Residents Seek Snow Removal Law, Return of SBS Camp at Chatham Township Committee Meeting

Doug Booth asked the township committee to introduce a sidewalk snow removal ordinance Credits: TAP Chatham
Kathy Abbott, representing Safe Routes to School, said a sidewalk removal ordinance would benefit children and adults Credits: TAP Chatham
Committee member Michael Kelly proposed an appeal to the public about the importance of snow removal rather than a law Credits: TAP Chatham
Dorothy Lee and two other residents asked for the reinstatement of the Southern Boulevard School Summer Camp, which has been discontinued Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Residents asked for a snow removal ordinance and the reinstatement of the Southern Boulevard School Summer Camp last Thursday during the public portion of the Chatham Township Committee meeting.

The Chatham Township Committee members gave various reasons why it was not receptive to either request. 

Overlook Road resident Doug Booth pointed to the Lafayette sidewalks as a reason a snow removal ordinance is needed.

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"You've seen kids walk along Lafayette and have to step out onto the street and into the traffic," Booth said. "It's very dangerous. I don't see why you wouldn't have an ordinance requiring snow removal."

Booth asked if there was additional liability to the township for not having such an ordinance and Thomas Ciccarone, township administrator, said: "I don't think so."

Resident Doug Booth asks the Chaham Township Committee for a snow removal ordinance

The committee was reluctant to pass a snow removal ordinance for a few cases of non-compliance. Committee member Mike Kelly suggested an appeal to the public on the importance of clearing sidewalks.

"We have areas near schools where we have sidewalks," Kathy Abbott, representing the Safe Routes to Schools committee. "It's important to make people shovel their sidewalk. There are some who say I don't have to, I'm on vacation. We are getting houses near Lafayette that are under construction with sidewalks that aren't shoveled."

Ciccarone noted that the last time Chatham Township tried to pass a snow removal ordinance that peopled filled the municipal building in protest.

Chatham Township residents Dorothy Lee, Carole Bhalla and Helen Angelis came before the committee to ask for the reinstatement of the Southern Boulevard School Summer Camp, which had been eliminated at the Feb. 2 meeting of the township committee.

"A lot of people didn't know about the camp," Lee said. "t's a very inexpensive thing to do. It really serves the community."

Only 116 children attended the SBS Camp last summer, a steep drop from the 300-plus it had five years earlier. About half of the campers were from Chatham Borough.

Bhalla pointed to poor marketing as the reason for the decline in camp enrollment. Angelis was unhappy with how quickly the camp was closed, with little notice to the public.

Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter said that the SBS camp was being hurt by the shift to private camps such as the one at Washington Avenue School run by "Mr. A," a teacher at the school.

"Mr. A has done a phenomenal job with his camp," Ritter said.

Ciccarone reiterated that he did not think the camp was "viable" anymore and that the township should no longer be in the business of running a camp.


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