SOPAC Reports First Annual Surplus, South Orange Hears JAC Building Proposals

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Updated 11:03 p.m. March 10, 2015. The SO Board of Trustees did not vote to approve the SOPAC budget; that will happens at a later time when the BOT approves the entire Village budget.

The South Orange Performing Arts Center finished 2014 with the venue’s first annual surplus — $40,700.

The news was music to the ears of the South Orange Village Trustees, a number of whom complimented SOPAC Executive Director Mark Packer on his presentation of the proposed 2o15 SOPAC budget of $279,500 at the March 9 Board of Trustees meeting.

“Although modest, that surplus marked an important turning point for us on the road to fiscal stability and sustainability,” Packer said.

SOPAC is also requesting $10,000 less from the Township for 2015 than it did for its 2014 budget.

Village President Alex Torpey along with Trustees Sheena Collum and Steve Schnall expressed their appreciation for the art center. Schnall attributed the center’s success to “service excellence.”

The SOPAC budget will be voted on when the trustees vote to approve the entire Village budget.

Ron Charles, a representative of the Farrell Field Park Conservancy, presented the Board a list of possible realities for the usage of the vacant building that used to house the Jersey Animal Coalition. The possibilities included a child day care center, shared work space, office space, art studio, senior day care center or a bike shop.

See the proposal attached as a PDF.

Download (PDF, 6.64MB)

“We are focused on having something that really provides the best need to the community,” Charles said.

Charles asked the Board if they would be willing to put out a general RFP open for all business proposers for the building to which Lewis said it would be “beneficial” to do so.

Trustee Deborah Davis Ford questioned whether or not the YMCA would be a suitable contender for the space, to which Charles said the organization would “fit the needs of the community.” However, Trustee Mark Rosner worried that the YMCA would bring in unwanted traffic to the single road that runs to the building.

South Orange has been involved in discussions with Maplewood about sharing animal control services and potentially using the JAC building for a shelter that would serve both towns.

Sgt. Michael Corrigan of the South Orange Police Department was promoted to lieutenant, with the Board’s unanimous vote behind him.

VP Alex Torpey swearing in SO Sgt. Michael Corrigan as Lieutenant at Monday's Board of Trustees meeting.

VP Alex Torpey swearing in SO Sgt. Michael Corrigan as Lieutenant at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“Mike, last year, did the pedestrian decoy details and we got statewide recognition [for that] and most of that credit goes to Mike,” said Chief James Chelel. “It’s always nice to see when a local guy does well.”

Corrigan has been involved with SOPD for nearly 20 years and is from South Orange, according to Chelel.

Lewis also announced that four bids for the renovation of Village Hall are currently under review. Meanwhile, the BOE approved improvements to Town facilities such as Village Hall, Public Works vehicles and IT equipment not exceeding $2,446,250.

In other action, the Board also:

  • Approved the appointment of Froozan Makhdoom as a trustee on the South Orange Public Library Board
  • Withdrew an ordinance that proposed to require property owners in the Village to follow the state’s standard and “maintain a safe line-of-sight at intersections” at its meeting Monday night. Trustee Walter Clarke said the ordinance needed to be “retooled” and looked at by Public Works and Public Safety.
  • Buying Kratos cameras and equipment for the Police Department for $12,363

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