The Cedar Grove Township Council announced last night the township has received a portion of the federal funds they were expecting to help pay for cleanup from the Halloween snowstorm.
The first installment of the town’s relief money was received from the Federal Environmental Management Agency totaling $111,404.51. The second installment is expected in two to three weeks. FEMA usually pays about 70 percent of cost said Township Manger Thomas Tucci.
The council also discussed the pending budget.
At one point, Councilman Joseph Chiusolo asked to have the clerk place the budget on the the agenda for further examination, but the rest of the council said they were confident in the township manager’s proposal.
“There is very little I can see that can be cut,” Councilman Robert O’Toole said. “I have been stopped by a few citizens giving compliments to you (Mr. Tucci).”
In other budget-related news, a letter from the Caputa Brothers Tree Service to waive the contracted 4-percent tax increase was approved as well with some debate from Chiusolo.
“I think in all forms it is only fair to the taxpayers on how we extend contracts like this,” Chiusolo said.
The council voted to approve the change because of the great assistance the business was during the October snowstorm and the property is also considered hard to rent.
The company rents land in an industrial section of town they use a s recylcling center for their business.
A portion of the meeting was spent discussing the painting of the overpass entering Cedar Grove on Route 23 from Wayne.
The painting of the bike path has had five proposals with the lowest being $177,136 from Allied Paintings. The work is expected to start the end of March or April, according to the Essex County Parks Department.
Deputy Mayor Peter Tanella has pushed for the council to pursue a digital sign instead just of hanging banners for all the organizations Cedar Grove has. O’Toole said he is against this because of concerns of traffic accidents by distracting attention right before it goes down to one lane.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the Fourth of July fireworks for Garden State Fireworks. Next year the council will try to work with a neighboring town to cut down on costs. This year's $7,000 cost is donated.
• Released bonds to the Second Gen Catering Co., but only 90 percent because of unresolved issues.
• Approved the contract for Bagelwich of Verona for the concession stand at the community pool. The contract is for two years for $29,505.20.
• Approved the considered amendment of the contract Cerenzio & Panaro, PC, which will raise it $9,500, from $53,785 to $63,285.
• Approved the 2012 Municipal Alliance grant for $22,857.
• Approved raffles for Little Falls School #1, North End School and Cedar Grove Rotary.