At least that was how Morris Township Committeeman
Jeff Grayzel couched his proposal that the committee officially request the
involvement of Morristown to partner with them to build a sidewalk extension on
James Street in order to create a safe walkway between the two communities.
But at Wednesday's township committee meeting, it wasn’t a fast sell.
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 earlier this week 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.
“In the meantime we will also look for
available funding sources for this project as well as continuing to engage in
discussions with Morristown,” Mancuso said.
According to Mancuso, once the scope and cost estimates are completed, the community will be brought in before next steps are taken.
"In the meantime we will also look for available funding sources for this project as well as continuing to engage in discussions with Morristown,” Mancuso said.
While Mancuso questioned the redundancy of the resolution in light of the progress he and administrator Timothy Quinn had made on the issue, Grayzel said it was an action that needed to be taken.
“This proposed resolution to ask the town Morristown and the County of Morris to join with us I think shows that we are serious and that the whole governing body agrees,” Grayzel said.
But they didn’t agree. At least not yet.
Committeeman Scott Rosenbush, who was participating via phone, asked that a copy be scanned and e-mailed to him for review first. Grayzel said that he met with Morristown councilwoman Allison Deeb and councilman Stefan Armington and walked the road and came away with the impression that Morris Township adopting a resolution would make them feel better.
“I am all in favor of completing the Morris Township side. We are going to do our side,” Committeeman Daniel Caffrey said. “But to pass a resolution solely for the purpose of Morristown? I really don’t care what they need.”
Grayzel maintained it was an important step to take.
“But you have to care. Otherwise it would be a sidewalk to nowhere. Why would we build a sidewalk to nowhere,” Grayzel said. “There is nothing earth-shattering here.”
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.
Morris Township resident Gayle Biggs applauded the step forward and urged the committee to keep it up.
“This road is an accident waiting to happen. But if we really have the will to do it, it will be a wonderful benefit for all concerned,” Biggs said. “Please don’t give up. Please persevere. Don’t drop the ball.”
Morristown’s next council meeting is Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.