HOPATCONG, NJ - For the fifth year in a row, the borough is applying for federal Department of Agriculture funds for low or moderate income homeowners.
Mayor Sylvia Petillo said at the council meeting on Wednesday, July 11, the borough was one of only two New Jersey municipalities to receive this funding in 2012, and was able to help 10 families with septic and other repairs.
Borough Administrator Robert Elia explained the first time Hopatcong got a grant was last year, and he is hoping for a repeat.
“We applied for $55,000 last year and got $50,000, and we are going to try for $55,000 again," he said.
He added he received word there will be funding available this year.
Although the meeting was a bit routine, the summer in Hopatcong is very busy.
Petillo announced a special addition to the parade on Saturday, July 13, at the beginning of Hopatcong Day.
The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at Hudson Maxim School and ends at Modick Park. Immediately after the parade, signs honoring two fallen borough heroes will be unveiled, she said.
When the borough honored Sgt. Michael Crispo Jr who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, officials realized nothing had been done to honor a borough son who was killed in action in Vietnam, John Curtin III. Signs honoring both men were donated to the borough, Petillo said they are beautiful, but she can’t describe them because they are wrapped up until the unveiling.
All names of service personnel from the borough are read at the end of the parade, Deputy Mayor Richard Bunce said.
Other Hopatcong Day events begin at noon, Petillo noted, including the soap box derby and water rides for children.
Children in the borough are already having fun this summer, Councilman John Young reported.
He said there are 31 full-time campers enrolled in the summer recreation camp and 35 part-time. The recreation department was expecting about 25 of each, he added.
Young had some less happy news from recreation.
He said an additional infield and backstop were constructed at Nariticong Park without the knowledge of the recreation commission or council. He said no changes can be made to borough fields without council permission and the work raises insurance concerns. He said the work also stranded some Warriors football equipment on the wrong side of a new fence and the Warriors organization, which uses Nariticong, was also not notified about the work. Elia will look into the matter.
Young also said the recreation commission was told the outfield of the softball field at Veterans Park was closed.
There had been concerned about the grass in that outfield, but Young said it is fine now and can be used.
They may not be in time for summer, but there should be some more trails for borough residents and those in neighboring towns.
Petillo said she heard from the Byram Township Environmental Commission asked for an endorsement of a trail on the Lackawanna Cutoff Rail Bed from Andover, where the new station is to be built, to the Delaware River. Even municipalities not along that stretch of the cutoff are being asked for endorsement, Petillo said.
“The Lake Hopatcong Foundation wants to bring trails around the lake together,” Petillo added, including putting up signs.
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