Berkeley Heights Town Council Discusses Water Pollution Control Plant Roof Replacement; Residents Question $1.3M Connell Tax Reduction

Eight and a half year mesothelioma survivor Bonnie Anderson, along with her granddaughter, and Council President Joseph Bruno celebrate Mesothelioma Awareness Day, which is September 26th

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - JoAnn Mondsini, Director of the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) located on Snyder Avenue in Berkeley Heights, made a request to the Berkeley Heights Town Council at Tuesday night's meeting to extend a bond for capital improvements at the WPCP to replace the roof at the facility.

According to Mondsini, the whole roof needs to be taken off and a new one be built that contains an environmentally-friendly system which has more benefits than a regular tile roof, according to Mondsini.

The replacement of the roof was not originally included in the two million dollar bond for WPCP improvements approved in 2008 as part of the facilities infrastructure project. Mondsini said that the roof was not included because it was not a top priority at the time.  Now, the roof is more of a priority because the roof is leaking, the water from which could pour onto the electrical control panel.  "If water gets in there it will completely wipe us out. There is nothing for us to do, but to completely replace this roof," Mondsini said.

It was also mentioned that there is still about $750,000 left from the $2 million dollar bond for WPCP improvements.

Councilman John Bonacci said that he was disappointed about the cost of the project. He said that the town is paying interest on the extra $750,000 bonded for the WPCP project that is currently not being used.

"I think we have to tighten up this stuff with our engineers," Bonacci said.

Mondsini mentioned that she obtained a cost estimate from engineering firm Omni that originally developed the project in 2006. She said that the estimate was about $270,000 to replace the roof; however, since asbestos was recently found on the roof, those cost estimates increased to approximately $350,000.

Councilman Kevin Hall suggested that this project should go before the township's engineer to attempt to reduce the cost of the roof replacement. He said an analysis of the roof should be done and then the project can go out to bid.

"I'm looking at this from a cost-benefit analysis," Hall said. "We are financially strapped and we need to spend money in an efficient way."

Council President Joseph Bruno said that more efficient estimates are needed to repair the roof and ultimately, replace it. He said money from the project must come out of the two million dollar bond so it does not cost Berkeley Heights' residents any money. Mondsini told the Township Council that she will have those estimates for the next meeting on September 28th.

In other news, Bruno declared September 26th as Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in one's inner organs and is usually caused by overexposure to asbestos. The Awareness Day is meant to make the public aware of the disease and the need to develop a cure for it.

At Tuesday's meeting, eight-and-a-half year survivor of mesothelioma and Berkeley Heights resident Bonnie Anderson spoke before the Council and the public. She said that she is a long-term survivor of the disease and statistics for survival have not really changed much.

"I volunteer that we try to get information out to the public as to where to find treatments and what treatments are now viable for either clinical trials or to stay alive for as long as possible," Anderson said.

During the public sector portion of the meeting, a lively question and answer period took place, concentrating on the recent $1.3M Connell tax reduction.  Resident Sean Mann asked members of the Council regarding what they knew or did not know and when they had learned about the situation.  He also asked about Mayor Cohen's involvement in informing the Council regarding the tax reduction.  The Alternative Press will have a full story out next week regarding the issue. 


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Plainfield Symphony Presents “Shostakovich: A Light from the Darkness”

February 19, 2018


On March 10, 2018 at 7 pm, the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Charles Prince, will feature the opportunity to experience more of the music of the great 20th century composer, Dmitri Shostakovich. Concertmistress Evelyn Estava will step into the role of soloist in the tour-de-force Violin Concerto No. 1 followed by the rarely performed Symphony No ...

Annual Dinner and Tricky Tray Returns to Support Rescue Dogs

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Guests can win more than 100 prize baskets, enjoy a full-scale Italian-themed dinner, take part in a super 50/50 raffle, and make a tangible difference to thousands of rescue dogs on March 3 as Home for Good Dog Rescue’s annual “Taste of Italy” Spaghetti & Meatballs Dinner and Tricky Tray returns for the ninth consecutive year to the Long Hill ...

Center for Hope Hospice Starts 2018 with $10,000 Donation from RSI Bank

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – RSI Bank, headquartered in Rahway, has been a long-time supporter of the Center for Hope Hospice, which offers hospice and palliative care in its two residences, in patients’ homes and other healthcare settings.

A generous donation from the bank has helped the Center start the year with $10,000 more in its Charitable Care Program, which enables those ...

Third Annual Rockin' For Autism Music Festival

All-day festival benefiting Autism New Jersey will feature local bands, food trucks, vendors, a merchant raffle, bake sale, obstacle course and lots of family fun! Join us for a day of great music, food, fun -- and help us raise funds and awareness for a great cause.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday. April 14, in LaGrande Park. 200 LaGrande Ave., ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

February 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.


No One Is More Qualified and Capable to be Our Next Democratic Committee Chair Than Colleen Mahr

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a pillar of consistency in Union County for the last 20 years, having devoted her life to public service. There is no one more qualified and capable to lead us as our next Union County Democratic Committee Chair.

Colleen has mentored, coached and supported countless candidates running for office in Union County, all across our 21 ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Mon, February 19, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

The Underground Railroad Documentary

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...