The township committee voted Tuesday to move forward with plans for a parking deck, and has decided it will go on Municipal Parking Lot #2, located at the corner of Lackawanna Place and Essex Street.
The committee also voted to award the professional contract to Tim Haahs & Associates, an architecture and engineering firm that specializes in parking. Vice President Jim Zullo has presented options for Lot #2 and for Lot #7, which was also under consideration.
Phase 2 of the project will now get underway and will include the preparation of architectural, engineering/design, and construction documents ready for public bidding, bid analysis and construction administration services, according to committee member James Suell, who serves on the parking subcommittee along with Robert Tillotson.
Lot #2 would have a total of 362 spaces and cost $8.11 million ($22,410 per space), according to Zullo’s previous public presentations. The funding for the first five years will come from the Parking Utility Capital Fund, and thereafter will be paid for by parking permits.
The vote to move forward with a deck on Lot #2 was unanimous.
The project will create enough parking spaces to eliminate all 150 valet spaces and create an additional 64 to 70 spaces above what is currently available now, including valet. Lot 2, at the intersection of Lackawanna and Essex, is in a largely commercial area.
The lot currently has an overflow of commuter parking when lots 7 and 9 are full. It has 173 spaces, and the study estimates 150 cars in the valet parking on a busy day.
A parking deck has been a controversial topic for years, with many residents saying it is unnecessary if the township would make more efficient use it current parking lots.
In other business:
- The committee signed a proclamation honoring resident Alda Krinsman for her community volunteer work. Gerry Viturello also was honored for his 20 years of service to the township’s Community Service Award Committee, of which he is stepping down as chairman.
- Approved the appointment of Sean Cassels to the Millburn Police Department.
- Committee Member Timothy Gordon said he met with New Jersey Transit, which will be putting ticket machines at the Short Hills train station.
- Mayor Sandra Haimoff said the township committee has been asked by The Concerned Neighborhood Association to review the township’s lawsuit against Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky. The suit was settled more than a year ago, and the rabbi filed an application for the center to construct a new synagogue at the corner of Old Short Hills Road and Jefferson Avenue. Since then, Bogomilsky, lawyers for both sides, and various experts have been testifying before the zoning board. Haimoff said the township committee’s legal counsel has advised the board can revisit the lawsuit, but she said this action should in no way be construed as the township committee having taken sides, or that it will interfere with the zoning board proceedings.