By Sara Martino
Mayor John Soubasis is still determined to preserve the quality of good living in Brooklawn Borough.
“This is an exciting time for the Borough,” he said during last week’s Council meeting.
“We felt the need for the office of Captain in the Police Department as an issue of public safety,” said the mayor prior to the swearing-in ceremony of Steven Saymon.
Councilwoman Theresa Branella administered the oath of office to Saymon, with his wife holding the Bible for him. He was designated as Police Captain at a previous ceremony also, so his son could take part before being deployed as part of his military duties.
“We will re-establish and set some new goals regarding the residents’ needs,” Soubasis said.
“Goals include curb appeal throughout the borough, safety and education, without which we cannot go forward, and reaching out to businesses,” the mayor said.
“Code enforcement will continue and be enforced as the ordinances deem necessary. We live in a town where everyone knows each other. Some residents are used to seeing old cars, trucks, etc. in yards and do not report any infraction,” he said.
According to Soubasis, neighbors should not take offense when a code official inspects their yards on a complaint.
“We need everyone’s help to keep Brooklawn a nice place to live,” he said.
The governing body has been dealing with Conrail officials to have the trestle bridge painted and has plans to continue with improvements along Broadway. With the help of NJ Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, grant monies in the amount of $180,000 for the community circle project will be received.
Concrete curbs and new sidewalks are part of the project. A Homeland Security grant funding will be used to fix up the area of the Memorial Park.
Borough Engineer Chuck Riebel said that the state has determined that municipalities can now establish traffic flow instead of it being controlled by the N.J. Department of Transportation (DOT).
“The municipal engineer must inspect the plans first, and give approval for the flow of traffic needs,” Riebel said.
Councilman Greg Gilbert announced the winners of the Halloween House Decorating contest. Imelda Powell received 1st place; Carol Helveston received 2nd Place and Michelle Sylvester took 3rd place.
“It was really great with at least 20 homes participating,” Gilbert said. Winners received monetary prizes.
“We will have another house decorating contest for Christmas,” he said.
Gilbert also introduced the idea of a “Neighborhood Pride” program.
“Neighbors could nominate a neighbor for their efforts in keeping their property in a good condition,” he suggested.
The program will start in the spring.
Councilwoman Branella and Borough Clerk Barbara Lewis will be on a Shade Tree Committee.
Grants can then be applied for to receive free trees for the borough, or the money to purchase the trees. Branilla had previously commented on the need to replace many of the old, damaged trees with new ones.
The “Spirit” program will continue again this Christmas season and Branella would like those interested parties who wish to participate on the committee to call Borough Hall.
Gifts, food and gift cards are donated to local families in the community during the holiday season.