Byram not giving up trying to stop Route 206 project

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    Byram - If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. That is the approach the Byram Township Council is taking in its efforts to continue to fight the Route 206 expansion plan. The council's request that the state rethink the design and the scale of the plan was recently rejected. And help they were hoping to get from State Senator Robert Littell in support of those efforts was denied. The council decided at this week's meeting to pursue the matter by once again going to Littell for help, this time in a quest to get Littell to arrange a meeting with the state. According to Councilwoman Donna Griff, the town will fight until the end to get what it wants. "This is our township. We are going to take every minute until they bring in the bulldozers to fight for the design," said Griff, who is convinced that the plan in its current state would mean the ruin of Byram. "This is not in the best interests of the people in Byram Township, " said Griff. "It will destroy Byram Township." Council members spent a long time during this week's session venting their frustration with state and county officials as well as what they claim is a misperception on the part of the public as to what the council's position is and has been on the project. "There is a general conception that we supported this plan and now we are backtracking", said Councilman James Oscovitch. "That is not what happened." During the council session on Monday night, members reviewed the last resolution they approved more than two years ago which supported the project then on the table. When they compared it to the project the DOT is moving ahead with, the council members said they found drastic changes. "We were pushed and bullied by the County of Sussex," said Griff. "Little things happened at all of those meetings to chip away at our plans. We went into those meetings expecting the world and trusting and we were railroaded." Byram officials now will attempt to go back to the state and see if any compromises can be made to make the design and scope of the project more palatable to the council. Although Littell has gone on record as not supporting Byram's efforts to put a halt to the project, council members are hoping he will put aside those differences and lend some assistance in arranging a meeting. A call to the senator's office for a comment on Byram's request was not returned as of press time.