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Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES

OUR 40th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 2999 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200

Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N. J. Thursday, July 22, 1999

of of of of of

— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —




Fanwood Council to Pursue Dean Oil Site Survey Grant By SUZETTE F. STALKER

Specially Written for The Times

Borough Council members were split along party lines last Thursday on whether to apply for a $10,000 grant from the county for a consultant to perform a marketing analysis of the Dean Oil site at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street in

Fanwood. Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, a Democrat, cast the tiebreaking vote in favor of a resolution authorizing the governing body to apply for the Downtown Development Planning grant. Republicans on the council opposed the measure, arguing that the proposed survey focused on only

a single property, rather than the overall business district.

Council President William E. Populus, Jr., Chairman of the council’s Administration and Finance Committee and the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Fanwood, has advocated the survey as a means of evaluating the best potential use of the privatelyowned, though longvacant, corner lot, in the event it becomes available.

A development group known as LaGrande Realty Associates, LLC, which has a contract to purchase the site from its current owner, has applied to the Fanwood Planning Board for permission to erect a twostory apartment complex there. Many residents are opposed to the project, claiming it will have a negative impact on traffic, safety, schools and other local facilities.

The Planning Board, which heard opening testimony regarding the controversial appeal on June 23, will resume its hearing of the case next

Scotch Plains Lions Club Marks 50th Anniversary Of Civic Service, Serving Needs of Sight Impaired


Specially Written for The Times

The Scotch Plains Lions Club celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 13 at Snuffy’s Pantagis Renaissance Restaurant in Scotch Plains.

During the festive evening, Lions Club President Norman Bendel was presented with a proclamation by State Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco of Scotch Plains from the State Senate and General Assembly that expressed the state’s gratitude to the Lions Club for their distinguished record of service to the community, according to Mr. Bendel.

Among the other distinguished guests who spoke at the award ceremony were Assemblymen Alan M. Augustine (R22nd) of Scotch Plains and Richard H. Bagger (R22nd) of Westfield.

Charles Weimer, the past Director of Lions International, Nelson Gonsalves, the Council Chairman of New Jersey

Lions, and Stanley Grossman, newlyelected International Director also gave speeches and jointly presented Mr. Bendel with a gold pin and a plaque for the club’s lengthy and successful record of service.

Scotch Plains Mayor Geri M. Samuel also presented Mr. Bendel with a plaque on behalf of the entire town for the club’s dedication to serving the community.

Governor Christine Todd Whitman, who was invited to attend but was unable to make an appearance, sent a letter and called Mr. Bendel the night of the awards ceremony to express congratulations and the state’s recognition of their accomplishments.

The letter acknowledged, according to Mr. Bendel, the club’s “outstanding dedication to civic leadership, community involvement and impressive record of service to the sight impaired.”

A letter received from President Bill Clinton, according to Mr. Bendel, stated that “your organization has given hope and help for many years and has earned the respect and gratitude of all those who you serve.”

The Scotch Plains Lions Club, founded in 1949, boasts 28 members, all of whom are respected business leaders in our community. They have collected and distributed over a quarter of a million dollars to various charitable causes including community food banks, Boy Scout Troop No. 111 of Scotch Plains and The Children’s Miracle Network.

The club also hosts a blood bank drive, sponsors an Eye/ Ear Mobile

and provides eyeglasses for the needy. The Lions Club also donates large print books to the Scotch Plains Library and awards outstanding students in the Distributive Education (DECA) Program with scholarships.

The Lions Club raises approximately $10,000 a year hosting two flea markets and two pancake breakfasts. They also raise funds through their annual “White Cane Campaign,” which is a canister drive as well as through private donations.

Members meet twice monthly at the Jade Isle, located on Park Avenue in Scotch Plains. A member must be invited to join by a current member and must reside in the township.

SP Republicans Name Frank Rossi Candidate To Fill Unexpired Term


Specially Written for The Times

The Scotch Plains Republican Committee last week selected Frank Rossi to be its candidate for Township Council in the November special election to fill the remaining three years of the fouryear term of Democratic Councilman Franklin Donatelli, who died in May.

