Mayor's Message – June, 2014
Summer is finally here and PV Park is open for swimmers and sunbathers. Thank you to our DPW staff who did a terrific job preparing the lake for opening day. Thanks to some maintenance repairs at the lake, DPW workers were able to drain the lake down more than in recent years which resulted in them being able to clean the bottom of the lake. It's the cleanest bottom since 2004! If you haven't been to the lake in awhile please check it out. There are varying rates for residents and non-residents and special offers if you can only join the lake after August 1st. You can check the rates on the Pequannock Township website under the Parks & Recreation tab. Don't forget that Woodland Lake offers Pedal Boat & Kayak Rentals. If you haven't seen this lake in awhile you should stop by. This lake offers fishing, boating, kayaking, as well as a brand new Fire Pit built and dedicated to the town by 12 Girls and their leaders of Girl Scout Troop #253. Other Woodland Lake additions have been a boat dock, a boat house, and pavilion, just to name a few. All of these were Eagle Scout Projects. Congratulations to all the scouts. There are so many wonderful projects that have been going on around town by our Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Whether it be a project at one of the schools, religious organizations, or for the community, the scouts are really involved and working hard. Congratulations to all of you!
The Memorial Day Parade was a great success! Thank you to the entire community for their participation and to the American Legion Posts 242 and 450 who organized it. The addition of the Wells Fargo Stage Coach was a nice surprise. One of my favorite parts of the event is after the parade when we hold the Memorial Service at the First Reformed Church Cemetery. This service is always very moving and is a time, when we come together as a community, to honor all those who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.
This year's Citizen of the Year is Barbara Cook. Barbara could be seen waving from a red convertible in this year's Memorial Day Parade. Barbara has been an long-time township volunteer. Her dedication to helping others is evidenced by the many ways she has served. She is a member of the Suburban Women's Club, was a previous member of the Board of Education, she is a longtime active member of the First Reformed Church, where she helped prepare and serve dinners at the Church for over 500 people in need of a hot meal after hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Irene in 2011. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible school, including many other things with the church. She works at the Township Food Pantry, collecting, organizing and distributing food to local citizens. Barbara works on various community events, such as "Run for Marge" , "Grains of Hope" and previously on the "Relay for Life" event. Barbara works with her husband, Doug, on various Pequannock Valley Rotary Club activities and events. She is a graduate of the Master Gardeners Program and works on various plantings throughout the town. Barbara is a Registered Nurse and takes her skills where they are needed. She is always there to step up and help anyone in need. Barbara truly exemplifies the meaning of volunteerism and community spirit. It was a pleasure to congratulate Barbara on all she does for the community.
Don't forget to come out for the Township's annual Fireworks. They will be held at the Pequannock Township High School fields on Wednesday July 2nd at 8:00 pm. The Rain Date is Thursday July 3rd. Don't forget to thank the volunteers of our Fire Department and First Aid Squad. Donations will be accepted that night at the Gate entrance so please stop by and let them know how much you appreciate them for all they do for your community.
The Pequannock Township First Aid Squad is hosting a Wet Down and Food Truck Festival on Saturday, August 2nd at Greenview Park from 1:00 - 8:00. The township residents are invited to help welcome in the new ambulance and enjoy gourmet food cooked all day long out of some of the best food trucks in the region! There will be kids rides and live bands all day long. Please come out and join in the fun!
You may have noticed the nice addition of a Rain Garden in front of the Township Library. Through the efforts of Eagle Scout Brian Van Wart a beautiful Rain Garden was constructed. Brian worked side by side with our Township Engineer, Joe Golden, in both the planning and construction phases of the project. Volunteers from the community also came out to help. Rain gardens are specifically designed to manage storm water runoff. Rain gardens look like regular perennial gardens, but they are much more. During a storm, a rain garden fills with water, and the water slowly filters into the ground rather than running into storm sewers. Compared to a patch of lawn, a rain garden allows about 30% more water to soak into the ground. Therefore, by capturing storm water, rain gardens naturally separate rainwater from pollutants and helps reduce those pollutants, such as road sediment/salt, fertilizers, pesticides, etc., and help protect local waterways. Rain gardens also add beauty to neighborhoods and provide wildlife habitat. To learn more about building a rain garden, please visit:
We officially welcomed Stop & Shop to our community at the grand opening of its new store on May 16th. We are happy to have them serving our community. This year marks their 100th anniversary and the Pompton Plains store is the first store opening of the year. They are a great asset to our community.
