Fairfield Township Receives Clean Communities Grant & More from Township Council

George Stafford, New Jersey Highlands Coalition outreach director, asks council to support resolution for Sustainable Open Space, Farmland, Historic Preservation and Stewardship Funding for New Jersey Credits: Gail Bottone
William Wallace, Fairfield Township's health inspector, gives his quarterly report to the mayor and council. Credits: Gail Bottone

FAIRFIELD, NJ — Fairfield was the recipient of a Clean Communities Grant of more than $18,000 to be used for keeping parks and properties clean, Fairfield Township Mayor James Gasparini announced at Monday’s council meeting. He thanked Bobby Paine, director of public works, and Joseph Catenaro, township administrator, for their work in securing the grant.

According to Gasparini, the state awarded more than $20 million in grants to all 21 counties and 558 of the 565 New Jersey municipalities. Disbursements to municipalities are based on population, housing units, and miles of municipally owned roadways. He also said the purpose of the funding is to provide financial support for the implementation of litter abatement programs throughout the state.

Also reported during the meeting was the fact that the deadline for property-tax reimbursement senior freeze was extended from June 1 to Oct. 18, according to Councilman Joseph Cifelli.

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This program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principal residence, he said. To qualify, one must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year.

Councilman John LaForgia reported that 300 children and their parents attended Fairfield Family Fun Day in spite of the weather. He said it was “super” and thanked all the volunteers “who did an incredible job.”

LaForgia announced that there are currently more than 300 children signed up for summer recreation day camp, which is a 10-to 12-percent increase from last year. He also said that the afternoon program is maxed out at 80 children.

Councilman Thomas Morgan reported that the pool is open, and that the Municipal Alliance pool party was a success.

In giving his quarterly report, William Wallace, municipal health inspector, had no major matters to bring to the council. He was happy to report that the health department was audited, and that it received a score of 100 percent with complimentary comments.

The council did have some questions for Wallace concerning a sewer clog on New Dutch Lane. He informed the council that they are seriously looking for the culprit. He stated that it is not McDonald’s, which he said has fixed its grease-trap problem.

“When the culprit is found, they will be billed,” he said.

The council also had concerns about homes in foreclosure that have in-ground pools. Since no one is taking care of them, they are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, according to the council.

Wallace said he would speak to Dennis Gavin, municipal attorney, to look over new laws to see if they can alleviate the question of payment for fixing the problem.

Catenaro announced that for the Tuesday, July 17 meeting, there will be an introduction of a new inclusive pet ordinance.

George Stafford, outreach director for New Jersey Highlands Coalition, came to the podium to request the Fairfield mayor and council consider backing a resolution of support for Sustainable Open Space, Farmland, Historic Preservation and Stewardship Funding for New Jersey. He explained that open space helps “recharge” ground water, and clean, healthy water is a big environmental concern.

The next Fairfield mayor and council meeting has been changed to Tuesday, June 27.

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