His widow, Lorraine McDede Donatelli, is currently filling the seat. The local Republican and Democratic Parties have to until 60 days before the Tuesday, November 2, General Election to name a candidate for the council seat.

The election will decide which has the majority on governing body and, thus, appoint a mayor for the year 2000. Democrats current hold a 32 edge on the council.

Mr. Rossi, 43, has lived in Scotch Plains his entire life, except for seven years when he resided in Fanwood, during which he served on the Borough Council.

Township Republican Chairman Gabe Spera said Mr. Rossi “is acutely aware of those issues and concerns of both the longtime Scotch Plains residents and those who have more recently chosen to make Scotch Plains their home.”

Saying he welcomes “the opportunity to serve the town, if elected,” Mr. Rossi told The Times of Scotch Plains and Fanwood that the primary issue

in the fall campaign will “clearly be taxes, which are always an issue at the local level.” He added the issue will be especially prominent “given this year’s tax increase, one of the largest in memory.”

Besides taxes, Mr. Rossi said he wants to talk about downtown development.

“There are a number of different proposals” regarding reviving the downtown business district, he said, “and I’d like to see which ones make the most sense in going forward.”

Mr. Rossi, who currently serves as an alternate member of the Scotch Plains Board of Adjustment, said he is interested “in building on the grants” received by the township during the past two years. He also wants to improve the interaction between the Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education and the two towns it serves.

Saying he “absolutely” wants to debate his Democratic opponent, who has yet to be selected, Mr. Rossi told

The Times his own campaign will begin well before the traditional Labor Day starting point.

“I’m going to try to get out meeting people within the next week,” he said.

Mr. Rossi, who is married with three children, currently serves as a corporate counsel with BristolMyers Squibb Co., where he is the 1999 Chairman of the company’s corporate United Way campaign.



Roadway Projects Now Under Way In County, Local Municipalities


Specially Written for The Times

It’s summertime and that means delays and rerouting as a number of area roadways receive maintenance and reconstruction work.

If you drove on North Avenue in the last week, you already know that Union County has been working on that street in Westfield, Scotch Plains and Fanwood.

On North Avenue in Westfield, which continues as Midway in Scotch Plains and Fanwood, the top two inches of the surface were scraped, or milled, and repaved over the last two weeks by Schifano Construction Corp., of Middlesex, according to Joe Policay, Union County Road Superintendent.

The job, which caused considerable backups in traffic while the work was being completed, also included making curbs accessible to disabled individuals.

The surface of Seventh Street in Plainfield from Terrill Road to

Roosevelt Street also was being milled and repaved this week.

In addition, South Springfield Avenue from Mountain Avenue to Meisel Avenue in Springfield was to be paved Wednesday and Thursday this week. In Springfield, Mountain Avenue from Shunpike Road to South Trivett Avenue also was being repaved this week.

Bruce Connor, Director of the Union County Division of Engineering, said that Schifano Construction Corp. of Middlesex is handling all the repaving work including five other jobs in Linden, Rahway, Elizabeth and Summit. The total amount of the contract is $1.5 million, $1.37 of which is covered by federal funds and $78,000 of which is state financed.

Mr. Connor added that another group of Union County resurfacing projects are being planned. Bids will be accepted in August and work will

probably begin in the fall, he said. In Westfield, expect some delays as construction begins on Willow Grove Road, which intersects with Rahway Avenue and Lamberts Mill Road, in the next few weeks, according to Kenneth B. Marsh, Westfield Town Engineer and Director of Public Works.

The entire length of Willow Grove will be milled and repaved, Mr. Marsh said. The job will be completed by Penaloza/ Calderone Asphalt Co., Inc., in Somerset. The $95,000 contract also includes finishing paving work on three roads built by the town for the Lexington Heights Subdivision off of Prospect Street, Mr. Marsh said. Those streets include Bailey Court, Hamilton Avenue and Sedgewick Avenue.

