Byram gets roadwork grant but is denied loan for dog park

Byram. The township manager said the main reason for the loan denial is that Byram is not classified or located in an “overburdened community.” But the township is getting money for Tamarack Road.

| 09 Nov 2021 | 06:52

Byram Township will receive a $190,500 roadwork grant, but was denied a CO Johnson Park improvement loan.

Township manager Joseph Sabatini told the township council at its Nov. 1 meeting that Byram has received the 2022 New Jersey Department of Transportation grant for the upper phase of Tamarack Road.

However, Sabatini said, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres denied the township the loan it sought for a dog park, phase 1 of improvements planned for CO Johnson Park. He said the main reason for the denial is that Byram is not classified or located in an “overburdened community.”

Communities with this designation are 35 percent low-income households, 40 percent minority or state-recognized tribal community households, and 45 percent households with limited English proficiency, he said.

Deputy Mayor Raymond Bonker said the “overburdened community” definition and “environmental justice criteria are in and of themselves unjust.”

Lake Management Plan

Mayor Alex Rubenstein said the council has put off authorizing the scope of work for the Lake Management Plan until representatives from the Highlands Council and Princeton Hydro attend a council meeting and discuss their proposal.

Rubenstein said the Highlands Council has authorized $150,000 for a study regarding a lake management plan for all the watersheds that touch Byram township. He said the township needs a lake management plan to get grant money.

Roseff said the Highlands Council should deliver something the township needs, such as storm water management and shoreline and stream bank stabilization.

He said the Environmental Commission wants to be involved in future Highlands Council studies. The commission was not included in the water conservation study, he said.

Councilwoman Cris Franco said the planning board has reviewed the township’s Water Use Conservation Management Plan.

Best practices: The council unanimously approved the 2021 Best Practices Inventory Certification. Township manager Joseph Sabatini said the township will receive 5 percent of state aid, around $28,000, after already having submitted answers to the required questions. Furthermore, Sabatini said, separation of duties will always be a state recommendation that cannot be accommodated because of insufficient staff. He said another new recommendation was to have a public electric vehicle charging station installed on municipal property.
Tree lighting: Councilman Jack Gallagher said the township’s Christmas tree lighting will be held at the firehouse on Dec. 5.
Eagle Scout Awards: The council unanimously approved proclamations honoring Eagle Scouts Jacob Boden and Alexander McVeigh.
New business in town: Mayor Alexander Rubenstein said he attended the Eleese Hair Studio grand opening, where Champs Ice Cream was served by another new business in Byram.