MILLBURN, NJ - The biggest challenge facing Millburn Township at this time is fuel, Township Administrator Timothy Gordon said in a press briefing this morning.
"We need the fuel to operate our municipal vehicles," he said.
He estimated the township has enough fuel for the next day or two.
The mayor is expected to participate in a conference call this afternoon with the governor's office to learn how fuel is to be distributed throughout the state.
In other news, Fire Chief Michael Roberts said a distribution site for water and ice is being set up at the Board of Education building on Millburn Avenue. JCP&L is providing the water and ice.
Meanwhile, municipal workers are continuing to clear tree limbs. John Bace, Superintendent of the Department of Public Works, said the main roads have been cleared, and workers are now concentrating in neighborhoods.
He said five crews are at work, some of them with chainsaws.
"It's very delicate because of wires and poles," Bace noted.
The department has a crane picking up limbs on South Mountain Road and in various other neighborhoods, he also said.
Regarding power, Gordon said JCP&L is taking care of substations and major power lines now and will deal with smaller lines next.
"I totally understand (residents') frustration," said Mayor Sandra Haimoff, noting she has been in frequent communication with utility and other officials. "As soon as we get any information, we will pass it along."
The public works department resumed garbage pickup today but ran into a problem when they found out the Essex County Utility Authority incinerator in Newark is closed, according to Bace. The authority was able to arrange for the township's solid waste to be dumped at a facility in Elizabeth.
The fire department has answered about 400 calls and is up to date, Roberts said. Firefighters are now assisting with removing trees from roofs and covering open areas with plastic.
Charging stations are open at the Bauer Community Center in Taylor Park and the Gero Park headquarters building. The stations are for cell phones only, as the stations are running on generators and laptops pull too much power, according to Assistant Township Administrator Alex McDonald.