Currently in progress are two projects on Myrtle Avenue, at Grandview Avenue and Central Avenue, and Ripley Place from Cacciola

Town Officials Say Maintaining Westfield Fields Requires FullTime Crew at Cost of $250,000



Specially Written for The Times

Editor’s Note: The following is the second part in a series of articles related to the condition of Westfield’s parks and fields.

* * * * *

Field maintenance costs money. That is the explanation expressed by town officials in response to the numerous complaints from adult softball and baseball league members about the deteriorating conditions of Westfield’s baseball fields.

Westfield Recreation Commission Director Glenn S. Burrell and Third Ward Councilman and Chairman of the council’s Public Works Committee, John J. Walsh, agree that there is just not enough money in the current budget to cover the extra $250,000 per year that would be required for a fulltime park maintenance crew.

According to Mr. Burrell, the Pub lic Work’s crew drags the fields at

each park approximately twice a week, but this is not often enough to maintain those fields considering how often they are utilized.

“When you have parks used as often as we do, you need a fulltime maintenance department,” Mr. Burrell emphasized.

Mr. Burrell stated that he submitted proposals to the Town Council in both 1998 and 1999, requesting a fulltime park maintenance department to maintain all of Westfield’s parks.

The proposal, according to Mr. Burrell, has not been approved or declined. He believes that this will be the necessary solution to our fields’ problems. Councilman Walsh stated that the Council will not adopt any proposal without first establishing the funding source.

While Mr. Burrell said he agrees that many of the fields need some

maintenance work, but he took exception to the harsh language, used by league members in The Westfield Leader and The Times story last week, that the town’s fields are the “worst” in Union County.

Director of Public Works Kenneth B. Marsh, also serves as Town Engineer, was also surprised to hear the numerous complaints voiced by league members in last week’s Leader

article. “This year, we have added new equipment and more maintenance personnel. I have actually heard a lot more positive feedback from the league players this year than in previous years,” Mr. Marsh stated.

He attributes the deteriorating condition of the fields to the recent severe draught, causing the fields to “harden like concrete and make dragging ineffectual.” There has also been

frequent unauthorized usage of the fields, according to Mr. Marsh.

“We maintain the fields in accordance with the recreation schedule. If there is unauthorized usage of the field before the next game, the field will be in poor condition,” he explained.

Mr. Marsh acknowledged that insufficient maintenance as well as unauthorized usage are issues that need to be addressed. He stated that the resolution to these problems has been and will continue to be discussed by all of the town officials involved.

“The Recreation Commission has actually received more positive comments this year, regarding the condition of our fields, than in prior years,” Mr. Burrell related. “We are aware that there are various problems with the fields, and it is on our agenda to

David B. Corbin for The Times NOT DRAGGED... This picture, taken last month, shows that this field at Tamaques Park in Westfield had not been dragged prior to the adult softball league game.

William A. Burke for The Times FRESHLY PAVED... Workers are shown last week paving Midway Avenue, the extension of North Avenue, in Fanwood. The work on North and Midway created traffic havoc while being completed. Paving and other roadway work will continue through the fall on both Union County and town roadways.

Frank Rossi Fanwood Squad Seeks

Support for Pensions By SONIA V. OWCHARIW

Specially Written for The Times

With the hope of increasing volunteerism within the Fanwood Rescue Squad and the fire department, squad members appealed to the Borough Council Monday night to support a proposed ordinance to implement a Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP).

The proposal calls for volunteers who dedicate their time and effort to the borough’s emergency service units to be rewarded through a taxdeferred pension plan. The Borough Council was expected to convene again last night, July 21, to consider introduction of an ordinance supporting the LOSAP.

Volunteers would be vested after five years as either a Rescue Squad or fire department volunteer, meaning that if they were to leave their unit after that time, their pension would remain intact.

The Emergency Services Volunteer Length of Service Award Program Act, signed by Governor Christine Todd Whitman on January 19, 1998, offers taxdeferred income benefits to active members of volunteer emergency service organizations.

