New Milford seeks wage tax input


New Milford residents should expect to receive a wage tax survey from borough council later this month.

Council is considering enacting a one percent earned income tax but would like more feedback from residents before making a decision.

Council reported a representative from collecting agency Berkheimer Associates said the borough could expect to receive about $60,000 in the first year the tax was enacted and over $100,000 in revenue in subsequent years.

Progress has been made on several longstanding borough issues.

Borough secretary Amy Hine was able to locate pictures of Peck Hill, prior to and after a 2007 road project. Based on the pictures and videos of the road dating back 20 years, council determined there was no prior existing ditch on the road.

At previous meetings, several Peck Hill residents complained about drainage problems and asked the borough to put the ditch back in along with a sluice pipe that was removed during the project.

Hine reported she also spoke with the contractor who did the work. The sluice pipe was removed and two, side-by-side six inch pipes were laid under two driveways on the hill.

In addition to running under the driveways, Hine said the contractor told her he had installed about 120 feet of pipe from the top of the hill to a catch basin.

Council said they would ask the fire company to pump water down the pipe to clean it in case it’s obstructed by debris or to determine if the pipe is flowing freely into the catch basin.

The borough planning commission gave council its go ahead to advertise the proposed handicap parking ordinance.

The proposed ordinance addresses only handicap parking in public borough lots.

Two handicap slots have been designated on the corner of Broad Ave. and Main St. – one a van accessible slot and the other a car handicap spot. An additional handicap slot is also located on the corner of Broad Ave. and Church St., near the playground equipment in Mid-Town Park. One other handicap parking space is designated at the New Milford Field, located off Church St.

Council voted to advertise the proposed ordinance.

Advancements were also made on the long discussed burn ordinance for New Milford.

Teri Gulick, council rep to the borough planning board, said she thought the board found a compromise that would please people who were in favor of a burn ordinance without hurting businesses and restaurants – like the Parkview Hotel and Green Gables – that operated barbecues.

Gulick said a main concern has been that the required setbacks would hurt businesses. The proposed ordinance exempts the commercial and restaurant enterprises from the proposed setback requirements.

The 15-foot setback from the property line proposed in previous ordinance drafts was also tweaked back to five feet.

The draft of the proposed ordinance has been sent to borough solicitor Jodi Cordner for review.

Two chunks of concrete have been removed from the creek near the North Church St. bridge.

The large slabs, remnants of a retaining wall washed away in the June 2006 flood, were hauled from the creek by Ron Kowalewski. However, the pieces were too large to be moved from the stream bank.

Hine said Kowalewski was going to break the slabs apart so the material could be removed.

The pool has closed for the summer and came in under budget at about $6,455.

After council’s contentious debate about pool funding during budget talks, the line item remained at $8,000 for the year.

Councilmember Ken Carey, also a member of the town’s parks and recreation committee, credited John Drake who found some cost-saving measures that would reduce the amount of chlorine used actually prolong the pool’s life.

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