Hopewell Borough Council talks about signs, parking, and water

The Hopewell Borough Council opened its meeting on July 6, 2023 with comments from the public.

Signs

A resident’s construction permit was taking an unusually long time to process, and the Council said that they would check with officials to expedite the process. Mark Bovenizer asked the Council to remove the pandemic era signs that still adorned both parks in Hopewell Borough asking visitors to stay six feet apart, and Mayor Paul Anzano promised to address the signs. 

Parking

Heidi Wilenius, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, gave an update on parking. She said the signs are back on West Broad, and the EDC is researching and trying to balance the needs of businesses and residents. She said that the two-hour parking limit should extend to weekends and holidays, unless the street is near a church. She noted that businesses in the Borough do a lot of business on weekends. She said the EDC is not asking for ticketing or even random enforcement, because a friendly note from business owners has been effective in the past. 

Lisa Hostettler said that she lives on Railroad Place and that parking was limited for residents. She suggested permit-only parking for residents on Railroad or Cook. She said that customers from Chubby’s honk at her as she is forced to double-park to carry groceries into her home, people throw garbage into her cans, and people stop to converse in her front yard. 

Sky Morehouse, Council President, suggested that Council could “open up Railroad Place on a 24-hour basis. My business is on Railroad Place, too.”

“We’re just trying to live our lives. We can’t even drop off groceries,” said Hostettler. She said that the behavior is from people out of town patronizing Chubby’s. 

Wilenius said, “I completely agree with your statement. If too many customers are parking that residents can’t park, that’s a problem, too.”

Water

The Council voted to adopt Ordinance 868 that established a water capital for the municipal waterworks so that it has a foundational value in the case that the utility is leased or sold. 

The Council introduced Ordinance Number 869, or the Flood Control Ordinance Amendment, which was originally introduced in February and scheduled for adoption in March. Instead, the Borough worked out more details with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Environmental Protection to make changes. 

Councilmember David Mackie said that the point of the ordinance was to align the language of flood control across the state to improve the functionality of rules and flood maps. 

Emergency Management

William Springer was present for his appointment as the new Coordinator of Emergency Management. He acted as the Executive Coordinator of Emergency Service in Hopewell Township for several years, and he is only one of 200 people who are Certified Emergency Managers in the state of New Jersey. Luke Morehouse was appointed to Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management. 

Other Business

The Council also approved the Daniel’s Law Redactor, which gives public servants the right to have their name redacted from public records. The Council approved donations for improvements to the bandstand, well house, pump house, and freight shed building, and the appointment of a Qualified Purchasing Agent. 

Liaison Reports 

Councilmember Samara McAulife said the Green Team held a zero waste event meeting where Community Solar spoke about changes to sign up for solar, working with businesses to create green fields, and how soon sign up for solar energy through green fields will be open statewide through sustainable New Jersey. Hopewell Borough can get green certification through a checklist, and some of the requirements of the checklist are already being met. 

Mackie said that he was playing around with the water data numbers when he discovered a 43% loss between what is billed and what is in the system. “We’ve been buying expensive water that has been going into the ground”, he said. Mackie has set into motion a plan to check the reservoir for leaks, and hire a professional detection service company to find current leaks in pipes and monitor pipes long term so that future leaks are prepared in a timely manner. 

Mayor Anzano said crosswalks had been painted and crews had been budgeted to return in a few weeks to paint other crosswalks. He said that the Borough had won tax litigation against Verizon that had been ongoing for fourteen years. The victory only applies to one year. To avoid the need for municipalities to litigate each tax year, the mayor has proposed the legislation to write laws regarding the issue. 

Morehouse said EMS calls were up by 40% since Pennington EMS closed and that all calls had been successfully answered. 

Councilmember Ryan Kennedy said the Senior Services had met. Open Space had met and discussed trail connections. 

Councilmember Krista Weaver said that the Pedestrian Bicycle Safety Advisory Committee was poised to apply for a grant from  Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association that would fund some minor safety improvements. She said that a pedestrian crossing sign had been placed at Broad and Maple. Despite being run over by a vehicle, it proved durable and bounced back to its original state. 

The Hopewell Borough Council will not hold a regular meeting in August.

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