According to Rescue Squad Captain Jeff Downing, each volunteer would accumulate at least 50 points, which are earned by attending meetings, workshops, drills and calls.

The council held its special Monday night meeting in order to get the program off the ground in time for it to be included within the 2000 mu nicipal budget. Officials plan to start

the pension program with current volunteers, and will consider past membership for the following budget year.

A recommended annual contribution of $1,000 per qualifying volunteer was reduced by the council to $500 each.

“We are trying to get different people


Page 10 Thursday, July 22, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION


Fanwood’s TV35 Weekly Schedule Thursday, July 22, 8: 00 P. M.

Nature Center, Three Seasons in The Sun & the Police Auction

Thursday, July 22, 9: 00 P. M.

FYI Fanwood

The Mayor’s Show

Saturday, July 24, 8: 00 P. M.

Fanwood 100 Years of Gold

Saturday, July 24, 9: 00 P. M.

Next Station Stop Fanwood

Monday, July 26, 8: 00 P. M.

Rebroadcast July 15th Council Meeting

Wednesday, July 28, 8: 00 P. M.

Freeholders’ Forum

Wednesday, July 28, 9: 00 P. M.

FYI Fanwood

The Mayor’s Show



· A Park Avenue business reported the theft of a bag of rolls.


· The theft of approximately 200 lottery tickets was reported at a Park Avenue business.


· A Cushing Road resident reported that someone had pushed in a bedroom window screen and entered the house. Several rooms were ransacked, and jewelry and stereo items were taken.

Scotch Plains detectives, using information provided by the Plainfield Police Department, arrested and charged Edison Perez, 21, of Edison with burglary and theft in connection with this incident.

Perez was stopped by a Plainfield police officer in his vehicle shortly after the incident was reported around noon that day. Property from the burglary was recovered, according to police.

Further information led to charges of burglary and theft also being filed against Perez in relation to another Cushing Road breakin which occurred on July 6.

· A bicycle was reported taken from a side yard on Short Hills Lane.

· A Mountain Avenue resident reported someone entered the house through an unlocked bedroom window and took a videocassette recorder.


· Someone forced open a garage door at the Scotch Plains Department of Public Works building on Plainfield Avenue. A soda machine was broken into and the change was taken.

· Someone set fire to a pile of wood located in the yard of a Cicilia Place residence. The fire was put out by the homeowner.

· A bicycle was stolen while left unlocked at the Scotch Plains Public Library on Bartle Avenue.

· A female motorist reported that an attendant at a South Avenue service station exposed himself while cleaning her vehicle windows. The motorist left the area and flagged down a passing police unit. The incident is under investigation.


· A bicycle was reported stolen from a garage on Ramapo Way. Wednesday, July 28, in the Park Middle

School auditorium in Scotch Plains at 7: 30 p. m.

Republicans on the council argued that the market analysis should extend beyond the 1.3acre Dean Oil property, which is part of a halfblock stretch of land along Second Street between South and LaGrande Avenues in the downtown.

Councilman Joel Whitaker called the measure “too narrow in scope,” adding he would have supported the resolution for the grant application if the planned survey were to encompass the whole commercial area, which includes the Dean Oil property.

He also voiced concern that the resolution would interfere with the Borough Council’s ability to vote on a possible appeal by LaGrande Realty Associates if the Planning Board turned down the development group’s application.

Borough Attorney Dennis Estis pointed out that the council recently adopted an ordinance supporting a nonbinding referendum which would permit voters to tell the governing body whether or not they feel officials should seek to acquire the Dean Oil property, either through the right of eminent domain or under New Jersey’s 1992 Redevelopment and Housing Law.

The latter option allows a municipality to pursue condemnation of a property on the grounds that it is in need of rehabilitation. Mr. Estis noted that a survey of the site in question is required to determine if it meets the legal criteria for acquisition under those terms.

