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New Providence Council Approves Grant Agreement to Clean Up Passaic River

Mike Neavill

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 • 12:42pm

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Jim Madden introduced a resolution, later approved, to allow the borough to participate in a state-funded DEP grant of $300,000 to dredge and clean up the Passaic River.

New Providence joins other neighboring communities that abut the Passaic River in passing similar resolutions. Union County will administer the grant once all of the communities have passed resolutions.

During council proceedings, there seemed to be more questions than answers due to the lack of definitive plans and priorities.

Borough Administrator Doug Marvin who represents the town on a broad-based committee consisting of other communities said an early identified priority was the removal of fallen trees partially blocking river flow.

Council President Michael Gennaro expressed concern over any financial obligation placed on the borough.

Councilman Dr. Bob Robinson said he didn’t want each town to incur an additional contribution.

“It’s okay for the county to proceed with no financial burden to New Providence,” Madden replied. His comments were echoed by Borough Attorney Paul Rizzo.

Concerning felled trees blocking river flow, Marin said early state DEP concerns were centered on access points to the river and procedures for tree disposal.

Turning away from water under the bridge, residents and visitors to the borough might well be concerned about the sanitary standards of borough establishments that prepare and/or serve food.

Not to worry, according to Robinson, who said every establishment is visited twice a year through a shared services agreement with the Westfield Board of Health.

By way of comparison, Robinson cited a recent published article concerning health inspections in Plainfield. The data for 2013 are startling; of 340 eating establishments only 71 were visited by health inspectors and of those, 10 eateries failed inspection, Robinson said.

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