SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Police department will be receiving a grant from the Body Armor Replacement Fund from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, according to Sparta Township CFO Grant Rome. The grant provides for purchase of the vests worn by the police officers. The grant is funded each year to replace the vests that have reached their end of life expectancy of five years. 

The grant money will be added to the budget for the upcoming year, according to Rome.  Rome was giving the Township Manager’s report in William Close’s absence. 

Rome also reported the township will purchase a Visual Message Board from Silent Messenger II.  The purchase was approved at the previous council meeting for the Office of Emergency Management costing $17,780.  It will also be used by the Department of Public Works, the Water Department and the Recreation Department.  At a previous meeting Close said it would be used to announce information such as road closures, water main issues and township events. Close also said it will come equipped with radar to report the speed of vehicles traveling down the road. 

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The council members also discussed concern for the dangerous traffic conditions being created by the new 7/11 and Shell gas station on Sparta Newton Road.  Councilman Josh Hertzberg said his mother had nearly had a head on collision in that area recently.  Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn said the hazardous intersection was the major topic of discussion at a recent Knoll Heights meeting. 

The discussion of this situation began at the last council meeting, earlier this month.  At that time Mayor Jerry Murphy was tasked with drafting a letter to the Freeholders asking for reconsideration of the intersection, explaining the potential dangers.  Murphy said he talked to three of the Freeholders but the other two are “lame ducks.”  Councilman Gil Gibbs reminded Murphy that manager Close advised a letter should be sent in advance of meeting with the Freeholders. 

Because the intersection in question is a county road, the Freeholders are responsible for any changes that would have to be made to address the concerns. 

In other township business discussion, Quinn asked if an AED could be placed at Ungerman field.  She said there had been one donated a few years ago by the Robbie Foundation but that shortly after the device was placed there, it was stolen.  The council members discussed the need for AEDs at other township recreation facilities including Station Park and White Lake.