Council Discusses Further Development of Madison Recreation Center
Initial spending for Community Gardens approved.
At its final scheduled meeting of 2011, the Madison Borough Council bid its good-byes to departing members, then moved on to an assortment of agenda items at Hartley Dodge Memorial Municipal Building.
Mayor-elect Bob Conley thanked outgoing Councilman Sam Cerciello for his two years on Council, and Mayor Mary-Anna Holden for her 14 years of service to the borough as both a Council member and mayor, saying she would be “a tough act to follow.”
Holden did not attend the meeting after her husband, Richard, was hospitalized Sunday night. Council President Vincent Esposito presided in her absence.
Esposito and Councilman Don Links honored Holden, too. Links thanked her for “taking me under her wing.”
Cerciello wished incoming Council members Bob Landrigan and Carmela Vitale well. “I learned a lot, really enjoyed my two years. I sort of enjoyed politics, I’ll be back and keep an eye on Bob [Conley] and make sure he does the right thing.”
Agenda matters began with a discussion of a proposed purchase of a lightning detection system for the borough’s playing fields.
John Dee, Northeast sales representative for manufacturer Thor Guard of Sunrise, Fla., told the meeting that his company’s detection product measures the liklihood of a first strike from a storm, compared to a prediction system, which only measures where lightning originates.
Madison Little League President Ernie Ciccone told the meeting that his group currently uses hand-held lightning warning devices, which he called “prehistoric” and “irresponsible”.
Council members agreed that a permanent system would improve safety for people using borough playing fields. To speed implementation, Council member Jeannie Tsukamoto asked that the system be included in the 2012 municipal budget, and that Council pursue it in concert with the Board of Education, which oversees a number of playing fields. Conley suggested a resolution that the system’s total cost be split 50-50 with the BOE, which the Council passed by unanimous vote.
The Council unanimously approved funding of about $47,000 for the Community Gardens at the Madison Recreation Center. The funding will pay for fencing, soil amendments and infrastructure, and the borough would charge a fee for residents to lease individual plots.
While the borough may pursue county Open Space funds and donations for the project, no complex financing is involved. That pleased Conley, who opposed the bonding for the MRC.
“There is a good committee behind this, and a good master plan,” he said.