Remaining $23,000 Open Space Trust Funds Up For Grabs

After voters rejected the renewal referendum, the River Edge Open Space Trust Fund monies is running dry

In November, 123 votes made the difference between renewing the and its unfortunate failure. In the final installment of the borough's Open Space monies, $23,000 will be divided to cover expenses for the 2012 maintenance and repairs of the local parks and ballfields.

On Tuesday night, the Mayor and Council held its first public hearing on how the funding could be allotted with Borough Administrator Alan Negreann suggesting that the majority be set aside for the Recreation Commission.

"It's my recommendation that $16,000 be allocated as follows," Negreann said. "Five thousand should go to the salary and wages of the park maintenance attendant and $9,000 should go to either the or the for the park facilities maintenance. Beautification should receive $2,000 towards their mulch costs."

For the past two years, a portion of the Open Space Funding has been utilized to cover the salary and wages of who oversee the maintenace of the parks. But funding had also previously gone to the 9/11 Memorial Garden, Beautification, Environmental and Historic Committees and the Recreation and Shade Tree Commissions.

"We would really appreciate the $5,000 for Carl Letter's salary," Recreation Director Bobbi Conway said. Letter is employed as the park attendant. "Carl is my right hand man from walking the parks to cleaning outside. With not knowing the level of service from the DPW this year, it's crucial we have the funding for his salary."

The Beautification Committee which has not received funding for the past few years from the Open Space Trust Fund had requested $2,500 to place permament planters in the southend of town.

"We see the area at 140 Kinderkamack Road as a gateway to town that we want to enhance," Beautification Chairwoman Ann Cannon said. "By having more permanent planting structures there it will have a greater impact on that space."

The Council will make its final decision on the allottment of the Open Space Trust Funds at a later date.


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