City council addresses issues with water, police jurisdiction for Rutgers
The New Brunswick City Council discussed water quality and traffic quality issues at its meeting yesterday at City Hall on Bayard Street.
It approved multiple reforms and expenses for the water department, including a complete review of the system.
Frank Marascia, director of New Brunswick Water Utility, said a comprehensive review of the water department found that the gravity filters needed to be changed, so the department chose to continue the review for $14,300.
He said they would make the reports available to the public after they were reviewed.
An episode of the pumps overheating led the water department to require emergency funds, he said. They are also planning to change membranes at the treatment plant because they are at the end of their life cycle of 5 to 7 years.
Thomas Loughlin, the city administrator, said the city needed to take 4 to 5 million gallons from East Brunswick for part of the winter.
“It’s not uncommon for cities to exchange water occasionally,” he said.
Marascia said it is not uncommon for city water departments to have occasional emergencies and problems.
He said the water department would begin adding potassium chromanganate to the water within the month. They were in the process of researching the appropriate dosage and form.
“It’s fed for aesthetic purposes and has nothing to do with disinfection,” he said.
He said he would not add anything to the water until it had been thoroughly studied.
Danielle Moore, a city resident, asked the council what progress had been made on the prevention of flooding on Joyce Kilmer Avenue.
She has noticed a recent decrease in water quality at certain times in the city.
Rebecca Escobar, city council president, asked her to call the water department if she notices any water quality issues.
Loughlin also promised to improve the water and snow situation on Joyce Kilmer Avenue, saying the city would put a lean on the property if necessary.
Escobar said she had forgotten to deal with safety issues on the same road. She said she would look into the lack of a curb on the intersection of Joyce Kilmer Avenue and Sandford, where many traffic accidents occur.
Charlie Kratovil, editor-in-chief of New Brunswick Today, expressed his aggravation with a new five-minute time limit on public comments. He asked Kevin Egan, council liaison to the New Brunswick Parking Authority, how he knew that local supermarket Fresh Grocer owed rent to the authority.
Egan, vice president of the council, said he did not recall when the city first learned of the rent owed by Fresh Grocer.
Negotiations are ongoing on the issue, Escobar said.
In response to a question about the change in police jurisdiction, Capt. J.T. Miller said he wanted the Rutgers Police Department to focus on interacting with students.
Rutgers officers are allowed to pull students over, but they are not allowed to issue a summons, he said.
Escobar said she was not familiar with the lawsuit against Bristol Myers-Squibb, which has been accused of polluting its local site. She denied the city had received a subpoena about the issue.
Escobar said some were concerned about the ordinance dealing with snow and ice removal. Residents have only three days to get rid of snow and ice.
“I don’t know if we know right now what the time limit is,” she said.
The council chose to bring up the discussion again in May.
The council also approved several spring events using city property, such as a Rutgers Alumni Reunion Parade on May 17 and an annual Hot Dog Day for Rutgers students on April 23.