Mahwah August 26, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 3 Council nixes off-track wagering facility in township by Frank J. McMahon The Mahwah Council does not want an off-track wagering facility within the township, and a letter to that effect will be sent to the New Jersey Sports Authority in advance of a formal request from the authority. Mayor Richard Martel advised the council that the sports authority was interested in locating a facility on Route 17 North, just south of the U-Save service station. Martel said he had met with officials of the sports authority and was advised that when an off-track wagering facility is being considered in a municipality, a letter is sent to the town’s officials, who then have 45 days to reply as to whether they are interested in the facility. No reply within the 45-day period constitutes an affirmative reaction. Martel said his understanding from the sports authority was that they could proceed to locate such a facility in a municipality even if local officials did not want it. However, Council President John DaPuzzo, who joined Martel at the meeting with the sports authority officials, said his understanding was that the state could not proceed if a resolution opposing the facility was passed. Mahwah Township Attorney Terry Bottinelli indicated that there were some inconsistencies in the documents he received from the state’s senior vice president of government affairs concerning that issue. Martel advised that he visited a sports authority facility in Woodbridge, which is open from 11 a.m. to midnight, and found it to be a nice facility with a restaurant and a bar, betting windows and a multitude of TV screens to watch horse racing, and other sporting events from all over the world. He explained, however, that wagering could only be done on the horse racing events. Martel said he asked Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli to contact the police chief in Woodbridge about the facility and he reported back that Woodbridge has not experienced any problems with it. However, he said it needs a lot of parking spaces and it might attract a lot of people from outside the township, and it would have an effect on the sports authority facility in Suffern, New York. Explaining that there are residential properties located behind this site, Martel said, “I would not support this facility in this township.” Councilman Samuel Alderisio, the township’s former police chief, also opposed the facility, saying it would create a traffic nightmare on Route 17. DaPuzzo said the facility would have a lot of lights and would involve a fairly high building. He acknowledged that, at first, he thought this proposal would be an improvement, but then he stepped back and thought about the adjoining residential properties, and concluded, “I am not in favor of this.” Councilman Roy Larson thought the facility would bring another tax ratable to the township. He pointed out that, if the sports authority decided to locate farther south on Route 17 in Saddle River, the township would still have the traffic, but not the ratable. The council took a straw poll to determine if the members were interested in having the sports authority give a presentation to the governing body about the facility. Alderisio, DaPuzzo, Councilwoman Lisa DiGiulio, and Councilmen Allan Kidd and John Roth opposed such a facility in the township while Larson was in favor of it. Councilman Robert Hermansen was absent. DaPuzzo ascertained that the council majority’s vote pertained to the entire township, not just the Route 17 site. Swing into the Mahwah Public Library with the Skyliners Big Swing Band on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. Enjoy the sounds of Big Band Swing with this 14-member band. Though first made popular over 70 years ago, the big band swing sound has a popularity that spans the years. Swing has recently been rediscovered by a new generation. Originally founded by John Micalizio, a member of the Tommy Dorsey Band and arranger for George Shearing and other Swing into the public library major recording artists, the Skyliners Big Swing Band has, since 1952, remained true in style and composition, performing only the original arrangements of the great band leaders. The Sunday concert will present the works of great band leaders of the ‘30s through the ‘90s with names like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chuck Mangione, and Stan Getz. For many years, the Skyliners have given numerous concerts and dances, (continued on page 23) Finally... a hearing device you’ll want to wear. 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