Manchester Sets Up Ads Through Digital Sign

Manchester Vice Council President Michele Zolezi, Council President Joan Brush and Councilman Sam Fusaro (at dais left-right) join Township Clerk Sabina Martin, seated at lower left, Business Administrator Brandon Umba and Township Attorney Kelsey McGuckin-Anthony listen to a resident speak about a tree on township property that may be suffering from poison ivy infestation. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  MANCHESTER – Property lots for sale, higher fines for trespassers and a new digital message sign were all subjects up for vote by an abbreviated Township Council recently.

  A bid was awarded to Meco Inc. for the township’s roadway improvement program and a contract was approved for the leasing of public space and advertisement concession at the township municipal building. This concerned a firm that will provide an electronic sign, replacing the one that the township lost during a car accident that destroyed it at the same site early in the year.

  Umba said he was directed to go back to the contractor and ask for any marijuana sales to be negated from that contract (meaning no advertisements for cannabis products could be included on the electronic sign board). There are other restrictions concerning any businesses deemed non-family oriented.

  “We had several people inquire to us which is why we put it out to bid. The township will be able to advertise one item as it changes through with other advertisements that are on the sign,” Umba said.

  A spokesperson from the firm was present in the audience to answer questions. He said, “the beauty of this kind of sign is that there is multiple advertising slots on the playlist and the slots can be used for anything you want – a fundraiser event or notice for the municipality such as police and fire or local sports event.”

  Resident Judy Noonan asked where the sign would be placed. Umba said it would be where the township’s sign had been at the corner of Colonial Avenue and Route 37.

  The digital display will feature content on a screen that will be displayed every seven seconds and could run restaurant advertising, event notices and other messages. There are six or seven slots open per day and one could be used for public safety messages.

  Umba could not answer how much money the township would receive through the arrangement which involves a five-year lease with an option for an extension.

  After the five years, the firm and municipality have the option to back out of the deal. Umba said the statute allows for a term of 25 years “however it needs to be authorized through by resolution for a five-year extension” and if there is no extension “there is an option for us to purchase the sign from you,” Umba said to the spokesman.

  The spokesman noted that were that to happen the firm has an obligation to “move the sign and return the conditions to the original state.”

Property Sales

  Council President Joan Brush, Vice Council President Michele Zolezi and Councilman Sam Fusaro voted to approve four ordinances during a recent council meeting. Councilmen James Vaccaro and Craig Wallis were absent for the August 22 meeting.

  Three of those ordinances concerned authorizing the sale of property lots at 112 Champlain Street, 1410 6th Avenue and 1408 6th Avenue.

  “This is our second round of property sales and in keeping with drainage policies put in place by the mayor there will not be another round of sales until April of next year. There is currently a moratorium on sales in Pine Lake Park,” Business Administrator Brandon Umba said.

  He added, “we did receive the drainage study back. There are several lots that are County owned and several lots privately owned and we will start reviewing those and you will see ordinances come before the council to purchase those lots in order for us to make drainage improvements.”

  In other business the governing body approved the designation of lots as a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment on Volante Road and a secondary access road.

  An area in need of redevelopment is a technical term where a governing body decides that they want what’s in the area to change.

Increase In Fines

  Also approved was an ordinance that increased fines for trespass and noise regarding quality-of-life issues which was prompted from the Heritage Minerals problems from earlier in the summer. These fines would apply throughout the township and not just in that area of it.

  Umba explained this was for “a nuisance violation that the council requested our legal department to review and to increase the fines to try and quell trespassing on private property.”

Police Officers Hired

  Joseph Stapleton and Sean Rembach were appointed as full-time police officers replacing retired officers of the department during the meeting.

  Under contracts/agreements the council authorized an employment agreement with Tamara Goble as personnel officer. A bid was also awarded for the purchase of police uniforms to Action Uniform Company.

Asphalt Purchase

  Council members unanimously approved the emergency procurement of asphalt from Earle Asphalt for Chilvers Avenue resurfacing. Umba explained “the mayor and I discussed doing public roadwork internally through the Public Works Department since we have not done that in a while and having one of our engineers oversee roads that have to be resurfaced.”

  Umba added, “in going through our road resurfacing program in town we were informed by the State contractor that they could no longer provide asphalt because they were just bid out for a state job and because of that we had to go into an emergency situation to buy asphalt.

  “We went around and got three prices and we have several other road projects in place and we need to have the asphalt and this is the reasoning behind this,” he added.