Borough had a plan, blizzard was a no-show

With the lighter-than-expected snowfall and the overnight ban on travel, DPW crews had an easier time than normal attacking the snowy streets Tuesday. (Photo by Tom Kranz)
With the lighter-than-expected snowfall and the overnight ban on travel, DPW crews had an easier time than normal attacking the snowy streets Tuesday. (Photo by Tom Kranz)

No one is complaining about the lighter-than-expected snowfall - measured in inches instead of feet - Monday night into Tuesday, but the borough's public safety forces and the DPW were ready if the worst happened.

Mayor Mahr meets with the public safety committee Monday at Borough Hall.
Mayor Mahr meets with the public safety committee Monday at Borough Hall.

And, even though the game plan was put into play but largely unused this time around, lessons are learned each time to make the next event run even more smoothly.

 

Each part of the borough's public safety group - Mayor Colleen Mahr and representatives of the Police and Fire Depts., the Rescue Squad, the Office of Emergency Management and the DPW - have their own protocols for being ready but then, on Monday, everyone met to coordinate information and responses.

 

DPW Director Clint Dicksen confirmed his staff and the department's nine pieces of equipment were ready to hit the road, salt supplies had been topped off and there was plenty of fuel for his equipment and for the borough's other emergency equipment.

 

The Fire Dept.'s John Piccola and the Rescue Squad's Patty Buckridee detailed their coverage plans, with volunteers on tap to staff their buildings overnight.

 

Police Chief Richard Trigo and his staff coordinated the information. The police had equipped several vehicles with chains for better traction in case the snow was as bad as forecasters were saying. Staff members from other Borough Hall departments had even been lined up to help with an expected up-tick in phone traffic, too.

 

Once the snow started falling Monday evening, members of the group were in touch throughout the night and into Tuesday morning.

 

Council member Tom Kranz coordinated the distribution of information to Fanwood residents. A half-dozen updates were filed to the borough's website and through the email alert system. Fanwood's cable television channel and AM emergency radio station carried information throughout the night, too.

 

As dawn broke Tuesday and it was apparent that the snowfall had been relatively minor, everyone breathed a sigh of relief that the forecasters had been wrong. In the end, few of the resources was pressed into service. But, notes will be filed, ideas will be shared and the notebooks will have new entries for the next time.

Water main project scheduled to begin Feb. 2

New Jersey American Water will be replacing about 4,100 feet of 48-inch water main on Madison Avenue and Portland Avenue between Willow Avenue and Westfield Road, according to NJAW project manager Michael Bange.

Weather permitting, the project will start Feb. 2 and will be completed by April 26. NJAW is planning for temporary reconstruction of the roadway to be done by May 1, with final repaving to be completed by September.

The company does not expect any disruptions to water service as a result of the work. Customers may experience a slight discoloration of water when the new pipeline is placed into service. If this happens, residents should run their water until it clears up.

The work hours on the project will be from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. During the construction process, sections of Madison Avenue and Portland Avenue may be closed to through traffic. Traffic control will be coordinated with the local police.

Women's heart health fair planned for Feb. 6 at The Chelsea

Mark Friday, Feb. 6, on your calendar and "go red" for women's heart awareness at a health fair for women at The Chelsea on South Avenue.

 

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the U.S. but women die more of heart attacks than men because their symptoms are more vague and often go undiagnosed. The whole goal of this free event is to create awareness and to educate everyone on prevention.

 

That evening, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., there will be speakers, a mini yoga class, blood pressure checks, healthy food cooking demos, a raffle and some healthy snacks. The event is sponsored by The Chelsea and the Little Hearts Big World Training Center. For more information, go to the Little Hearts, Big World Training Center page on Facebook or click here to download a flyer.

RVRC meeting hears Wisniewski on transportation funding

Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Assemblywoman Linda Stender and Union County Freeholder and RVRC Trustee Bette Jane Kowalski at the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition meeting in Westfield Monday. (Photo by Mindy Scarlett)
Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Assemblywoman Linda Stender and Union County Freeholder and RVRC Trustee Bette Jane Kowalski at the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition meeting in Westfield Monday. (Photo by Mindy Scarlett)

Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, chairman of the New Jersey Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, presented the issues and the latest efforts to increase funding for the Transportation Trust Fund at the first quarterly meeting of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) in the Westfield Council Chambers Monday morning, according to an Alternative Press story.


Wisniewski began by saying that he supported increasing the tax on gasoline as a way to make the Transportation Fund more sustainable. At the same time, he said, constituents needed to know, "Where did the money go?"


“Let me put to rest the urban myth that the Transportation Fund was used to balance the budget. That is not the case. The money has been spent on transportation, just not always wisely,” said Wisniewski. He went on to explain that the deficit in the trust fund was due to lack of sustainable planning and debt funding over the past 30 years.


“We have to find a way to create sustainable income for the fund, so we aren’t having this same conversation in 10 or 15 years,” said Wisniewski.


Click here for more information on the rail coalition.

Carriage House Poetry Series announces 2015 schedule

The Carriage House Poetry Series plans a full slate of free performances in 2015, starting off with a reading on Feb. 17 featuring poets Jill Stein, John Barrale and Loren Kleinman. The evening's readings at the Patricia Kuran Arts Center (Carriage House) on Watson Road get underway at 8 p.m. There will be performances on the third Tuesday of each month, except January, August and December.

 

This year's schedule includes an evening celebrating National Poetry Month on April 21, the 10th anniversary of the Westfield Poetry Group on June 16 and the "Wandering Poet," Edmund Baranowski, on July 21.

 

After the featured readings each night, there is an open mic for local poets. As in the past, refreshments will be available. Click here for more information.

Recreation Commission meeting rescheduled

The Fanwood Recreation Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 27, was cancelled. It will be held instead on Monday, Feb. 2, at 7:45 p.m. at the LaGrande Park building. The results of the commission's recent survey will be discussed.

Public notice: Special Council meeting scheduled for Feb. 2

For information only

 A special meeting of the Mayor and Council has been scheduled for Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, Fanwood Borough Hall, Mayor and Council Chambers, 75 North Martine Ave., Fanwood, New Jersey, at 7 p.m. to hold a public hearing to consider the adoption of an ordinance establishing the eligibility of commercial and industrial structures for exemption and abatement pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.

 

Official action will be taken.

 

Eleanor McGovern

Borough Clerk

Public notice: RFQ for services

RFQ’s sought for various services based upon a fair and open process in accordance with N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5 et seq.  Click link.


Eleanor McGovern

Borough Clerk

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