According to Township Administrator Chris Pianese, the township's Handicapped Parking Board of Review will now periodically review all issued handicapped parking spaces to determine if the standards for authorization continue to exist.
"It will eventually be a complete analysis of the existing parking spaces," Pianese said. "The township has received letters that the spaces are being improperly used in some instances. We'll evaluate to see what signs are no longer valid and confirm those that are still valid. We'll also start a new process with renewal, like every two years."
Got rid of at least 15
Pianese called the plan "a work in progress," but he said that the township has already eliminated 15 to 20 handicapped parking spaces that were no longer valid.
"We're going to do them all at the same time, so we can determine within the next two to three months how many handicapped spaces can be eliminated," Pianese said. "Parking is a problem throughout the township, and this was a system that needed an overhaul."
The new regulations also call for anyone who is violation of the handicapped parking ordinance to be subject to a fine of at least $290 and up to 90 days of community service that is deemed appropriate by the Municipal Court judge.
This is only for those with designated handicapped spaces assigned by the township, not parking passes given out by the state Motor Vehicle Commission.
Other items at commissioners' meeting
In other items from Wednesday's Board of Commissioners' meeting, an ordinance was introduced to place a new four-way stop sign at 46th Street and Grand Avenue. It was determined by the township's traffic engineer that the four-way stop was necessary at that intersection.
The township also introduced an ordinance that will allow them to vacate a portion of 34th Street in order to open up the area for possible development. According to township attorney Herb Klitzner, the portion of 34th Street was part of an old deed, and this ordinance will allow for that 7,600-square foot area to be redeveloped if necessary.
The Board of Commissioners reappointed Municipal Court Judge Joseph "Jay" Romano for another three-year term through 2010. Romano has served as the municipal court judge in the township for the last 12 years.
The commissioners adopted a resolution that allows the township to submit an application to the state Urban Enterprise Zone Authority for assistance funds in order to purchase two new street sweepers at the cost of $396,000.
"We have to go before the state Board and justify the reasons for buying two new street sweepers with UEZ funds," Pianese said. "We've done this before with similar pieces of equipment. If we didn't go through UEZ, then that cost would have to come from our capital program."
The township also sent out contracts for bids for the cleaning and television inspection of sewers, the purchase of rock salt, printing of municipal brochures and documents, medical supplies for the township's ambulance service and water cooler, water dispenser, microwave and refrigerator rentals.
The commissioners also passed resolutions regarding the retirement and accrued sick/vacation time of four North Bergen police officers, including former Deputy Chief Robert Farley, as well as Daniel Conti, John Sybel, and Donald Joseph.
Farley received a package of $114,490, while Sybel received $64,743, Joseph $54,620 and Conti $24,825.
The contracts with H&L Systems of Toms River to handle data processing services and repairs and Alpha Dog Solutions of Belleville to maintain the township's website were renewed. Eye Contact Vision Center of North Bergen was once again designated as the carrier for the township's group eye care program.
The commissioners also passed a resolution that enables 4Connections, a private telecommunications firm based in Parsippany, the right to explore the options of constructing, installing and operating a telecommunication system in the township.
This resolution may give residents an option when it comes to cable and wireless Internet services. The resolution gives 4Connections the opportunity to explore the options in the township.
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org