Study of Hillcrest building OK’d

WEST MILFORD. The building at 1810 Macopin Road formerly was used as a school, then as a community center.

| 17 Nov 2023 | 01:22

The Township Council approved $43,500 for a study of possible uses of the Hillcrest building at its meeting Nov. 8.

Councilman Matthew Conlon said a committee of township and school district officials has been discussing possible uses for the building, which is owned by the district.

The study needs to be done because of the location in the Highlands and the current septic system there, he said.

”This is the first step in figuring out what we are able to do so that more due diligence can be done to ensure that the property is put to potentially best use for the community.”

The building at 1810 Macopin Road formerly was used as a school, then as a community center.

At a meeting in June, the Board of Education approved a resolution to request engineering proposals for a feasibility study.

Board president Kate Romeo then said the district was taking the lead on the study, which would consider the possibility of building a swimming pool and a multi-use gym while keeping the baseball fields.

Regarding a zoning application related to proposed uses for Battinelli Family Farms at 1566 Union Valley Road, Conlon said no council members are part of the Zoning Board, which will review the application Nov. 28.

Private salt sheds

Council members approved an ordinance regulating private storage of de-icing materials.

The new rules apply to all homeowners and those with home businesses.

The changes were suggested by the state Department of Environmental Protection to prevent road salt from getting into the township’s water.

Loose materials must be placed on a flat, impervious surface so they do not get into stormwater. They must be at least 50 feet from lakes and rivers, storm drain inlets, ditches and other ways that stormwater travels.

They must be maintained in a cone-shaped storage pile and must have a waterproof, flexible cover weighed down to prevent removal by wind. Sandbags lashed together with a rope or cable are an example of what is permitted.

No de-icing materials are allowed between April 16 and Oct. 14.

Lead-paint inspections

The council introduced an ordinance that would require residential landlords to inspect rented one- and two-family and multi-dwelling homes for lead-based paint hazards when a tenant moves out.

A public hearing and final vote will be Dec. 13.

The proposed ordinance would require the first inspection to be done before July 22 if there has been no tenant takeover before that date.

West Milford received a $13,000 grant to implement the program.

If cracked paint is found, a citation will be issued and owner would be required to fix the problem.

A lead inspector or visual assessor would inspect every dwelling covered by the ordinance for lead-based paint hazards.

After the first inspection, all units must be inspected for every three years or when a tenant moves out, whichever is earlier.

Owners/landlords of all dwellings subject to inspections must register their units with the township clerk and provide up-to-date information on inspections, schedules, results and tenant turnover.

The fee for a visual inspection performed by a municipal lead inspector is $250 for a one-bedroom dwelling unit, with $25 more for each additional bedroom.

If property owners fail to conduct the required inspections, they could face fines not to exceed up to $1,000 a week.

Councilwoman Ada Erik was absent from the meeting.