NEWTON, NJ - Members of the town council, recreation commission, DPW, and other Town of Newton employees, gathered on Monday night April 22, prior to the town council meeting, to recognize one of their own.
Thomas Trudgeon, Sr., was honored for his years of service to the town as its recreation supervisor, from 1989, and served 22 years, retiring in 2011.
Trudgeon's honor was a field in his name, the little league field nestled in the corner of Memory Park.
"This town is great, I really appreciate it, this is a surprise," Trudgeon said, and then posed in front of the unveiled sign, placed in a flowered and landscaped area.
Mayor Sandra Diglio also presented Trudgeon with a glass award in appreciation for his service.
The Town of Newton Recreation Department oversees activities, such as the Miss Newton, and Little Miss and Little Mr. Newton Contest, helps to manage facilities including the Newton Pool and the town parks, and works closely with the recreation commission.
In other business:
The town's disruptive property ordinance is readying for introduction at the May 13 council meeting. "I think this ordinance is long overdue," said deputy mayor, Joe Ricciardo. The ordinance will hold landlords accountable for the conduct of their tenants. Town attorney, Ursula Leo said she reviewed suggestions made at the March 25 council meeting, when the topic was discussed more in depth, including shortening the time when the two offenses against a property are made, and said, the time frame must remain 24 months. After a landlord posts bond, she said, the landlord can seek payment from the tenant of those funds. Click here
to view the story about the most recent previous discussion on the topic, which took place on March 25. Karen Hardin Kitchel, a citizen, spoke in favor of the council overall, as well as regarding this ordinance. During the meeting's intermission, Hardin Kitchel said she spoke to Newton Police Chief, Michael Richards, who she addressed at the meeting, "If this law helps this gentleman, with the 23 police officers, that's a great thing." Hardin Kitchel has offered to help if the town would like to transform any housing into a step down facility, for those leaving facilities, such as Newton Medical Center's mental health center, as she said no type of facility like this currently exists.
Dave Simmons, town engineer, followed up with a presentation about the leak in the water transmission line into Newton, under Fox Hollow Lake (Click here
for previous article). Simmons said after the town's water department noticed one area in Fox Hollow Lake with abnormal activity, they shut off two valves, and water usage dropped from one million gallons to 600,000 gallons a day. Since Friday, April 18, the usage has now remained at about 600,000. The town authorized a diving contractor, which discovered about three leaky joints in the transmission line, due to a deflection, not a straight break, to the joint, said Simmons, in the 120 year old cast iron pipe. Simmons said the pipe from shore to shore is 1,500 feet in length, with 122 joints, and indicated there is no guarantee if repairs would be made, additional repairs would not be necessary, beyond the three detected joints. One option is to install a HDPE buoyant pipe in place of it. And the worst case scenario, is to network another pipe along the roadway in a different route, which Simmons considered may be the best solution.
The council, attorney Ursula Leo, and town planner Jessica Caldwell, discussed the fate of the historic preservation commission. The structure of this commission, and whether or not it can, or should be abolished, has been under discussion at some recent meetings click here
. And in the past, including last year, as reported in this article here
. There were concerns what could happen if the commission is abolished, and who will oversee the look of things, and maintain consistency, especially downtown. However, some on the council and in the public, believe especially now with the allowance of some alternate materials, the commission is not necessary. One citizen, Wayne Levante, in favor of the committee abolishment, said developers already are doing a tasteful job with their construction.
Follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County News and information, as well as news and information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page.