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NEWS REPORT: USR Mayor and Council Meeting November 2, 2023

The next USR Mayor and Council meeting will take place on December 7, 2023, at 8:00 pm at USR Borough Hall, 376 W. Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458.

Public Comments:

Noise, Lighting, Trespassing, Parking Issues at The Grove from One Lake Street Athletic Park
Several residents of The Grove, the new residential townhouse development located at the corner of Lake Street and East Crescent Avenue, once again attended the Mayor and Council meeting to seek resolution on the quality of life issues they are burdened with in their new townhomes arising from the One Lake Street Athletic Park. Brian Gersten and another resident of The Grove addressed the mayor and council stating that at a recent football game at the field, the tall field lights were glaring until after 10:00 pm lighting up neighbors homes, people were trampling and destroying the landscaping, and the song, Cotton Eyed Joe, was blasting over 25 times a night on the sound system. The residents called the police and said that they were told, “We are not coming.” Additionally, the lights behind the new shopping center on East Crescent Avenue are shining into residents’ homes. The council stated that the residents would have to take that last issue up with the shopping center owners. 

Councilman Jonathan Ditkoff stated that the council has been discussing the issues in executive council sessions and that the council is “coming up with strategies.” One of those strategies is to find a contractor with a boom truck to adjust the lighting. He said that the council reps have met with the football association, and have also held a special meeting with the borough engineer regarding field safety. The council is also seeking quotes for fencing to be elongated around the park. Resident Brian Choi affirmed that a permanent fence is needed. Mr. Ditkoff said that the council hasn’t received all of its bids yet, but will review them as soon as they are in. Mr. Choi inquired as to whether there was a specific decibel level that the sound system should be limited to, to which Mr Ditkoff said that the sound level needs to be checked. 

Another Grove resident said that trash has been blowing from the fields. He said that it has gotten better but there is a lot of wind throughout the field because of its high elevation on a “plateau”. Mr. Ditkoff responded to him stating that large trash cans have been added to the fields.

Mr. Gersten asked about police coverage at the field to which Councilman Ditkoff responded that the football association has committed to spend its money for police coverage and security at its games. Mr. Gersten stated that the Grove Board is planning on creating a resolution regarding the NJ Statute covering Title 39 to be able to enforce parking regulations on private property. This will enable the board to enforce cars which are parking on its circle.

Consent Agenda Approved

Of note was Resolution #150-23, Authorizing Request for Qualifications for the services of Bond Counsel, Borough Attorney, Borough Auditor, Borough Planner, Labor Attorney, Planning Board Attorney, Prosecutor, Public Defender, Risk Management Consultant, Affordable Housing Attorney and Borough Engineer by 3:00 pm on December 15, 2023. 

Introduction of Ordinance #15-23 Administration of Government

The Borough authorizes the creation of a new position of Special Law Enforcement Officer Class III (“SLEO III”) to assist the USRPD perform its duties and responsibilities subject to the eligibility criteria, authorizations and limitations set forth in the Special Law Enforcement Officers Act. 

Applicants must not have been separated from prior service as a full-time officer in any municipality or county of the State of New Jersey, or a member of the New Jersey State Police for more than three years, must be a resident of the State of New Jersey during his/her term of appointment, must be a retired officer in any municipality or county of the State of New Jersey, or a member of the New Jersey State Police, having left in good standing, less than 65 years old, read, write, and speak English well and intelligently, have a HS diploma or equivalent, sound body, good health, good character, and licensed in the the State of New Jersey.

“There is hereby created, in and for the Borough of Upper Saddle River, a Police Department which shall consist of no more than a Chief of Police, a Captain, two Lieutenants, four Sergeants, a maximum of 13 patrol officers, and one Special Law Enforcement Officer Class III, to be appointed to these positions by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Borough Council. The decision whether or not to fill the mentioned positions is within the complete and unfettered discretion of the governing body.” 

Ordinances Approved at this meeting

# 13-23 An ordinance regulating and establishing requirements for the storage of salt and other solid de-icing materials on privately owned property and to establish penalties for the violation thereof.

# 14-23 An ordinance to amend Chapter 120 of the USR Borough code entitled “Stormwater Management ” to repeal and replace article lll, Stormwater Control. 

10 Mountainview Avenue Commercial Office Building in Foreclosure

A resident asked about the status of the commercial office building  owned by Viewstar LLC and previously owned by Mack-Cali Realty at 10 Mountainview Avenue. Borough Attorney Robert Regan said that the property is in foreclosure and the borough is waiting on the judge to write his final judgment. #####