It was an honor to attend the 100 year Anniversary of the Pacquenac Tennis Club. This club is the oldest social and recreational organization in our township. It consists of 4 red clay courts and is located on Manor Ave. The Club has a non-profit status. In 2008, it was recognized as a top 50 Tennis Welcome Center by the Tennis Industry Association. Approximately 2500 clubs applied for the award. The Pacquenac Tennis Club was awarded the distinction of being one of the top 50 clubs in the nation. It was the only club selected from NJ. It was selected because of its facilities, excellent participation figures for new and returning players, support of industry program and community tennis development. The club's junior tennis program goes from kids 2 all the way through High School. For the past 32 years the club donates scholarship money, this year, it was $400.00 to a Pequannock Township High School Senior Both Boy and Girl, who were on the High School Varsity Tennis Team. The club's history, was, is and will continue to be a source of great pride and the club remains the heart of the social scene in Pequannock Township. The Town Council presented a Proclamation recognizing the 100 year anniversary of the club and proclaiming, June 8, 2014 as "Pacquenac Tennis Club Centennial Day" in Pequannock Township.
Now for a project status update. "The Village Area Sewer Project" is underway. Sewer construction continues along Sunset Road and work has begun at the Pump Station site on Village Road. An additional crew will start working in the vicinity of the Firehouse then around Evans Place shortly. This project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015. The project will extend sanitary sewers to the Village, the Pompton Plains Business District, portions of Route 23, PV School, and Leeland Ave. areas. Total estimated cost of this project is approximately $16,100,000 and will bring 400 more property owners up on sanitary sewers. Expect traffic impacts and detours during construction. Police will identify necessary road closures and detours. Please allow extra time to travel locally. Road surfaces, during construction, will be rough, but patched regularly and full road resurfacing will be done at the end of the project. Access to businesses will be blocked for short periods with advance notice given. Access to individual homes will be blocked for short periods and there will be some noise impact from construction equipment and the dewatering process. We will communicate to the community during the project using e-mail notifications, AM 1620.Radio Station, Channel 77 and the Township Website. We will also use the Police Department Nixle for any Emergency Information.
West Franklin Ave. improvements are complete. The project included water main and drainage construction, a new sidewalk on the North side, curbs, and full pavement reconstruction of the road. It was a long overdue and well needed. Glad to have the project done for the residents.
In late February, the DEP announced De-snagging Grants for the Passaic River Basin totaling $3,000,000 to 36 local governments. Pequannock received funding for both grant applications submitted totaling $400,000. A joint application with Lincoln Park for the East Ditch/Beaver Brook received $150,000 in grant funding and a continuation of the Ramapo, Pequannock and Wanaque project received $250,000 in funding. These applications were submitted jointly with Lincoln Park and with Pompton Lakes & Riverdale. The process of obtaining permits is already underway. DEP also indicated that the permit process will be expedited for these projects. The previous Phase I stream de-snagging efforts that were done from the Township's northern border with Riverdale to Jackson Ave. seems to have helped lower the flood elevation by 1' foot. We will continue with these type of projects.
The Township has received a grant in the amount of $165,000 from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund for the reconstruction of Sunset Road between the Boulevard and West Parkway. This project will be designed and bid for construction in the spring of 2015. The project involves replacing the road, curbing and sidewalk on one side. Construction is anticipated at the end of the summer, 2015.
The Township has also received a grant in the amount of $185,000 from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund for the reconstruction of Jefferson Street. Additionally, the existing railroad crossing will be removed. The plans were prepared by our Township Engineer with bids due back July 9. We anticipate construction of Jefferson street to start in August.
We are just about ready to start the Boulevard sidewalk reconstruction project from Sunset Road to Ackerson Avenue on the west side and from Sunset Road to Tilley Avenue. Sidewalks, driveway aprons and ADA compliant curb rams are proposed. Driveway access to residences will be limited for a short period while the concrete is placed. Notifications will be sent with specific information and construction dates. Anticipate Construction toward the end of June, pending a county road permit. Available funding will complete about 50% of the remaining sidewalks.
The 2014 Road Resurfacing Project has been finalized and some milling work has begun. The roads to be resurfaced for this year include Riverside, Elmwood and a portion of Beech, West Parkway from Jacksonville to Chilton, and West End from Mountain to Saddle and Tunis.
You can see we have plenty of projects going on around town. Please be patient with all the road work being done. There will be detours and traffic slow downs, etc. The little inconvenience it may cause will ultimately lead to new improved streets and sidewalks.
I hope you will find time this summer to stop by the Farmers Market which is open Thursday's through September 18th from 2:00 - 7:00. It is located directly in the front parking lot at Town Hall, this year.
Our 31st annual Pequannock Township Hoedown will be held at Greenview Park on Saturday September 20th from 11:00 - 5:00. This is a fun day for the whole family. There are craft vendors, hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, music, country line dancing, food, games, and a whole lot more. Hope to see you there!
Have a safe enjoyable summer. Please feel free to contact me anytime at 973-809-4401 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns.
Mayor Melissa Florance-Lynch