Republican Councilman Stuart S. Kline, who is running for a second term this year, also felt the survey should “reflect more than just the Dean Oil site.” He additionally observed that in a written overview of the proposed market analysis, there was no mention of the term “rehabilitation.”

He alleged that a grantsman retained by the borough two years ago on Mr. Populus’s recommendation failed to produce satisfactory results in terms of tapping grants for which the community may be eligible.

Mayor Connelly and Mr. Populus swiftly came to the defense of the grantsman, Charles Nathanson, claiming he was instrumental in the borough’s receipt of $40,000 from the state last year, which paid for a new ambulance for the Fanwood Volunteer Rescue Squad and enhancements to the Fanwood Memorial Library.

They said he also alerted local officials to Neighborhood Preservation Grant funds from the state, which could total $300,000 to $500,000, and prepared the application to have Fanwood designated as a historic district.

Like his fellow Republicans, Councilman Louis C. Jung, who is running for Mayor against Councilman Populus, said he believed that officials “need to focus on the big picture,” beyond the Dean Oil site, when it comes to the future of the downtown.

Councilman Populus, who attributed GOP opposition to the grant resolution to its timing within the campaign season, said he would be receptive to broadening the scope of the survey, but reminded his colleagues that they would only have $10,000 to work with. “All I’m interested in is what’s good for the downtown,” he remarked.

Councilman Whitaker commented that the grant application proposal “could have and should have” been referred to the council’s Land Use and Historic Preservation Committee, the Fanwood Planning Board or the Fanwood Downtown Revitalization Committee prior to being placed on the council’s agenda. The Mayor countered that council members had already agreed to make it an agenda item that evening.

While discussing the business district, council Republicans expressed disappointment that there was no resolution on the agenda dealing with a proposal to relocate the Fanwood Post

Office from its current location to the half block of Second Street between South and LaGrande. Councilman Jung has touted the concept as beneficial to both the Post Office and the downtown.

Mayor Connelly commented that there was a “general feeling” among officials not to put a resolution addressing the issue on the agenda that night, but added this did not mean it would not appear in the future.

Fellow Republicans rallied around Mr. Jung’s position on the proposed Post Office relocation, which his campaign manager, 1997 council contender Wilfred P. Coronato, described as a “winwin situation for everyone.”

He said the move would not only improve the Fanwood Post Office’s ability to handle customer volume, but also enable it to serve as an anchor store for businesses along that block. Mr. Coronato added that he did not understand why it was not put on the council’s agenda.

Former Fanwood Mayor and current Republican Municipal Chairman Theodore “Ted” Trumpp, who was a council member when the current Post Office location was selected, said officials at that time were not unanimously in favor of that site, but it “was the only one available.”

He argued that the present Post Office building is “totally out of date” in terms of its ability to meet the needs of the community, and suggested that the governing body look at other towns, such as Clark, which have the Post Office as an anchor building with ample parking.

At another point in the meeting, Jenny Wagner of North Martine Avenue stated that it was Mayor Connelly who originated the idea for moving the Post Office to a new location years ago.

Ms. Wagner, whose husband, Daniel P. Valentino, 3rd, challenged Mr. Jung for the Republican Mayoral nomination this spring, implied that Councilmen Jung and Kline were attempting to use certain issues being discussed by the governing body that evening for political advantage. She told them to “save your campaigning for the right time.”

She opposed moving the Post Office to the area between South and LaGrande, saying it would bring highvolume traffic, including large trucks, to an area which also includes the LaGrande Park playground.

On the subject of grant money, Andrew J. MacDonald, a former 12year Republican Fanwood Councilman, maintained that such funds come with “strings attached,” adding that he would prefer to see the county return any surplus to residents in the form of a property tax reduction.

He and the Mayor debated the progress borough officials have made so far toward implementing longanticipated improvements to the business district. Mr. MacDonald claimed plans have lagged for two decades, with the only improvements being the recent addition of such things as awnings and planters.

Mayor Connelly responded that there are two plans in place for revamping the downtown, including one prepared by The RBA Group of Morristown in 1997, and another longrange plan, entitled “A Future for Fanwood,” which was unveiled by the governing body earlier this year.

