Highlights of November 22nd 2016 Raritan Borough Council Meeting
Meeting was broadcast on "Cablevision-Optimum" Ch 15 & "Verizon FIOS" Ch 37.
Councilman Robert McGinley was absent.
A “Habitability Hearing” was held for the property at 413 Raritan Avenue.
This property, inside and out, had been infested by rats. A couple of months ago
the town, responding to complaints, inspected the home and property,
and deemed the house unfit for human occupancy and made the owner move out.
The house was then boarded up.
The town, working through an exterminator, set many traps to exterminate the rats.
However, the rats have since scattered and moved onto surrounding properties.
Residents testified at this meeting the presence of rats on their property and that
the rats are even nesting in the trees.

At this meeting the borough attorney gave a report on that property.
The attorney said that in addition to the rats the home had other serious issues.
There were animal feces found throughout the house.
Jugs of what appeared to be urine were also scattered about.
A pig had been living in the basement.
The house’s structure is sound. It does not need to be torn down.
What does need to happen is that all the sheetrock and rugs need to be removed.
The phrase used in the discussion was “gutted down to the studs”.

The town voted that the owner has 30 days to get the property in safe condition.
If that is not done the town will remediate the problem and transfer the cost
of that into a lien on the house. The town has already spent $8000 - $10,000 on this.

A real estate agent representing the property was at the meeting.
His office specializes in distressed properties. He told that council that
he wants to work with the town to get this property into shape so that it is safe
and can be sold.
Click to hear/see 22 minute discussion.
A “Habitability Hearing” was held for the property at 13 East Somerset Street.
It has been vacant for over a decade. The building is structurally sound.
But it had some DEP (Environmental) issues.
The property was a gas station a generation ago.
The old underground gas tanks were not removed until 2012.
The property owner was at the meeting. He explained how he is in the process of
finalizing the DEP issues.
Things have been cleaned up and dumpsters of stuff have been taken away.
He hopes that the final inspections that are due to happen in December will at last
clear this property so that he can sell it.
A previous attempt at selling the building failed due to the environmental issues.
The council decided to continue this “Habitability Hearing” in January.
Other Meeting Highlights Include:

Things are moving along for the planned demolition of 401 Tillman Street.

7 Purchase Orders were approved:
Police Department - Atlantic Tactical - Ammunition - $3499
Police Department - Computer Management - Computers - $2,034
Fire Department - Xerox Government Systems - Software - $1899
Fire Department - Emergency Equipment Sales - Engine Maintenance - $4365
Administration- Village Office Supplies - Conference room Furniture - $1650
Court - Gramco Business Communication - Digital Court Recorder - $5571
Engineer - Yannuzzi Group - Demolition of 401 Tillman Street - $34,500

Information on the Paritan Police Department can now be found on the web page
for the newspaper the Breeze - www.thebreezenj.com

The annual reorganization meeting will be Monday, January 2nd at 12:30 PM.