STAFFORD TOWNSHIP --- At Tuesday’s Township Council meeting an ordinance to draft an RFP (request for proposals) for a facilitator of a possible electric aggregation program was approved after some clarification and public comment.
Township Attorney Kevin Starkey said the original language of the ordinance title would be changed to “solicit proposals for” from “enter into” an energy aggregation agreement.
Administrator James Moran said any proposal will need to contain a “budget payment plan” and that Colonial Power Group, which gave the council a presentation at last month’s meeting, would need to submit a proposal like anyone else.
Colonial's presentation, along with the township’s energy consultant, Birdsall Services Group, in no way gave them any advantage in the process. “They were brought in since they do this kind of work already,” he said. Birdsall brought them only to share their expertise in the process, he added.
The township introduced an ordinance calling for the regulations of “secondhand dealers” in the area. Specifically, the ordinance seeks to have pawn shops and similar businesses maintain records and get identification from persons with whom they do business.
The police department has requested to take this action in an effort to help identify and recover stolen property, said Mayor John Spodofora.
Pawn shop operators will be required to record all transactions, get copies of IDs and take digital photographs of items, said the mayor.
The ordinance does not pertain to yard sales, thrift shops or any person-to-person transactions, said Moran. “If you watch TV’s Pawn Stars," he said, "you’ll see at the end of each deal they say, ‘Let’s go do some paperwork.’” This is the same thing, he added.
The mayor said the township’s new fireworks ordinance appears to be working as the number of complaints over July 4 was down this year compared to last.
However Councilwomen Joanne Sitek said the problem extends beyond the holiday. “In the middle of last Saturday’s blackout, (July 7), the skies over Beach Haven West were lit up with fireworks,” she said.
People were already upset and children scared with all the lights out, and some people were setting off a constant barrage of fireworks, she added.
The mayor said he would inform the police department of her concerns and that the ordinance will be enforced throughout the year.
They both also called for Beach Haven West residents, as well as all residents, to report any fireworks incidents.
In many cases, those setting them off are first issued a warning and the fireworks confiscated, Police Chief Joe Giberson had said earlier. It is also difficult to enforce as the police must actually witness the fireworks and then determine exactly which property they came from, added the chief.
Stafford has some of the stiffest penalties for fireworks in the state and more than a dozen summonses were issued this year, the mayor reported at the meeting.
Council President Robert Kusznikow praised the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department and all of the township’s emergency responders for their efforts during the June 23 storm. The fire department responded to 28 fire calls in less than 24 hours during the storm as well as assisting in other emergency operations, he said
Councilmen Henry Mancini said the first of the summer’s Monday concerts being held at the gazebo on Manhawkin Lake on July 9 was a success, and they will continue through August.
The concerts are hosted by the Stafford Historical Society in cooperation with the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission. The concerts are funded by a state Historical Commission grant, but the township is seeking additional private sponsors for the event and the Adopt-A-Park program in general, said Mancini.
Councilman Stan Rutkowski thanked the water and sewer department for their quick response repairing the water main break on Jennie Drive as well as during the storm.
He also said he understood people’s reaction to the recent increases in the water and sewer rate, but “it is not the fault of the women you see when paying your bill.”
He asked that people use a little civility and common courtesy when at the window.