SPARTA, NJ — Emergency equipment can access the newly refurbished Sparta gate on West Shore Trail in the Lake Mohawk reservation, according to the Lake Mohawk Country Club Manager John Stanley. At the June 11 Sparta Township meeting, councilman Jerry Murphy raised a concern about the new gate not being sufficiently wide to allow a fire truck to pass through.
In response to an inquiry Stanley said, “I can assure you, all fire and police, all emergency vehicles can smoothly navigate the new gate and the Byram gate.”
“According to Chief Herbst, the [fire] department has been working with Lake Mohawk Country Club, through John Stanley, on this situation to ensure that their trucks have adequate access through the gate for any emergency calls in that section of the community,” Sparta Township Manager Bill Close said.
Herbst told Close there is no issue with the vehicles fitting through the gate as long as both sides are open.
According to Stanley all emergency services in Sparta have been given codes and cards. In addition, both gates are equipped with emergency defaults that automatically open the gates if a siren is sounded. The gates are also automatically activated in the event of a power failure.
Close said the chief concurred that the fire department had been given the access to the gates as explained by Stanley.
At the end of the council meeting on Tuesday, Murphy said the concern was brought up by the Sparta “fire department,” while lining up for the Fourth of July parade. Murphy said the fire department was told by “Lake Mohawk Country Club” that they “should use the Byram gate.” Murphy said that would add 10 to 15 minutes to the response time.
In response to Murphy at the meeting, Close said this was the first he had heard of the concern and that he would follow up with the Sparta Fire Department and the Lake Mohawk Country Club.
“Safety is always a primary concern,” Close said.
Lake Mohawk Country Club Trustee and President Bill Greenlaw said, “Emergency access is obviously something considered.”
“In the early part of the new gate’s operation commercial traffic was asked to use the Byram gate as they got through growing pains” of residents becoming familiar with the new system, Stanley said as a possible explanation to some of Murphy’s remarks.
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