The Verona Town Council had its first meeting of April last night and anyone who travels the western end of Linden Avenue can rejoice.
The Council awarded the contract for the winter-ravaged section of Linden between Grove and Fairview to Stanziale Construction. The bid, for $214,735, was less than the $232,000 in aid approved by the New Jersey Department of Transportation for Verona. Township Engineer Jim Helb said the work, which will involve both road resurfacing and spot excavations where the worst of the frost heaves occurred, will start sometime in May.
Helb also said that work had resumed on the two new youth sports fields on the Hilltop. He said that the winter weather had stopped the job for six weeks. “There was no way to get anything done,” he told the Council. Helb said that the light poles are in place but need to be wired and that work on the bleachers is behind schedule. But he did say that he expects the turf carpet to go down on the baseball field soon. Helb said that Recreation Department Director Jim Cunningham would have more details on the fields’ playability when he presents the Rec Department’s budget at a workshop on Tuesday night.
The Council also approved a change order for the new Rescue Squad ambulance. Township Manager Joe Martin said that Verona CFO Matthew Laracy had gotten a medical transportation grant that covered the $14,086 cost of a electrical stretcher so the ambulance could be upgraded from a manually operated stretcher. Martin said that the ambulance had been sent to a company in Bergen County where its electronics will be installed and that the vehicle will be placed in service in a week and a half. He praised the Rescue Squad’s former president, Sue DeWitt, for her work on the specifications of the new vehicle. “I have never met anyone more devoted to the Rescue Squad than Sue DeWitt,” Martin said. Over the weekend, the Squad’s new president voiced concern that the ambulance had been delivered to the Department of Public Works and not the VRS headquarters. Martin said last night that there was a “positive partnership” between the Rescue Squad and the town and that all town vehicles would be delivered to the DPW.
Martin also reiterated last night that the town was not involved in the effort to create a new polling place at Claridge II. But Councilman Kevin Ryan said he “would have appreciated” notification from Verona’s municipal clerk that such a change was in the works. MyVeronaNJ.com reported on Monday that the County Board of Elections had approved a plan to let Claridge residents vote at the condominium in March but was meeting again this week to review the decision.