WLB Council Briefs Ordinance requires better repaving; postal issues

By Coleen Burnett

West Long Branch — The clarification of an ordinance already on the books, renewals of some shared services agreements with other towns and frustrations with the Postal Service were among the highlights of the March 6 West Long Branch Borough Council meeting.

The council voted to pass an ordinance clarifying one passed four years ago — which deals with the restoration work that is done on public streets when they are torn up for repair — by amending the Ordinance to require the work area be extended from curb-to-curb and not just in the immediate area.

Previously, when streets were excavated, they only needed to be patched from the curb to the middle or the road, or one foot beyond the work, whichever was greater.

The clarification was prompted by several complaints from residents about poor restoration on the streets by some utility companies after a job has been completed.

The council also voted to renew two separate shared service agreements. One is with the city of Long Branch regarding IT services. The other was a five-year agreement with Ocean Township to use their Municipal Court space.

The continuing saga of erratic mail delivery in the borough was discussed. Councilman Steve Cioffi said he had been in touch with postal officials, but a true solution has yet to be found.

The U.S. Postal Service has undergone a series of mergers and cutbacks over the last several years in an effort to become more efficient. The Eatontown Post Office (which services West Long Branch) apparently has both full-time and part-time staffers, but if a worker calls out, someone else’s workload is doubled for that day.

“On paper it looks good, but it has its faults,” said Cioffi of the system.

And — since it is not quite the first day of spring yet — there was a short discussion of snow removal in the borough. Councilman John Penta, who also oversees the Public Works Depart, praised the borough workers for doing a good job, and also had positive words for residents who adhere to the borough ordinance that keep their cars off the streets when there is a threat of snow.

“Don’t worry — I’ve been up {early in the morning} moving my husband’s car,” quipped Mayor Janet Tucci.

There was also some discussion of the formal meaning of “state of emergency” sometimes declared in anticipation of storms. Cioffi clarified for those present that the governor uses the State of Emergency declaration to free up finances for municipalities who need it.

“He does call the shots a lot for emergencies, but there’s a reason”, he said.

Cioffi also said that a State of Emergency declaration does not mean people should stay home from work or school — only a Travel Advisory or Travel Ban has that implication.