Casano Center Committee Discusses Expenses, Bus Driver, And Furniture Storage

The Casano Community Center Committee meeting that took place last night welcomed two new members, Michael Peterson and Jackie Templeton, as well as a new council liaison Charlene Storey. The officers were also elected with all current positions remaining the same as last year: Carl Pluchino as chair, Pete LaPorta as vice-chair, Eva Boyko as treasurer, and Kimberly Powers as secretary. As per municipal ordinance, the committee needs a representative from the school system but, as of last night’s meeting, none had been appointed. The committee will reach out to the school district to have the position filled.

Ms. Boyko gave her Treasurer’s Report, asking about charges that are now having to be paid by the Committee when, in the past, it was either picked up by the municipality (as with the license fee to publicly show movies) or donated (as in seedlings). After some discussion about movie licensing, Chairman Carl Pluchino stated he would do research to see how other municipalities and community centers address the showing of movies in order to perhaps cut down on the cost to the center. Ms. Boyko, in continuing her report, stated that the amount paid out was $3,864 and the remaining balance was $1,635. Casano Center Director Rupen Shah, who was in attendance at the meeting, stated that he will be requesting for an actual operating budget of around $39,500 so that programs can expand and events like parades can be covered through the center directly. Councilwoman Storey commented, “For instance, people are bringing up the idea of a Christmas parade and so on and so forth and if that’s done, money has to come out of somewhere. The borough is aware of that.”

During the Director’s Report, Mr. Shah mentioned that the center is still in need of a second bus driver. He said that it is a part-time position for 20 hours and an applicant needs to have a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). Anyone interested should reach out to him at (908) 245-0666.

During the meeting it was also stated that the patio furniture in the rear open area of the center is still exposed to the elements and unprotected. The concern is that the expensive furniture will suffer weather damage and should be covered or taken somewhere where it can be stored until the spring. Covers had been purchased but they have not been located and the although there is a location where the furniture can be stored, it has not yet been picked up. Council-At-Large Storey stated she would look into it.

As the meeting closed, the committee discussed to keep meetings on the first Wednesday of every month but change the meeting time to 5 or 5:30 p.m. It was decided to keep the time as is, at 6 o’clock, due to the work schedule of quite a few members.

The next scheduled meeting of the Casano Community Center Committee is February 3rd at 6 p.m.