August 2019 Newsletter
Drainage Study Started
The township has received initial aerial survey information for the area around Orchard Lane, Emerson Lane, Mercier Place and Old Farm Road, which is the root cause of many of the water issues experienced by residents in that area and down the hill, across Mountain Ave, on Kings Court, Cornell Avenue, Hillcrest Avenue, Arden Court and surrounding areas. The study will lay the foundation for an improved paving and drainage system in the area; it will take about six months to complete the study.
The funding for the study was included in this year’s capital budget. The township is seeking funds for the future design and construction of a new drainage system in this part of town through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Bank (NJEIB). This program, under the auspices of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), allows municipalities to borrow 50% of project funds for 0% interest. Additionally, while the project is being constructed, the state charges 0% interest. This will allow the Township to do more with our tax dollars and make the much-needed improvements to our crumbling roads, pipes and sewers.
Drainage Designs Underway
Designs have begun for the small drainage pocket projects that we are completing as part of a 2019 Union County Infrastructure and Municipal Aid Grant. These projects will be located in the areas of Pine Grove, Cedar Green, Washington Street and Scott Avenue.
Road Repaving to Begin in Woodruff Neighborhood
The township has begun designs on the road paving project soon-to-begin on Briarwood Drive East and West, Ridgewood Place, and Fay Place. The plan is to award this job at a Council meeting in September.
Sawmill & Cornell Paving
This repaving job, to be paid for partially with a NJDOT local aid grant, has been awarded; contracts are ready to be signed. A pre-construction meeting will be held after Labor Day. Affected residents will be notified by the contractor about start dates and other details as project nears.
New Turf at Snyder Field
Take a drive by Snyder Park to see the progress of the Union County turf replacement project! Recreation Director Tom Barton has been working with Union County to get this done; currently turfed multi-purpose fields are being upgraded with funds approved by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. There are also plans to turf a baseball field in the facility that is currently natural grass. The returfing of the multi-use field is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and turfing of the baseball field by early 2020. Click here for more.
Township Council Holds Municipal Complex Builder Accountable
At its August 20 meeting, the Township Council voted unanimously to pull resolutions relating to the new municipal complex until a full analysis of the builder's delayed schedule is completed. One resolution authorized the extension of contracts and funding for Mast, the construction management company overseeing the project; architectural firm Arcari & Iovino; and geotechnical engineering firm Melick-Tully. Those contract extensions reflected revised and delayed schedules that Epic, the builder, has presented the township. The other resolution included a change order to reflect changes made to the police space, as well as authorizing payment to certain subcontractors for work relating to the finding of hydrocarbon, asphalt millings and garbage, and asbestos. Mast is conducting a full analysis of Epic’s delayed schedule; those results will be presented to the Township after Labor Day.
Electronic & Styrofoam Recycling Sept. 7
Electronics and #6 Styrofoam Recycling takes place once again on Saturday, September 7, 9 am-12 noon, at the DPW Garage on Berkeley Avenue (first street on the right off of Park Ave behind Town Hall & the Police Station). Reminder that it’s the first Saturday of every month! ONLY the following items are acceptable; all other items will be sent back home with you. Please bring your driver’s license to prove residency.
ONLY ACCEPTABLE ITEMS:
- Copy Machines
- Fax Machines
Redevelopment Updates – What’s Going On Around Town
Berkeley Heights has a number of approved and planned redevelopment and development projects underway. All projects include state-mandated affordable housing to keep the Township in compliance with state-mandated affordable housing requirements. This summary table is the planned and proposed developments as of August 25, 2019. The goal is to help residents understand how the Township has responded to the state-mandated requirements. Please note that the information contained in this document, including the status of any project, is regularly changing. This status is a point-in-time view only, and will continue to be updated.
Volunteers are needed for our Recycling Task Force, Environmental Commission, Grants Committee and Commuter Task Force. Please visit the Township website to learn more and to submit your application.
"Happening in the Heights"
Don’t miss the new regular weekly video series, “Happening in the Heights,” to find out what’s going on in town each weekend and in the upcoming weeks. These weekly videos are a team effort between the Communications Committee and our Township Business Administrator, Liza Viana. The two work together to make sure residents can easily find out about important Township updates and all the great community events going on in town each week.
New videos are posted on Thursday nights on the Township Facebook page as well as on the Township YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to the YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss any episodes. The features are a few minutes long, and highlight fun community events that you won’t want to miss.
