FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
Eric F. Wilsusen
Happy Fall Jefferson! We live in such a beautiful area, especially this time of year. Who needs Vermont? Our very own Ed Young will do some foliage hikes; check our webpage and social media for more information.
As part of our 10-year capital improvement plan for road improvements, our Public Works Department worked hard all summer to complete drainage projects throughout the Longwood Lake area. As I draft this newsletter we have begun milling/paving Maryann Drive, 2nd Lt. Wroblewski, Lorna Lane, Mackenzie Lane and then on to Longwood Lake Road, Forest Ridge Terrace, Squirrelwood Drive, Bear Drive, Eagle Drive, Fox Road, Partridge Run, Moose Drive, Elk & E. Elk Drive, Redmans Drive, Indian Drive, Solar Road, Valley Road, and Aldrin Drive. A portion of Taylor Road was already completed. Garnet Drive was slated to be paved this fall; however, due to the need to install drainage, Garnet Drive will be paved next spring. Preston Lake Road, Upper Lake Road, Hidden Hills Road, Sparta Mt. Road and a portion of Taylor Road were cape sealed. they will be here next week. Minnisink Road was milled/paved this summer, the tree canopy was cut back, and some drainage and new guide rails were installed. Minnisink Road was funded through a NJ DOT Grant and came out great.
You will begin to see some construction activity on Route 15 & Hellers Lane & Bowling Green Parkway. Eighty-two new luxury apartments were approved through the land use board a few years ago. This is a redevelopment project and a PILOT has been established. The property was sold well over a year ago, and the new owners have started clearing the property to begin construction. I have heard mixed reviews on the project, i.e., traffic, etc. which I can understand. The one concern I hear all the time is there are no rentals/housing in Jefferson; this will certainly help fill that need. It should be noted that this will be the last project of this scale we will ever see on undeveloped land due to the Highlands Preservation Act. Approx. 80% of the land within our borders is preserved, which is great if you like open space and bad if we want to generate new ratables to offset potential tax increases.
There is no new update on the Lake Hopatcong area sewer project. As I reported in my summer newsletter, we are still waiting to hear about the $750K federal appropriation to start the engineering study. I am told it is still moving forward.
Sadly, we say goodbye to the end of an era. In 1992, with the community's total commitment and effort to bring a beautiful playground to our community, the Creative Playground at our municipal complex was erected. It has served us well for the last 31 years, but the entire wooden structure has outlived its lifespan, showing its age and wear & tear. After multiple repairs and renovations over the years, it is just time to replace it. I remember when it was built and the excitement behind it. While I was not married and had no family then, I recall the community's pride in creating this beautiful structure. Later, like many others in the community, my children enjoyed the playground all these years. The playground is being replaced with a new, modern, and safer structure. The current structure would never meet the current code and is not ADA-compliant. Our insurance carrier has been recommending we replace it for some time. The Township received $75,000 in DCA grant funding for the proposed improvements to the playground. But as many will say, and I agree, it will not be the same. Thank you once again to all who had a hand in making it happen and those in the community who came to build it. Thanks for the memories, Creative Playground!
Sad to say, (not a big winter fan anymore!) it is now time to start to get ready for winter! Thank you to our Public Works, Parks and Utility employees for all their hard work all year long, especially in the winter. There is a small crew, but do an outstanding job! As winter begins, we ask that you remove any basketball hoops and other playground objects in the roadway and a reminder that overnight parking is prohibited, especially when roads are icy or snow-covered.
Enjoy the beautiful fall colors!