She said the borough has only been able to make small strides so far due to funding limitations, but that the recent awarding of $400,000 in state and county grants to the municipality will result in more substantial and visible progress.

Peter Sayles, a resident of Marian Avenue and a member of the borough’s Downtown Redevelopment Committee, concurred.

“We do have a number of big things in the works, a number of very large grants,” he commented. “Just because things haven’t happened over the years doesn’t mean they won’t happen.”

Fanwood Council to Pursue Dean Oil Site Survey Grant


FullTime Crew, Extra Cost Needed to Maintain Fields

Place to Windsor Avenue. Both jobs are milling and paving. The $42,000 job, which was covered by a Community Block Grant, is being handled by Della Pello Contracting, Inc., of Union.

A number of other roadway projects in Westfield will likely occur in the fall.

They include Gallows Hill Road, which will be entirely reconstructed with new curbs. The project has been designed and the town will be taking bids at one of its first council meetings in August. Estimated cost, according to Mr. Marsh, is $150,000.

The town is working on designs on Crossway Place in connection with work being done by NJ Transit on a bridge off of North Avenue near the Westfield Public Works Department building. The road will be rebuilt so it lines up more accurately with Edgewood Avenue.

The job, which town officials hope to complete before winter, is estimated to cost $125,000.

Ross Place, at Central Avenue and South Avenue, also is being designed now. Mr. Marsh said that it is an extremely wide road and will be reconstructed to bring it into the normal 36foot wide roadway.

A blacktop overlay project on Prospect Avenue between Madison Avenue and Trails End Drive also is scheduled to be completed this fall. Included in that contract will be the overlay of the entire length of Woodland Avenue, Canterbury Road from Winyah Avenue to Wychwood Road, Winyah from Canterbury to Wychwood, Prospect Street to the end of Madison Avenue, Kimball Avenue from North Chestnut Street to Baker Avenue, and the entire length of Doris Parkway.

The contract, for which bids will be accepted next month, also includes the milling and repaving of First Street from Rahway Avenue to Lynwood Place; the paving of shoulders and the overlay of Lynwood from First to Edgar Road, and the paving of the shoulders on Florida Street from Ayliffe Terrace to Wyoming Street.

After surveying all of the town’s municipal parking lots, the town has decided that Lot No. 5 behind the Rialto Theatre will be reconstructed in the fall. Lot No. 2 and No. 2A on the north side of the train station also will be under construction. No. 2A, behind the former Wyckoff’s Restaurant, may need a total reconstruction, while No. 2 may only need to be repaved, Mr. Marsh said.

He indicated that the town will need to hire an outside consultant to draw plans for the two parking lots, and he will seek authorization from the council to hire the consultant.

In Mountainside, the borough is working on plans for the resurfacing of Mill Lane, which runs between Springfield Avenue and Route 22. Michael Disko, Borough Engineer, said that borough officials hope to seek bids for the project in August, and begin work in late summer or fall.

The borough has received a $90,000 New Jersey Department of Transportation grant to pay for the project.

The other big project for the borough this summer is the construction of a parking lot adjacent to the library across the road from Borough Hall on Route 22. The project was awarded to

R. Mellusi Sons Paving, of Berkeley Heights, with a bid of $199,822. The borough received a $180,000 New Jersey Department of Transportation grant to pay for that project, and the borough will handle the remaining $19,822.

That project should begin within the next few weeks, Mr. Disko said. Because the project will take place behind Route 22 and has no access from highway, there should be no traffic disruption, Mr. Disko stated.

Numerous other roads throughout the borough also will be receiving crack sealing work throughout the summer, he added.

Throughout the summer in Scotch Plains, a number of roads will be overlaid with black top. Those roads include Heather Lane, Cushing Road, Aberdeen Road from Highlander Drive to Sunnyfield Lane, Birch Street and Fenimore Drive.

