Byram to hold hearing on allowing gas company to build

Byram. The township attorney said the council was just approving the franchise area for New Jersey Natural Gas, which the company had left unfinished. Also, the township may continue virtual option as in-person meetings resume.

| 08 Jun 2021 | 06:02

The Byram Township Council introduced an ordinance on July 6 allowing the New Jersey Natural Gas Company to build, maintain, and operate natural gas transmission and distribution facilities in the township. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 15.

Mayor Alexander Rubenstein said a Board of Public Utilities (BPU) hearing on June 28 will allow customers in Byram to receive service from SJI/Elizabethtown Gas. New Jersey Natural Gas is also beginning to survey to build a gas main along Route 206, towards ShopRite.

Township attorney Thomas Collins said the council was just approving the franchise area for New Jersey Natural Gas, which the company had left unfinished.

Township manager Joseph Sabatini said the BPU ordered Elizabethtown Gas to stop putting pipe in the ground in the township until BPU adopts the map.

Return to in-person meetings

The council agreed to meet in person on July 6, in response to Governor Murphy’s executive order lifting all restrictions on meetings regarding room occupancy, distancing, and masks.

Sabatini said the June 15 meeting, which will review the cannabis ordinance, will still be virtual because it has already been advertised that way.

After more discussion, the council agreed to have a hybrid meeting component. Officials will visit other towns that hold simultaneous in-person and virtual meetings to research and pursue the most effective technology.

Councilman Harvey Roseff said the township should not put up any signs about masks or vaccinations. “Just start getting back to normal,” he said.

The council agreed to let residents decide whether or not they will wear a mask.

Police body cameras: The council authorized a capital expenditure not to exceed $35,000 for the police department to receive body cameras.
Municipal building project: Township manager Joseph Sabatini said the Nader Group and MJA Construction Services were not able to meet the June 1 deadline. However, the site plan and updated project estimate have been posted on (under “News & Noteworthy”).The site plan and presentation and estimate will be presented at the June 15 meeting.
Memorial Day: Mayor Rubenstein said more than 100 people attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the Roseville School House and paraded to the Cranberry Lake Clubhouse. There, Eskil Danielson read the names of those from throughout the township who have died or served in the military.
Energy aggregation: Mayor Rubenstein said Good Energy consultant John Berg said around 21 percent of residents opted out of the energy aggregation agreement, which is in line with other towns. Currently, there are 2,152 active customers on the energy aggregation plan.
Environmental Commission: Councilman Roseff said the Environmental Commission reviewed the impervious coverage presentation they will make to the planning board and handed out 500 seedlings at the C.O. Johnson Little League/Softball opening and Arbor Day Event.
Kids Triathlon: Councilman Jack Gallagher said the Kids Triathlon will be 8 a.m., June 19, at Lake Lackawanna.
Unwanted grave marker: Councilwoman Cris Franco said the town council is aware a grave marker has been placed at the site where Corporal Hayden Harris, a Fort Drum soldier from Tennessee, was found last December. She said whoever placed the marker was inconsiderate of the neighbors surrounding the site, who are not happy. There is an effort underway to memorialize Harris, and the council asks that everyone respect the process. A sub-committee is gathering information for a memorial at Tamarack Park.
Park plans: Deputy Mayor Raymond Bonker said the Open Space Committee will discuss the proposed dog park, plans for Riverside Park, C.O. Johnson Park renovation plans, and acquisitions for trail system extensions.
Job well done: Deputy Mayor Bonker commended the Department of Public Works for quickly covering up graffiti on the cutoff railway tunnels.
225th anniversary: Roseff recommended the council engage the historical and recreation committees to plan for Byram’s 225th anniversary on Feb. 5, 2023.
New head of recreation: Township manager Sabatini said the new leader of the recreation committee started May 24 and will meet with the committee in June.