OCEAN TOWNSHIP: The Ocean Township Workshop meeting held on Jan. 26 had some timely updating of events largely in the planning and data gathering stages.
In addition the new member, John P. Napolitani, Sr. was introduced, the finalist in the interview process to replace long time community server, Bill Garofalo. It was a chance for Mr. Napolitani to sit in on the Executive (private session).
Animal Control measures were up for discussion. Shared services with Long Branch was a quick review, no answers yet.
They discussed briefly what other towns like Eatontown and Tinton Falls (neighbors) have been doing along with the Monmouth County people, looking into regarding the deer issues, thinking about a cooperative effort where each has a job to do. All the members ae very sensitive to the "Bambi" feelings among the townspeople, yet there is a sense of urgency with public safety, an important need to be served. It is a serious study and WIP (work-in-progress).
Discussion went on about development updating, a continuing factor of importance that Council wants to step back and look ahead to what may become significant rezoning and development policies and the needed changes to support them.
At the last Workshop Environmental Commission members Fred Brody and Ken Lutz laid out a proposal to contract for an Environment Review plan, updating the years old plan, and taking a forward looking approach rather than strictly reactive to changes from individual developers efforts. These have brought concerns, such as the shrinking tree canopy (area covered by tree foliage) which has been losing ground and wholesale clearing has reduced the canopy to below urban classification, lower then at least one adjacent town.
Mayor Chris Siciliano went for the proposal on hearing the estimate of cost; $10 to $15 K is the educated guestimates. The study will help the EC team of volunteers with their mission as well as the Shade Tree Commission with theirs.
In other matters the OT PD will re-up its contract with the County for its communications console system that supports the Dispatch Center.
Another contract, a professional services arrangement with CME Associates will get the town a structural engineering evaluation of the Deal Test Site (Joe Palaia Park) at a price of $15K.
The licensing ordinance for cats and dogs is reset to require licensing back to the end of January from the April 1 date, with a modest forgiveness allowance as the date change takes effect. See the town website for more info.
The Professional Services 2017 contract with Jim Higgins, the OT Planner was re-signed for James W. Higgins Associates.