Earl Jackson, Superintendent of Scotch Plains Public Works, said that the township is renting equipment from Al Sanguiliano, Inc. of Scotch Plains, to handle the resurfacing. The work should begin in the next few weeks through midAugust and residents should be able to get back on their streets within four hours.

Raritan Road, from Michael Lane to the bend near Clover Lane, will receive new curbing, reconstruction, overlays and resurfacing as will Rahway Road from Clarks Lane to the Plainfield border. The project currently is being designed and carries no estimate or timetable.

In Fanwood, 22 streets will be “slurry sealed” to extend their lives until it is necessary for an entire repaving. The “slurry seal” is a liquid asphalt sealant spread over the surface of a road much the way a resident’s private driveway is periodically sealed, explained Raymond Manfra, Director of Public Works for the Borough of Fanwood.

The sealing, which will be handled by Shore Slurry Seal Co. of Hammonton, will include on the South Side of the township: Beech Avenue, Belvidere Avenue, Brohm Place, Burns Way, Clement Place, Coriell Avenue, Daniel Place, Herbert Avenue, Kempshall Terrace, Klaniecki Place, Kyte Place, MacDermott Place, Marian Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, Third Street, Trenton Avenue, Second Street (from Coriell Avenue to King Street and from Coriell Avenue to Herbert Avenue) and Winfield Place.

On the North Side of the township Arlene Court, Birchwood Terrace, Deborah Way and Mary Lane all will be sealed.

The sealing will start in the next week or so and last three to four days, Mr. Manfra said. The entire project, including preparation of the streets, required tree trimming and the actual sealing by the Hammonton company, totals $50,000, he said.

The borough also is bundling together a number of projects that will include milling and repaving so that bids can be sought to complete the work. Those include North Avenue from Martine Avenue to Forest Road, the municipal parking lot, Waldon Road, Glenwood Road, Tillotson Road to Rainier Road, and Old South Avenue East.

Mr. Manfra said that bids will be sought on those projects the end of July or early August and work would begin in the fall.

Roadway Projects Under Way In County, Municipalities

address these problems.” Extensive renovations are scheduled for Memorial Park’s four baseball fields as part on overall master plan created for the park.

“The major problem with Memorial Park is that it was built on a landfill, which is now sinking causing drainage and leveling problems,” Mr. Burrell explained. “This, as well as other upgrades are in our master plans, which we expect will take several years to complete.”

A public meeting is scheduled for September to release the details of these plans to the community.

“I plan on meeting with the Town Engineer and with Public Works (officials) very soon, to discuss and review the maintenance and renovations needed at our other parks,” Mr. Burrell stated. “We have about $40,000 in County grant money for improvements at Tamaques. It is too soon to say if that will be sufficient funding to cover all of the renovations needed there.”

Gumbert Park fields have recently been maintained by the Westfield Youth Baseball League. Parents of league members have been dragging the fields before games. This was an option suggested by several league members as a solution for all of the parks.

Mr. Burrell explained that the other parks need renovations that are too extensive to be handled by league members.

“The problems with our fields are not simply a matter of just dragging the fields, as league members have suggested. In most cases, heavy equipment and extensive tilling are needed, which cannot be accomplished by the leagues themselves,” he said.

The Recreation Director continued by saying that the Recreation Commission would certainly not turn away any league members who wanted to perform minor maintenance such as dragging, but that type of maintenance was not the longterm solution that the fields need.

“The problem is manpower,” Councilman Walsh said. “Our Public Works Department currently does not have the time or resources to maintain all of the fields to the extent that is needed.”

“One option is to charge league fees to help defray the costs of hiring more public work’s crew members,” he added.

Other options, according to the Councilman, are a oneto threepoint tax increase in the municipal tax rate or requesting that large businesses “adopt” a field similar to the “Adopt A Highway” program.

“We are discussing all of our options to resolve the problem,” Mr. Walsh stated.

“The problem is that charging league fees would only be a drop in the bucket compared to the $250,000 per year needed to support a fulltime maintenance crew,” Mr. Burrell said.

