Council Faces Vote To Rescind Garbage Ordinance

By on June 26, 2018

The Verona Town Council introduced an ordinance last night that could rescind its new garbage ordinance after a petition against the measure was found to have enough valid signatures. The petition, which was created by Lakeside Deli, gathered 775 signatures and the Town Clerk declared 667 to be valid, which was more than the 656 signatures that were required.

Lakeside Deli was not specifically named in Ordinance 2018-18, but it would have been affected by the measure, which limited pickup to five cans per building. Lakeside Deli does not have space for a commercial pickup dumpster on its property because its building occupies the entire square footage of its property. It once put a dumpster behind a screen on the adjacent municipal sidewalk on Park Place, but town officials asked the business several years ago to switch to garage cans. At the June 11 Council meeting, Lakeside Deli co-owner Jim Hill said that he had done what town government asked him to do about garbage over the years.

Ordinance 2018-18, which had been championed by Deputy Mayor Michael Nochimson, was approved by the Council on May 21, with Nochimson, Mayor Kevin Ryan and Councilman Alex Roman voting in favor. Councilmen Jack McEvoy and Ted Giblin had voted against it. The ordinance was suspended on June 11 after it appeared that the petition drive had met its signature threshold. Verona is organized as a Faulkner Act municipality, which means that Council decisions can be challenged through a petition. Last year, a group of residents used the petition provision to scuttle the township’s purchase of the Congregation Beth Ahm synagogue to be the new home of the Verona Rescue Squad.

The Council must hold a public discussion of the repeal ordinance at its next meeting on Monday, July 9, and then vote on whether to approve the repeal or call for a special election to put the matter to voters. Township Manager Matthew Cavallo said at last night’s meeting that it could cost more than $27,000 to hold a special election. The Council would need three votes to approve the repeal.

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In other action at last night’s meeting, the Town Council approved spending $175,000 to repair the Fairview Avenue well. The well, which had been in use since 2004, had to be shut down earlier this month after an equipment breakdown. Since then, Verona has had to purchase additional water from the Passaic Valley Water Commission. The Council also announced another postponement for Ordinances 2018-12 and 2018-13, which would have authorized a study of eminent domain action on two properties that a developer would like to turn into affordable housing. Those measures will be put back on the agenda for July 9.

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