During a lengthy and, at times, heated discussion, members considered the idea of building an impound lot in the borough at a workshop meeting Thursday night.
Councilman Andrew SanFilippo, who also serves as chair of the public safety committee, brought the idea before the council.
“We’re talking about doing shared service with other municipalities,” SanFilippo said. “Surrounding towns would want to use this.”
The lot could serve as a possible source of revenue for the borough in that sense, he said, but it would also provide a place for to put impounded evidence vehicles.
“There is quite a bit of traffic on [Route] 23 related to heroin,” Mayor Robert Collins said. “If, in fact, that activity is something that is going to be going on, we have to address it.”
Currently, some impounded vehicles are kept in the parking lot behind the Kinnelon Police Department. Council members noted that at the time of the meeting, there were five or six vehicles taking up spots in the lot that had been there for nearly four months.
The proposed impound lot would be located behind the municipal football field, making it accessible to the police department while keeping it out of the way of citizens.
“Location is key,” Councilman Ron Mondello said. “It needs to be in a place where it’s not an eyesore, not a nuisance.”
The council also considered the possibility that the lot could be broken into, by either people or animals, and vandalized.
“This is a one way in and one way out area,” Collins said. “It’s a very controlled situation here.”
Borough Attorney Mark Madaio said that Edison, which has an impound lot, has seen its lot broken into on many occasions.
Councilman James Freda voiced concerns about the amount of research that has been done thus far on the project.
“We don’t know any of the laws,” Freda said, referencing possible fees and inspections associated with having an impound lot, as well as the need to keep it maintained. But he added, “if it’s just a matter of putting up a fence, it’s a no brainer.”
The council did not have a cost estimate for building the lot at the time of the meeting.