New Milford continues zoning fight

BY STACI WILSON

New Milford Borough will continue pursuing a legal battle involving a zoning matter.

Following an executive session during the Thursday night meeting, council unanimously voted to move forward with enforcement of a zoning violation on a Monteforte property.

Ongoing code issues on other properties were also discussed by council.

Councilman Rick Ainey suggested members meet with the borough’s new codes officer, Gregory Sheer, to find out his policy and procedures with dealing with complaints.

Councilman Larry White said he had personally observed what was believed to be an open burning of garbage on Johnston Street. Nearby residents had reported the odor of garbage and plastics burning on several occasions to council.

Sheer will also be asked to look into a Pick Hill Road property for what several on council believe to be a “multitude of violations up there.”

The borough is still collecting commitment letters from residents interested in hooking up to natural gas service as it becomes available.

Leatherstocking will accept the gas hook-up commitment letters until Jan. 1, 2015 – at that time, about 180 customers are needed along the proposed line route, which also runs through part of New Milford Township, in order to begin the next phase of the project development.

As of last week, only about one-sixth of the commitments needed had been submitted.

The council has not yet determined if it will convert its building to natural gas – a question also posed by its tenant the Council of Governments.

Ainey proposed COG help pay for the conversion. With COG responsible for paying its heating bill, Ainey said the borough would get “no value” from footing the bill. “It’s in their best interest to have it converted.”

“I disagree,” said Councilwoman Teri Gulick. “It’s our building. It’s in our best interest to replace it.”

According to members of council, the furnace servicing the COG portion of the building is 10-15 years old.
White added, “The reality is we don’t know if we’re converting this one or not yet.”

In other winter preparations, council discussed purchasing a snowblower attachment for its tractor. White said he would bring pricing estimates to the September meeting.

The needed but costly pool repairs were also discussed. Council President Ken Carey said a local professional had conducted a visual inspection of the pool and noted that while the area below the coping was crumbling in some spots, the bottom of the pool was not in “bad” shape.

The pool’s filtration system needs to be repaired or replaced. The recommendation, based on the size of the pool, was to use a dual resin bed for filtration.

The vacuum, which was purchased this year, will lengthen the life of the filtration system.

Council also discussed an offer made to bring an “end of summer” concert to the park on Sunday, Sept. 14, with event donations used to benefit the pool project.

It was made clear the borough would not be “sponsoring” the event.

Carey expressed his disappointment that the pool closed before the last week of summer this year due to the unavailability of lifeguards the week before Labor Day.