Have an event you would like to feature? Please email the Communications Committee (BHCommunications@bhtwp.com) to let us know. Featured events need to be open to the public, and should be supporting local, non-profit organizations.
Please check here for regular weekly updates and photos.
REMINDER: The Township is now divided into two sections for recycling pickup. Snyder Avenue/Horseshoe Road is the dividing line between the East and West sides of Berkeley Heights.
Pickup will occur every other Wednesday for streets East of Snyder Ave (toward Summit) and every other Thursday for streets West of Snyder Avenue (toward Warren). Both sides of Snyder and Horseshoe will be picked up on Wednesdays.
Full 2019 schedule with East & West dates is online.
Specific questions can be sent directly to Giordano at (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-216-2250) for the most up-to-date information. Read a summary of Recycling "Do's and Don'ts".
September 2019 Recycling Dates:
- EAST: September 4, 18
- WEST: September 5, 19
Township Council Meeting Schedule
Township Council meetings take place at Town Hall (29 Park Avenue) at 7 pm.
Upcoming Township Council meetings:
- September 10, 24
- October 15, 29
Upcoming Planning Board meetings:
- September 4, 18
- October 2, 16
Committee & Board Updates
Downtown Beautification Committee
Food Lovers Rejoice: September 8-15 is the Third Annual Berkeley Heights Restaurant Week
Discover new favorite restaurants and take advantage of special deals during the third annual Berkeley Heights Restaurant Week, September 8 – 15. This community event inspires people to gather around the table and connect over good food as summer ends and the pace of life picks up.
- To further enhance the dining experience, participating liquor stores will offer specials and wine pairing suggestions.
- My Little Party Place is offering babysitting for children 4 years or older every evening to make it easy to schedule date nights and friends night out.
- Back this year is the popular Passport contest, which encourages a bit of competition among friends and neighbors. Each time a patron makes a purchase, the participating establishment will stamp the Passport. Everyone who returns their Passport with at least two stamps is entered to win one of two $50 gift cards. The patron who collects the most stamps will win the grand prize, a $100 gift card.
Visit experiencebh.com to view all participating establishments and special offers, learn more about babysitting services, and download the event Passport. Follow all the fun on Instagram @experience_berkeley_heights and Facebook @ExperienceBerkeleyHeights #experienceberkeleyheights.
The Committee wrote the two grants over the last month for the Littell-Lord Farmhouse rehabilitation. The first grant will allow the town to remove all the artifacts from the farmhouse and store them so rehabilitation can commence. The town will be notified by Union County in October.
The other grant was the Preserve Union County grant. The committee researched historic preservation criteria, analyzed and prioritized needs of the Littell-Lord house and completed the application. A resolution on August 20th was passed as the township will be required to match funds if we get the grant. The matching funds are not coming from taxpayer dollars, but rather from a fund generated from past rental income of the other property on the Farmstead.
We have a link on the website and are still accepting applications to join this exciting new committee looking to take some financial burden off the taxpayer.
The Committee held its first meeting on July 15th and elected Meera Rao as the Chair and Tom McClean as the recording secretary. The first task is working on Union County grants for the Littel Lord House. One grant, due July 26th, is a small one from Union County and will be used, if we get it, to move all the artifacts, furniture and documents out of the house to prepare for renovations. The other, a structural grant that will help to fix the floors and windows of the Littel Lord House, is due in August.
Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission
Berkeley Heights Vegan Fest 2019, Sept. 20 - 22, 2019
If you've ever wanted to do yoga outdoors at sunset, learn from guest panelists while your kids get their groove on at a high energy dance class, or impress and wow your friends, neighbors, and others with your grillin' and cookin' abilities at a fabulous vegan cook-off, then now is your chance. This FREE three-day festival produced by the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission and Sustainable Berkeley Heights, features events for the whole family. Learn more about how to engage in mindful, healthy practices for your physical and mental well-being and how your daily actions and choices can benefit you, your family, and the planet from an environmental perspective. Just for attending, you could win free gifts from our generous sponsors. Here is a brief overview of the schedule of events:
- Friday, Sept. 20 - Evening Yoga @ 6 -8 p.m., The Grove Park, 200 Connell Drive, Berkeley Heights (in the Connell Center)
- Saturday, Sept. 21 - Children's High-Energy Dance Session and Health- and Planet-Focused Educational Panels @ 10 a.m. - Noon, Lower Columbia Park, 411 Plainfield Ave., Berkeley Heights (behind Columbia Middle School)
- Sunday, Sept. 22 - Vegan Cook-Off @ 1 - 3 p.m., Lower Columbia Park. Enter your vegan appetizer, main course, or dessert online please!
