The New Jersey state government decided to pull back an expected 54 percent increase for the Garden State Trust Fund, resulting in a $22,745 shortfall in state aid for Byram, said township manager Joseph Sabatini the Oct. 6 council meeting.
After Nov. 1, he said, the council will need to adjust its 2020 budget to make up for the shortfall.
The Byram Township Council passed ordinances, a resolution, and discussed issues, Oct. 6, during their meeting.
Backyard chickens allowed
The council voted 3-2 to pass an ordinance allowing residents to keep chickens in their backyards. Councilmen Jack Gallagher and Harvey Roseff voted against the ordinance.
The new ordinance allows up to four female chickens on any residential lot, according to specific requirements.
A public hearing on Byram’s new anti-nepotism ordinance, which the council introduced with unanimous approval, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
Sabatini said that, as a result of New Jersey Best Practices requirements, Byram’s current anti-nepotism policy needs to be codified in an ordinance.
Fiber optics wanted
The council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Verizon to act in the best interests of all citizens, including those in rural areas, and provide FiOS (fiber optics) throughout the state.
Mayor Alexander Rubenstein said the resolution will be sent to the Board of Public Utilities. Public comment ends Oct. 15.
Rubenstein also said he commented at both public comment calls regarding the Verizon FiOS system statewide franchise renewal. He said he was surprised at the lack of participation during the statewide hearing: five or six people attended the first call, and eight or nine the second.
The council unanimously passed an ordinance to establish a government-private energy aggregation program and electricity supply for residents.
Roseff said the ordinance only begins the process and enables price discovery, and that the council will take no action until the council learns the prices.