SPARTA, NJ – Sparta Township and the Sparta Township Emergency Preparedness initiative was recently honored at the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce’s Quality in Business, Quality in Life awards banquet.  Nominated in four different categories, Sparta Township and STEP were awarded the Business Partnership Award.

Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn and Sparta Police Chief Ernest Reigstad were on-hand to accept the award.  The other four members of Sparta Township Council, Mayor Jerry Murphy, Councilwoman Molly Whilesmith and Councilmen Gil Gibbs and Josh Hertzberg, were in attendance to show their support and appreciation for the STEP Initiative. 

Quinn said, "What makes this initiative different than most is that we have brought together a diverse team, consisting of Office of Emergency Management, Township Officials, Town Council Members Residents and Business Partners.  Together we have identified an opportunity for improvement within our community and working together, we are building the solution."  

Sign Up for E-News

The other categories were the Chairman’s Award, Community Service Award and Humanitarian Award.

Quinn and Reigstad co-chair the Steering Committee.  The STEP committee supports the OEM.  The Public Safety Committee and Community Emergency Response Teams and the GO2Centers fall under the umbrella of the STEP Committee.

Sparta Township Manager William Close said, "The enthusiasm, energy, and commitment of our volunteers, along with that of the committee, is at the foundation of the Sparta Township Emergency Preparedness Initiative’s success. These individuals have donated their time and talents to the program for the benefit of the community as a whole.

“The municipality is considerably better prepared to deal with an emergency condition in the Township due to a natural disaster than ever before and the STEP initiative is a key component of that program. This program is a continuous effort that you hope you never have to use, but one that must be ready to assist when needed. We are extremely proud of the program and the municipality is honored to have been selected for this award from amongst the many worthy organizations and individuals that were considered in the Business Partnership category. Our sincere congratulations and thanks to everyone involved for your continued dedication and support," said Close.

"'It is an honor and privilege to work with this team.  The success of this initiative is a direct result of the extraordinary efforts of all members within the STEP Initiative.  Our membership is strong and continues to grow, as does the program,” said Quinn.