To sign up to submit an appetizer, main course, or dessert entry in the Vegan Cook-Off, or to get further details and directions to each event, please visit https://www.sustainablebh.org/home/veganfest-2019 or https://www.berkeleyheights.gov/387/Vegan-Fest.
Community Updates & Events
Summer Concerts in the Park - Rescheduled AGAIN!
First Responders Night Out is rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. and will feature the Idol Kings. The fun-filled evening will be at Veteran's Memorial Field. Bring the whole family to meet your local first responders from the Berkeley Heights Fire Department, Police and Rescue Squad. Event sponsors include: Smith Chiropractic, Taylor Rental, Delicious Heights, eMedical Urgent Care, Excel Physical Therapy, Rita's Ice and the Berkeley Heights YMCA, Primrose School of Berkeley Heights.The Summer Concerts in the Park Series kicks off in Veterans Memorial Park. The Series is hosted by the BH Special Events Committee and will feature different bands at each event. Don't miss these free, family-friendly nights out in town, sure to be a favorite memory. Grab a few chairs, friends, a picnic and come on out! Read all the details in TAPinto Berkeley Heights.
Berkeley Heights Public Schools
Schools are back in session beginning Thursday, September 5th for K-12. Preschool will commence on Monday, September 9th. Back to school nights will be held:
- Monday, September 16--Mountain Park School, William Woodruff School, and Thomas P. Hughes School
- Wednesday, September 18-- Mary Kay McMillin ECC
- Thursday, September 19--Governor Livingston High School
- Wednesday, September 25-- Columbia Middle School
Berkeley Heights Fire Department
On Saturday, September 7, the BH Fire Department is hosting their 8th Annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Fire House (411 Hamilton Ave) from 6pm to 9pm. The cost to attend is $15 for adults, $7 for children under 8 and $10 for seniors. All proceeds will benefit the volunteer fire department!
Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad
The Rescue Squad always needs volunteers, both medical and auxiliary! Come to the Rescue Squad's new "Meet &Greet - Open House" every Tuesday from 7-9pm. Come meet our members, learn more about us and what it takes to join the Squad. Free refreshments and ambulance tours too - bring the family! For additional information, visit their website or call (908) 464-0013.
Senior Club Update (Ages 55+)
Please join the "Seniors" at their weekly meetings - Tuesdays at 10:30am at Mount Carmel (56 River Road). All welcome, working or retired. Everyone 55 and over is invited and encouraged to attend our meetings, 2019 trips and loads of parties.
Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk
Don’t miss the annual BH5K on Sunday, September 15! The race begins at 9:30 am at Memorial Field. The 1.5 mile Fitness Walk will start at 9:35 am (immediately after the start of 5K). Registration is already open, sign up online today!
Berkeley Heights Public Library
- Adult Book Group: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
- Friday, September 6 at 10:30 am
- Good Tyme String Band (All ages)
- Tuesday, September 10 from 10:30am to 11am
- Adult Book Group: Killers of the Flower Moon
- Tuesday, September 10 at 7:30 pm
- Craft to go: Paper Bag Squirrels (Pick up a craft kit to take home)
- Starting September 10
- Mother Goose on the Loose (Ages 0-24 months)
- Thursdays, September 12, 19, 26 from 9:30am to 10am
- Paper Plate Story Times (Ages 3-5)
- Tuesdays, September 17, 24 from 9:30 to 10am
- Italian Conversation Group (Informal Italian conversation group led by a fluent Italian speaker for teens and adults - beginners welcome)
- Wednesdays at 7:00 pm, starting September 11th
- Adult Book Group: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
- Friday, October 4 at 10:30 am
- Adult Book Group: The Haunting of Hill House
- Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 pm
Berkeley Heights has a long-standing tradition of being a scout friendly town with many chartered Scouting organizations for young men and women. Troop 68 has been in Berkeley Heights since 1934 and has produced more than 110 Eagle Scouts over the years. Troop 68 prides itself in giving back to the community and enabling young members to learn valuable life skills along the way. The Troop has something for everyone; from high adventure camping to STEM. They meet Mondays at 7:30 pm @ Mary Kate McMillan School (651 Mountain Ave). Scouts is open to all young adults age 11-17. Stop by and come check them out! For further information, please contact Scoutmaster Richardson at PeterRichardson.BH68@troopmaster.ema
Comments? Suggestions? Please send them to: BHCommunications@bhtwp.com