River Edge Signs Off on Open Space Funding for 2013
The borough officially allocated its $143,765 Open Space funding last week
Through its 2013 Open Space funding allocations, River Edge will now be able to move forward with purchasing a lightning detection system while setting money aside for the future lighting replacement program at the Kenneth B. George fields.
The Strike Guard Lightning Warning system which is already installed at Oradell's borough fields, would cost approximately $28,000 to place sirens at the Kenneth B. George fields, the Little League field and Veteran's Memorial Park.
A flashing light and siren would be installed on a utility pole at each of the three locations with the main transister and receiver system housed at Fire Company 1. The system issued a warning signal once a lightning strike is detected within a 10-mile radius of the borough.
The remaining Open Space funding would be divided between the Beautification Committee, Green Team, 9/11 Memorial Gardens, Dept. of Public Works, Shade Tree Commission, Historic Commission and Environmental Committee.
About $40,000 is going to be set aside for the future lighting replacement at KBG field. The borough is planning to set aside a portion of Open Space funding for the next three years and then seek a matching grant to handle the lighting project. The lighting replacement project is estimated to cost up to $325,000.
One item not included in the this year's Open Space funding allocations is the removal of several white pine trees near the tennis courts that have caused sap damage on the courts. The borough will pay for the sap removal from the courts and has offered to cover the cost of planting holly bushes near the tennis courts so long as the Recreation Commission can locate available funding for removing the white pines.
The 2013 Open Space Trust Fund allocations are as follows:
- Beautification Committee - $1,500
- Recreation Commission - $39,363 (maintenance borough parks)
- Recreation Commission - $67,268 (lightning detection, Carl Etter's salary/wages, field maintenance)
- Green Team - $1,500
- 9/11 Memorial Gardens - $1,500
- Dept. of Public Works - $9,500 (field maintenance)
- Shade Tree Commission - $14,550
- Historic Commission - $950
- Environmental Committee - $1,000
- Recreation Commission - $6,000 (Cherry Blossom Park)
The DPW request, unlike past year's to cover salary and wages for employees, is for park maintenance items including grass seed and pesticide chemicals and maintenance of the department's mowers and trimmers used in the parks.
Previously voters defeated the Open Space Trust Fund ballot question in 2011 after much of the funding had been used to cover the salary and wages of three DPW workers who oversee park maintenance. Residents had a change of heart and restored the funding this past November after the total 2012 allocations of $22,000 were split between several groups.
The Trust Fund allows for one cent per each $100 of a homeowners taxbill to be set aside for the preserveration of open space in the borough.