Milltown notes accomplishments, looks forward to 2017

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By KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

MILLTOWN — Mayor Eric Steeber reflected on 2016 and discussed what is in store for Milltown during 2017 in his annual address before the Borough Council at a meeting held the first week of January.

“As I have stated in the past, I strongly believe that if we choose to work together, united as one to serve our residents, then together, we can overcome every obstacle,” he said.

Steeber said as the borough begins 2017, a number of important projects have been completed or are being implemented.

“An important project that has been completed is the relocation of the electric substation that was previously located on the site of the municipal complex,” he said.

Construction of the 2015 Capital Improvements Project is nearing completion, which includes improvements to the existing municipal parking lot adjacent to the library, the construction of a retaining wall at the intersection of School Street and Elm Place to stabilize the existing steep slopes at that location, and improvements to Lafayette Avenue in the vicinity of Michelin Field.

Steeber noted that the Lafayette Avenue improvements are funded in part by a $360,000 New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) Municipal Aid grant that was obtained by the borough.

Water distribution system improvements, which consisted of the cleaning and lining of the water mains on Booream Avenue, John F. Kennedy Drive, East Foch Avenue, Ackerman Avenue, the Garden Place cul-de-sac and Nicholas Court were also completed in 2016.

The initial phase of the improvements to Wilson Avenue and Howard Street is anticipated to be advertised for bids in the first quarter of 2017, he said. The improvements consist of roadway and drainage improvements on Howard Street and on Wilson Avenue from Washington Avenue to Howard Street.

The project is being funded through a DOT Municipal Aid grant in the amount of $300,000.

In 2017, the borough’s elevated water storage tank will be repainted, and the design of the borough’s Public Works Complex Flood Mitigation Project will continue.

Reflecting on last year, Steeber said the borough experienced personnel retirements. The Clerk’s Office saw great changes when Borough Clerk Michael Januszka and his assistant Lois Bitalla both retired after more than 30 years of service to Milltown.

“Our new clerk, Gabriella Siboni, and her assistant Catherine Beardsley have already begun to make many positive changes,” Steeber said.

The Milltown Police Department saw the retirement of Chief Raymond Geipel after 27 years of service as Provisional Police Chief Brian Knelle was appointed.

At the reorganization meeting in January, Councilwoman Doriann Kerber, who began her second term, and Richard Revolinsky, who began his first term, were sworn in to their seats on the dais.

Councilman Ron Dixon was nominated to serve another year as council president.

Steeber also presented former Councilman Francis Guyette with the key to the borough for his service on the Borough Council. Guyette, who did not seek re-election in November, finished his three-year term in December.

Contact Kathy Chang at [email protected].