Meeting rules adopted in New Milford

BY STACI WILSON

New Milford Borough adopted new rules for its public meetings Thursday night, following in line with meeting guidelines established in Montrose last year.

New Milford, however, set forth only four rules of conduct: setting a five minute time limit; establishing one person speak for a group on a shared issue or concern; video recording must take place behind the last row of chairs; and two or more council members can agree to waive the established rules.

The adoption of meeting rules in Montrose landed the borough in court with a challenge to the rule forbidding video or audio recordings prior and after the meeting.

President Judge Kenneth Seamans struck down that rule – regarding it as unconstitutional.

New Milford Borough Council opted to not adopt as rigorous a set of rules as Montrose.

Councilman Rick Ainey said there have been few instances where the rules would have come into play at borough meetings. But, he added, the borough was adopting the policy for any future issues that might arise.

Borough Codes Enforcement Officer Mike Dopko provided council with an update on zoning and codes issues.

Dopko reported that the owner of one property had not yet complied with a court order handed down in April 2013.

Council is moving forward to enforce the court order, giving the owner two weeks to comply with one provision; and until mid-June to comply with another part of the order that requires plantings.

Councilman Larry White said the borough should consider doing something about cars parked along the streets while the borough is plowing. But, he added, the vehicle owners could be contacted individually and asked to move their cars for the plow.

This winter, New Milford Borough has used four truckloads of salt and two loads of cinders.

Councilwoman Teri Gulick said the state is running low on salt and is looking to see if municipalities have a stockpile.

The borough does not have its own stockpile of salt and cinders but purchases the road maintenance supplies as needed from New Milford Twp.

After being without municipal police coverage in the borough since Jan. 1, council approved and signed a two-year contract with Montrose.

Montrose Borough Council approved the police contract in January.

Council also approved a five-year cable contract with NEP. The borough now needs to reach an agreement with Adams Cable – another franchise holder in the town.

At its mid-month meeting, Thursday, Feb. 20, the borough Recreation Board ordinance is on the agenda to be repealed.