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Open Space Committee Receives Important Grant

Jennifer Fratangelo

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 • 11:35am

FRANKFORD, NJ - The December 4 Frankford Township Committee Meeting began with the approval of a resolution that authorizes Mayor Gary Larson to “Negotiate and Execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Regarding Replacement of Grasslands Habitat for a Threatened Bird Species known as the Savannah Sparrow.”

Committee member James Ayers further stated, so that everyone was clear regarding the aforementioned, “It has to be grasslands.”

During the consent agenda portion of the meeting, a resolution for refunding the 2012 Tax Overpayment was approved. Other approvals included the letter of resignation from M. Richard Valenti, Attorney to the Board of Health, the approval of the Space Farms Deer Removal contract, the approval of the request by Northwest Christian School to use Augusta Road for traffic during the closure of Country Road 519 for the Annual Dora Pedersen 5K Run on May 11, 2013, and the approval of the payment of bills.

“We’re not obligated to move on this right now,” said Larson regarding the first reading of Ordinance #2012- 13.

The ordinance is to appropriate funds for the purchase of a 2013 Western Star Truck Model 4700 that the township intends to purchase.

The topic of purchasing the truck involved a lengthy discussion amongst the committee members. The purchase is an emergency one, as the township is short a truck for snowplowing. Deputy Mayor Sam Castimore expressed worry about the upkeep and maintenance and the mechanics of fixing and cleaning the trucks, especially washing the salt off of them. Castimore also brought up the issues of specific service stations that maintain particular brands of trucks being closer than others, not knowing how engineers are building new engines and whether or not they are complying with EPA standards and what that may mean for trucks and, finally, to take into consideration different axels on different brands of trucks. He also mentioned the possibility of using a shared service for snowplowing, like Newton and Andover Township use.

 “I know we need a truck, but I worry if this is a good deal,” stated Deputy Mayor Castimore.  

A positive note from the township committee report explained that the Open Spaces committee received a $750,000 grant for farmland preservation; this was received from a $13,000 investment.

Under new business, the PAIC survey of the township facilities and playground is set to be reviewed, and the council will have something to respond to the insurance company with by next meeting including recommendations and a time frame.   

During the first public portion of the meeting no one spoke, but for the second public portion resident Vick Fiore raised a question about modifying frames for the truck the township intends to buy, as he says you are not supposed to alter them. Larson said they are dealing with people that engineer the trucks, and he would expect them to be following legal standards. He did mention that he will look into it as they do not want to do something that may void warranties.

It was also informally brought up by a resident that the committee should be aware of the traffic, and where it is diverted to for the Annual Dora Pedersen 5K Run. He mentioned that the traffic light is short and it cannot really handle all of the traffic; it just makes driving those roads a little inconvenient, although he conceded that it is nothing that residents could not handle.

There was no need for an Executive Session at the meeting.

The next meeting will be held on December 18 at 7 p.m. There will also be a Budget Meeting held in the morning on either December 11 or 19, depending on the committee's schedules.  

 

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