WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Mayor Keith Kazmark held his latest Facebook Live Town Hall on Oct. 23, with many residents posting their comments and questions on a variety of topics. The Mayor provided updates on a number of items.
By the end of the year, officials expect to see an application before the Zoning Board for the Kearfott site on McBride Avenue. The company will be moving operations off site. The application is expected to be a combination of e-commerce (i.e. Amazon) and commercial retail. As per the Department of Environmental Protection, there will be no residential component to the site. The new developer will be raising the existing building and a significant amount of the property will return to pervious surface. There will be much more green space, the Mayor noted of what he called a “tremendous ratable” for the town.
PSE&G currently has the majority of the new gas main installed and is moving towards the less intrusive work of service connections. While the project has been frustrating for residents, it was needed. “Seeing photos of existing lines crumbling apart cemented for me the importance of getting the work done,” the Mayor said. All road resurfacing will occur in the spring. PSE&G has certain obligations for paving dependent on how long ago the road was done. In some cases, it only is required to pave half the road. Dependent on the road, the Borough may extend that paving curb to curb if warranted. Officials will be working on a paving plan over the winter.
The Mayor was happy to announce that the Police Department is bringing back law enforcement led education in the schools. Our three Special Police Officers are being trained as LEAD trainers. LEAD - Law Enforcement Against Drugs – is a new program, similar to now defunct DARE program. In addition to the classroom elements, the LEAD program includes on-the-street services as well, including sensitivity training for officers in how to deal with addicts. LEAD is the only K-12 proven-evidence based curricula taught in the U.S. by police officers and educators.
There are plans for a large archway sign to be installed at the entryway for Memorial Field, with approval from the Board of Education. The Borough expects to break ground after winter on a turf field at Zaccaria Park with the goal for it to be complete by the time summer camp opens. The project is funded through $850,000 received in Open Space grant funds from the county. Next up will be Grimes Park, where officials are currently designing and planning to convert that field to turf as well and redesign the playground. It’s planned to utilize the topography – incorporating slides/climbers right in to the hill.
Community Rating System
DPW Supervisor George Galbraith has been working with this program, which is a points system through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Points are earned for all flood mitigation measures implemented. In turn, insurance rates for those that have to carry it is reduced. The Borough is working to institute as many flood mitigation measures as it can.