Twp. Committee Postpones Vote on Liquor License
Administrator instructed to look into whether the fee for the license is comparable to other towns.
The Chatham Township Committee declined to introduce an ordinance amending the number of liquor licenses in town.
State statute permits one consumption liquor license per every 3,000 residents. With about 10,000 residents and two existing licenses, the township has the authority to add a third.
Township Attorney Carl Woodward said it could be two or three months before the license can be awarded. "The way this is usually done is, there's an auction. If you don't get the right party of you don't get the right price, you can reject all bids and just walk away from it," Woodward said.
Each license has an annual fee of $1,596, with renewal on July 1 of each year. When Committee Member Kevin Tubbs asked when the fee amount was last reviewed "for its adequacy," neither Woodward nor Township Clerk Gregory LaConte was able to answer him.
"The state does have requirements, limitations, of how much we can raise the fee from one year to the next," LaConte said.
Tubbs said the committee should investigate the last time the fee was raised, and how the township's fee compares to neighboring towns. The committee agreed to postpone introducing the ordinance until the investigation is complete.
"We should find out the maximum amount that we can charge," Committee Member Robert Gallop said. "There's no reason I can think of ... why we shouldn't charge the maximum that's permitted by law."
Township Administrator Thomas E. Ciccarone said he intended to investigate this and other fees charged by the township to determine of the fees were high enough, especially compared to other municipalities. This includes membership fees to Colony Pool and sewer usage fees.
"All of those [fees] need to be reviewed. We haven't had an adjustment to them in a number of years," Ciccarone said.
The committee directed Ciccarone to investigate the fees in time for the July 1 renewal, which would affect the two existing licenses held by Charlie Brown's Steakhouse and the Fairmount Country Club.
Mayor Nicole Hagner said the introduction of the ordinance permitting the third liquor license would be moved to the agenda for the April 26 meeting.
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Hagner and the committee also approved a proclamation in support of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (c) on Sunday, May 6.
This year, the North Jersey race will be held at a new location, at te Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex. The race includes a 5-kilometer certified run, a 5-kilometer walk and a 1.5-kilometer Fun Walk event.
The proclamation encourages all township residents to participate in the race.
"Breast cancer is the leading cause of death of women between the ages of 35 and 64, and increased public awareness of this disease, its risk factors and symptoms may save the lives of women and men across New Jersey," the proclamation reads.
The 2011 race raised $1.5 million for the North Jersey service region.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (c) will be on May 12. May 6 is the date listed in the proclamation and is the correct date. Chatham Patch regrets this error and apologizes to its readers.