JACKSON – The Township Council recently voted to restore the defeated budget of its largest of three fire districts.
The Feb. 16 Fire District Election featured fire commissioner candidates and district budgets. Fire District No. 3 saw their budget defeated in a narrow margin that saw a smaller than usual voter turnout.
The $3,288,460 budget calls for $3,096,703 to be raised by taxation. This was a $156,839 increase from last year’s district budget.
Fire District No. 3 covers the most densely populated area in the northeast section of the township and is protected by a fire department comprised of both volunteer and career members.
Incumbents Edward Keller and Wayne Keegan easily won reelection in the uncontested race. Their fellow commissioners include Rudy Brito, TJ Larsen, and Jack Siedler.
The unanimous vote by the council came with thanks to all firefighters of the township. Part of the district’s budget will be used toward purchasing new radios which are required due to changes made by the state. The required purchase will be approximately $15,000.
Police Chief Matthew Kunz introduced the newest full-time additions to the township’s police department last month. Brittany LaFalce, Nicoholas Kokich and Andrew Brodzinski were sworn in by Township Clerk Janice Kisty.
LaFalce, 23, graduated from Jackson Liberty High School and received a degree in criminal justice from Stockton University. She was previously employed by Macy’s as a loss prevention officer.
Kockich, 28, also graduated from Jackson Liberty High School and received a degree in business administration from Nichols College. He was previously employed as a purchasing specialist with New Jersey Transit.
Brodzinski, 29, graduated from Jackson Memorial High School and received a degree in criminal justice from Ocean County college. He was previously employed as a senior corrections officer with the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
The three new officers attended in service training with the department prior to the start of their training at the Ocean County Police Academy.
Upon successful completion of the 23 week long academy, the trio will be assigned to a field training officer for department training for about four months before being assigned to a patrol squad.
Also sworn in as Class 2 Special Police officers were Lauren Hornfeck, 28, a graduate of Keystone National High School in Bloomsburg, Pa. and Matthew Cilento, 24, a graduate of Jackson Libery High School.
Council members recently adopted an ordinance that amends the municipal code to exempt golf courses from noise. The amendment notes that “any private or public course operating within the township shall be permitted to begin operations at 6 a.m. any weekday or weekend.”
This amendment provides specific reference to golf courses and includes an exemption which will allow golf courses to start their operation at 6 a.m. where previously they could not start their operation until 7 a.m.
Council Vice President Barry Calogero and Councilmen Ken Bressi, Alex Sauickie and Andrew Kern voted in favor of the ordinance while Council President Robert Nixon abstained noting that “I am a member of a golf club here in Jackson.”
Golf course operators were concerned about starting their operations and wanted to have their respective courses prepared for patrons. Officials said that this move was logical as golf courses were a specific type of entity.
The governing body also approved an ordinance that amends recreation fees, increasing volleyball registration from $75 to $100; wrestling registration from $50 to $90; the Jackson Day booth fee from $5 to $250; and the Jackson Day 5K run/fun run fee from $8 to $20. Other increases involving other events and activities are covered in the amendment.
An ordinance to amend land use and development regulations in response to changes to the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan was also passed. The changes involve notice of approvals and denials.
The Pinelands Commission will now be notified of all approvals and denials of development in the Pinelands area, whether the approval occurs by action or inaction of any approval agency or an appeal of any agency’s decision. The applicant shall, within five days of the approval or denial, give notice by email or regular mail to the Pinelands Commission. Such notice shall contain the name and address of the applicant, the legal description and street address, if any, of the parcel that the applicant proposes to develop.