March 16, 2014 at 8:34 AM
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Township and "team" of surrounding towns will be awarded $300,000 from the Passaic River Grant funded through the State of NJ, Department of Environmental Protection.
Town Administrator Linda Cavanaugh said at last week's council meeting, "Our team received $300,000, which was the highest award of any submittal. There were many towns along the Passaic River with serious flooding issues."
The team includes Berkeley Heights and surrounding towns of Summit, New Providence and Morris County's Long Hill Township. "We will meet soon to determine how to best allocate the funds and how we can work together to get the maximum amount from the dollar," said Cavanaugh.
"We have started the dialog recognizing that the clean-up of the river and the tributaries is a collective problem and we are much stronger through working together," said Cavanaugh.
Union County grant writers will be looking at other opportunities that the group can submit applications for additional funding of the clean-up.
"We've had record snow and now we have a thaw going on and rain. The areas that usually flood have not flooded. What we have done with the streams has paid off. We'll see as the spring continues, but I feel confident that there is definitely improvement in the flow of the water," said Mayor Joe Bruno. "I want to thank the men [Department of Public Works]. They have been working on snow detail, cold and hot patch, and they find time to get into the streams and brooks. They have worked long hours to make sure the water stays where it's supposed to stay."
Mayor Bruno announced that bulk pick-up is in the budget. He anticipates it to stay in the budget, however, the budget is not finished. "I would make sure that you put out your bulk pick-up this year like you are moving.
It is a moving target," said Bruno. "We have used that bulk-pick up money in stream remediation, but if we are going to maintain the streams, we pick our priorities."
Click here to see the Mayor's Letter to Editor regarding Bulk Pick-up.