ANDOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ – The first township committee meeting after Hurricane Sandy on Monday, November 26, brought about many favorable reports from the Andover Township Fire and Police Departments.
After the fire chief’s report of calls answered during the storm, committee member Phil Boyce said, “Thank you for the job you guys did during the hurricane. It makes me feel good to know that you’re out there. You helped other people while you yourself had a power outage.”
The fire department plans to use a new emergency reporting software, in order to better track incoming calls and responses. Currently, the fire department handwrites the monthly reports presented to the township committee.
The committee members also mentioned how useful the fire department’s Facebook Page was during the hurricane. Both the fire and police departments were able to post which roads were open, and their progress in repairs.
Chief Gil Taglialatela stated the number of calls during the hurricane.The dispatch center received 1,318 calls, and over 900 calls went to the 9-1-1 call center.
Taglialatela said, “I want to commend the dispatchers who worked through that storm for their cooperative effort, and the town should be proud of what they did.”
Mayor Michael Lensak also mentioned the efforts of the fire and police departments. “The town came together in such a terrific way. By 6 p.m. the next evening, we had 100 percent of the roads cleared for emergency vehicles."
The township is now looking for preventative ways to handle power outages by requesting Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) to remove branches of trees hanging over the power lines.
In other news:
- Delores Blackburn was voted onto the committee to fill the recent vacancy by committee member Bob Smith. Five candidates were suggested by the Municipal Republican Committee and then narrowed to three after interviews. Lensak said, “This was not an easy decision because everyone brought something to the table.” The other candidates were Nancy Caragher and Rick Melfi. Caragher was appointed to the Economic Development Advisory Committee after learning more of her qualifications through the council interviews.
- The committee introduced an ordinance to dedicate $11,775 of FEMA money from Hurricane Irene towards new emergency equipment. The remaining money will go into the reserve. This money is not coming out of the budget. The ordinance will be voted on at the first meeting of December.
- Operation Santa Gift Delivery takes place at the firehouse again this year. Gift drop off will be on December 14 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., December 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and December 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- The Green Team, Sustainable Andover, reported on their past meeting and explained the schedule for 2013, beginning with a mid-winter’s farmers' market scheduled for February 10. The Green Team is having a potluck dinner this Thursday, November 29, at Kittatinny State Park, in the main office’s meeting room. Any Andover Township resident is invited for the potluck at 6:30 p.m. The Green Team also reported 61 pounds of fresh produce was grown, and donated to the food bank.
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