Council members passed a resolution to adopt the Montclair Center Business Improvement (BID) budget for 2019 at the recent Township Council meeting held on May 21. The amount of $597,300 shows an increase of roughly $30,000 compared to last year’s amount of $567,000.
Montclair Center’s BID was established in 2002 as a non-profit organization by the local business community to improve the township’s curb appeal in the downtown section for shopping, dining and overall entertainment. It represents approximately 300 with a focus on the business district centered on and around Bloomfield Avenue.
The council passed several ordinances listed as “fully funded.” The first ordinance provides for the acquisition of vehicles, equipment and other improvements in the amount of $146,000 from the parking Utility Capital Improvement Fund. The second ordinance approved various water utility improvements in the amount of $2,375,000 from the Water Utility Capital Improvement.
Mayor Robert Jackson commended the approved ordinances as projects that do not incur any debt to the township.
“The term fully funded is very important because it means that these projects are being paid as you go so there’s no borrowing and no debt being involved in these expenditures,” Jackson explained. “It’s another signal of our financial strength at the moment, that we are able to finance these capital improvements strictly out of our operating budget with no debt to make these happen.”
A bond ordinance was also passed providing for various capital improvements appropriating $1,159,600. Jackson said the ordinance, though not fully funded, was part of the township’s overall capital plan for the continuing reduction of municipal debt.
Several proclamations were also held during the meeting, the first of which marks Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22, as “Make Music Day.” Councilwoman Renee Baskerville said the annual event is usually held on the first day of summer and was expanded to be celebrated over the course of two days. The first day marks Make Music Day and the second day will be acknowledged as “Make Music Saturday.”
“It’s now an international phenomenon that takes place in more than 800 cities and 120 countries,” Baskerville said, adding that Montclair will be celebrating for the 6th consecutive year as one of more than 65 cities in the U.S. to celebrate the ability to make music.
She added that the event is organized by a committee of volunteer organizers, musicians, small businesses and students through local arts organizations, such as Indie Arts Montclair and is a member of the national non-profit “Make Music Alliance.” On-hand were local representatives from various organizations in support of the initiative.
Councilman Rich McMahon held a proclamation designating Emergency Medical Services Week on May 19 -25, 2019. McMahon introduced Diana Esty, executive director and Lt. Ashley Vegliante of the Montlcair Ambulance Unit (MAU) as recently joining the Montclair Ambulance Unit and and praised Jamie Simpson, chief of EMS, who recently retired. MAU is a non-profit independent 24-hour service for Montclair residents.
“The triad of public safety is so important and I’m proud here in Montclair that our ambulance, police and firefighters all work so well together so well,” McMahon said.
Baskerville also recognized “Red Nose Day” which takes place on Thursday, May 23.
“The campaign was started in 1988 in the U.K. and seeks to address and end childhood poverty,” she noted, adding that in the U.S., the non-profit Comic Relief USA has raised over $15 million in funding over the past four years to support various organizations.
Baskerville noted that Walgreen’s carries red noses, selling each nose for a dollar that goes back to helping the cause.