Pennington Borough Council, still zooming, welcomes spring by approving permits for outdoor gathering

Pennington Borough Council had originally planned to return to in-person meetings by this date. It was discussed before the meeting that Zoom has provided an opportunity for community involvement in a broader way. Discussions took place to come up with a hybrid model that will provide a meeting in person that is also broadcast on Zoom. Mayor Jim Davy stated that “Covid numbers in the tri-state region are increasing as well.” 

Council President Kit Chandler brought up a few concerns on how the current meeting structure is operating: “We have to be aware that if Council stays in Zoom, what are the committees and commissions doing?” she asked. “We have to be mindful of how that affects Betty [Sterling, Borough Clerk], who is doing ten plus Zoom meetings at 7 or 8 o’clock at night.”

Some of the issues with Zoom the Council discussed include the inability to schedule multiple committee meetings at the same time and the necessity of Sterling to personally set up many evening meetings. Council agreed to further research and discuss the issues and resolved to come up with a new solution.

Three Pennington businesses applied to maintain the use of temporary outdoor areas in the public right of way. 

Vito’s Pizza applied to maintain six tables and 24 chairs on the sidewalk immediately adjacent to the restaurant. The approved plan for Vito’s includes four tables and 16 chairs on the Main Street side and two tables and eight chairs on the Delaware Avenue side. The resolution specifies that the area must be kept clean and free of debris at all times and should not obstruct pedestrian traffic.

Emily’s Catering also applied for temporary outdoor seating and was approved for three tables and six chairs located immediately adjacent to their establishment on Main Street. 

The Cambridge School applied for use of outdoor space with the erection of a 16’ x 32’ tent in the parking lot of the Straube Center for their Spring Musical performance in May. The school cited the need to minimize the danger of Covid-19 during the large event.

Council approved all three applications unanimously.

Borough Attorney Walter Bliss reported that the owners of the property located at 2 Route 31 North on the corner of Route 31 North and N Delaware Avenue, current home of Wells Fargo Bank and a law office, have filed for a state tax appeal. The current assessment is $2 million dollars. 

Mayor Davy closed the meeting by announcing the Council would be entering a closed session to discuss litigation on Hopewell Township’s proposed Pilot and potential litigation by Jersey Meds. No other information on the cases was provided at the close of the public portion of the meeting.

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