“There are various ways to fund a maintenance department,” Mr. Burrell stated. “One option would be an ‘openspace trust’ whereby a referendum is put on the ballot and voted on by our residents, to allow a small percentage of our taxes to go toward this necessity. I hope our residents can appreciate that this is a worthwhile cause to fund.”

“Other towns, who have less park land than we do, have fulltime maintenance departments. We need that as well,” Mr. Burrell added.

Suzette Stalker for The Times OUR SHIP WILL COME IN… Retired United States Navy Colonel Bill Sheppard of Fanwood salutes the many groups and individuals who have supported an ongoing campaign to bring the Battleship New Jersey home to the Garden State. Surrounding him at the July 15 meeting of Fanwood’s governing body, pictured left to right, are: Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, Bill Van Riper, Commander of the Union County Veterans of Foreign Wars for 19971998, and members of the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Scotch PlainsFanwood High School, James Dobis and Erik Van Hoesen. Just out of camera range is fellow Junior ROTC member James Drewes.

Ketubah Unit Plans To Install Officers At Annual Barbecue

SCOTCH PLAINS — The B’nai B’rith Ketubah Married Couples Unit (40+) will be having its annual barbecue and installation of officers on Sunday, August 1, at 1 p. m. at a member’s home in Scotch Plains. The rain date is Sunday, August 8.

The cost is $25 per couple and any prospective member joining Ketubah at the barbecue will be admitted free. The food served will be Kosher.

To make reservations or for directions, please call Elaine at (908) 2320062 by Thursday, July 29.

Fanwood Democrats Plan Brunch With Candidates

FANWOOD — The Fanwood Democratic Committee will host a fundraising brunch on Saturday, July 31, from 10: 30 a. m. until 2: 30 p. m. at the B. G. Fields Restaurant in Westfield.

Fanwood Borough Council President William E. Populus, Jr., the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Fanwood in the November 2 election, and Borough Council candidates Patricia Plante and Adele Kenny will attend the fundraiser.

A suggested donation of $30 per person for the brunch is requested.

Proceeds from the brunch will help support the Fanwood Democratic Committee’s campaign efforts on the behalf of the candidates.

For more information about the Fanwood Democratic Committee and the November 2 election, please call Tom Plante at (908) 8895298, or the Populus for Mayor Hotline at (908) 7897980, or write to the Fanwood Democratic Committee, P. O. Box 163, Fanwood, 07023.


involved with these services and give others who have always participated a break. It’s a plan to bring new blood in,” Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly said.

According to Council President and Democratic Mayoral candidate William E. Populus, Jr., who is Chairman of the council’s Administration and Finance Committee, there is no grant money available for this program.

Furthermore, consideration of a shared service program with neighboring Scotch Plains is not an option, since the township also relies on its volunteer ranks to keep the community covered, according to Mayor Connelly.

The Fanwood Volunteer Rescue Squad, which began in 1948 has 35 members. They answer 525 calls per year for Fanwood’s 2500 households, according to Mr. Downing.

Proponents believe the LOSAP program, if implemented, would ensure that local service is continued by volunteers. They argue that it would also prevent the need for a contract with an outside ambu

Fanwood Squad Seeks Support for Pensions

lance service, which could cost the borough “in excess of $200,000,” according to Captain Downing.

Mayor Connelly noted that The Chelsea at Fanwood, an assisted living facility on South Avenue, already houses 60 residents. She said an addition to The Chelsea, expected by the end of this year, would account for another 28 residents — bringing to almost 100 the number of people age 55 and over who may require emergency services.

“This program is an incentive to keep people involved with their community,” Mayor Connelly commented.

In order to implement a LOSAP, the governing body must adopt an ordinance or resolution endorsing it. The decree then requires approval by voters through a public referendum, since the pension program would have a tax impact.

Fanwood officials must adopt a decree supporting the LOSAP by Friday, August 20, in order for it to be placed on the ballot for the Tuesday, November 2 General Election.
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood