Town to limit new massage parlors
Also at meeting: Garbage put out too early, $600K for park
by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
May 19, 2013 | 2773 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AIDING FIRST RESPONDERS – Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli (left) accepts two checks for town first responder efforts from members of the Indian Caucus of Secaucus. Presenting Gonnelli with the donations are (from left) Namrita Changlani, secretary; Rajesh Nagpal, founder and president; and Raj Pardasani, committee member.
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The Secaucus Town Council introduced measures to keep the quality of life high at their meeting Tuesday night.

They discussed issues including garbage smelling bad in warmer weather, and problems with massage parlors.

The council introduced an ordinance to amend the town code concerning where certain types of personal services businesses can be located. Listed in the ordinance were “hair salons, barber shops, tanning salons, beauty parlors, tattoo parlors, nail salons and massage parlors.” But according to Mayor Michael Gonnelli, the impetus for the measure was more specific.

“This is mostly meant to limit the amount of massage parlors,” Gonnelli said, adding that “several times we’ve been going in and shutting massage parlors down” for illicit activities.

In December, three massage parlors in Secaucus were shut down for alleged fire and health code violations. Employees allegedly lacked appropriate certification and massage licenses, and were allegedly sleeping at all three parlors.

The measure, which will be up for a public hearing and final vote on June 25, stipulates that these new businesses cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a public or private elementary, high school, or college educational facility, nor any house of worship, according to Town Attorney Anthony D’Elia.
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“We’ve really been trying to put our focus on quality of life issues and that is a real one.” – Mayor Michael Gonnelli
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“The zoning code will be amended, and as part of that process, would address the massage parlor issue,” D’Elia said. “That will be one of many items addressed in the zoning code amendment.”

Another quality of life issue addressed at the meeting was the appropriate time at which residents should put out their garbage for collection.

Councilman James Clancy reminded the public that residents should not put their garbage out before 6 p.m. the day before it is to be collected, especially “with the warm weather coming.” He added that residents have up to eight hours to take back the garbage receptacles from curbside after pickup. Putting their garbage in containers is also paramount.

But Gonnelli said that a secondary problem that exists is that some residents do not use containers at all.

“We’ve really been trying to put our focus on quality of life issues and that is a real one,” he said. “We would like residents to adhere to that.”

Park improvements on the way

During the meeting, the council passed a bond ordinance appropriating $636,000 in upgrades to Buchmuller Park.

The town will add two new basketball courts, a new tennis court, and a new walkway, according to Town Administrator David Drumeler. The park’s infrastructure will be improved as well, with new parking, lighting, landscaping, drainage, and Americans with Disability Act compliance.

The most recent upgrades are part of a complete renovation of the park, following an original $1.6 million grant from the County Open Space Fund, Drumeler said.

Municipal budget to be adopted

Councilman Robert Costantino reported that the 2013 $46.3 million municipal budget is expected to be adopted at a meeting later this month. He said the town is waiting for the state to finish its review of it.

Council seeks comments on county budget

Gonnelli asked for the public to give their input on the Hudson County budget at a meeting to be held June 13 at the county freeholders’ chambers, third floor, 567 Pavonia Ave. in Jersey City. He noted that Secaucus residents’ county taxes will climb 10 percent if the proposed county budget is passed. He said the town budget, by contrast, will stay the same.

Property owners pay taxes that are made up of county, school, and town taxes.

“I encourage everyone to take a look at the county budget online and come out to comment,” he said.

First responders donations

In an early public portion of the meeting, the Indian Caucus of Secaucus made two $300 donations, one each to the Secaucus Emergency Fund and Firefighters Mutual Association Fund. The monies were raised at two of the group’s events, the Festival of Lights and Festival of Colors, according to Rajesh Nagpal, Indian Caucus founder and president.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.

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