Property Revaluation Delayed
West Caldwell’s pending property revaluation has been delayed, Mayor Tempesta reported Tuesday. The Mayor said that introductory letters to all property owners were supposed to have been mailed out by now, but that they will not be going out until early to mid January 2011. Appraisal Systems Inc., which will conduct the revaluation of all town properties, was expected to send a notice in the mail this week informing property owners of the delay. Once the revaluation process officially begins, it is expected to take four to five months to complete.
Township Scores Well on Best Practices Checklist
The Township of West Caldwell will receive 100% of its final state aid payment for the year, according to Althea Headley, the township’s accounting supervisor. Headley said the township answered “yes” to 81 out of a possible 88 questions on The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Best Practices Checklist. Some of the areas where the township fell deficient had to do with energy and the website, Headley said. A municipality with too few “yes” responses could be denied a portion of its state aid payment.
Limiting Legal Fees
The township also discussed methods of capping legal fees. Restricting open access to municipal attorneys by department heads was proposed, as was creating a monthly cap in order to control costs. Acting Township Administrator Watkins presented the mayor and council with a document containing information about how surrounding municipalities pay attorneys. But upon examining the figures, several members of the council agreed that more information was needed. “What is the scope of the work?”, for example, Council President Joseph Cecere asked. Councilman Stanley Hladik added that the township might need to scale back matters requiring legal assistance, “We have to be fiscally responsible in what we are trying to do in a year legally.”