Having spoken the governing bodies of both Morristown and Morris Township about a James Street sidewalk extension at their meetings for the last two months Brownstein has become an expert at addressing councils and committees and Tuesday's meeting of Morristown's mayor and council was no different.
"I’ve been speaking to officials in Morristown they wanted to see a commitment from Morris Township," Brownstein said. "What I've brought is a resolution passed by Morris Township to encourage Morristown to participate in their end of the James Street sidewalk project. This is a letter that Morris Township is moving forward with their portion of the sidewalk."
The resolution was passed at last month's Morris Township Committee meeting after some debate over its need.
Committeeman Jeff Grayzel hadn’t furnished the resolution to anyone before the meeting and the reactions ranged on the committee from those like Bruce Sisler who felt “springing it on them” was inappropriate to others, like Mayor Peter Mancuso who felt it was an unnecessary step.
Mancuso said last month that the Township was preparing conceptual designs and cost estimates to connect the Woodside Townhome Community and Footes Lane as well as an extension to the Route 287 overpass to connect to Southgate Parkway.
After some minor revisions to the resolution, it was passed stating that the Township will continue to explore options on engineering and funding the sidewalk on their end and urged Morristown to do the same.
Morristown Councilwoman Alison Deeb said she had met with the town engineer and the county engineer and walked the site and was awaiting estimates on cost for Morristown.
"My understanding is that the town engineer is working on those estimates," Deeb said.
Deeb also thought there was a benefit to Morristown residents that hasn't been previously considered.
"I think adding these sidewalks also creates a safe walkway to Lackawanna Park, which is a county park," Deeb said. "That is an added value to residents that want to walk to Lackawanna Park. Currently there is no safe way to walk to the county park."
Deeb also suggested that the Morris Township residents that were assembled reach out to the non-profit Loyola Jesuit Retreat on James Street.
"1,300 feet of the sidewalk would be involve Loyola," Deeb said. "They would need to clear it during snow storms and so I think you need to get them on your side."
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said that because the road is a county road, the Morris Township contingent should bring their concerns to Freeholders as well.
Council President Michelle Dupree-Harris said that there would be discussion of the issue at the Oct. 22 council meeting and in the interim the Morristown administration would reach out to Morris Township.