We’ve all got those projects that continually get put off, some for far too long. Cleaning out the attic. Sealing the driveway. And what about replacing that old shed in the back yard?
In Little Silver, your Governing Body has been catching up lately on some chores, and we’ve had a little help from our friends in Monmouth County.
That old bridge on Seven Bridge Road, the one near Point Road School? It’s not news at this point that the County is replacing it. And we’ve now been told that, while they’re at it, the County will repave the entirety of Seven Bridge Road, which hasn’t been done in 19 years. Our thanks.
Our own Department of Public Works has been busy too. Well-maintained fields and parks, and now, freshly painted cross walks and other striping. Watch for the guys in the safety-yellow shirts, and be sure to give them a ‘brake’ when they’re doing roadwork.
Next to Borough Hall, a small building with restrooms, a picnic area, a concession stand, and storage space for the Department of Recreation and our Police Department is going up, with new, adjacent parking spaces. That’s right – finally, bathrooms for all those athletes who play on the fields and their fans, and for those who attend other large-scale gatherings there.
Over on Rumson Road, the tennis courts have been given what our Recreation Director, Doug Glassmacher, likes to call an “extreme makeover” for the first time since they were built over 35 years ago. The new surface and fencing are in, and a final paint job is scheduled soon. They’re tennis-worthy again.
At Sickles Park, the restroom facilities have been re-sided. Old and often decrepit wooden benches and picnic tables have been replaced with comfortable and more durable metal units. The walking track has been widened and covered with new crushed stone. And across the road at the Parker Sickles Homestead-1665, volunteers spent a few humid July days helping to rid the three barns of decades of debris.
You’ll see new tables and benches at the Markham Place Playground too. And irrigation wells are going in at Fire House Field (thanks to our able Fire Company for their cooperation with this project), Point Road Field (thanks to our friends in the schools for their assistance) and Memorial Park. That will mean better reseeding and improved regular maintenance.
Seems like a lot – but these capital improvements haven’t involved extravagant expense. And like that backyard weeding job or the leaky faucet, many of our projects had been put off for too long. No debt was incurred, nor any bonding done, and your Governing Body continues to operate as best it can on a fiscally prudent, “pay-as-you go” basis.
Of course, public projects like these cause occasional disruptions. For instance, PLEASE be patient with the inevitable pockets of traffic congestion during the Seven Bridge Road detour. There is simply no excuse, particularly with our schools back in session, for driving recklessly or too quickly. Our Police Department has targeted certain trouble areas for stepped-up enforcement to keep us all a bit safer.
In short, leave a little extra time to accommodate the detour. A little courtesy works wonders, for which we thank you.
I’d like to close with a request that everyone consult the Borough Website, www.littlesilver.org, for instructions on handling emergencies. Many of you responded to my letter with instructions on signing up for emergency alerts and ‘reverse 911’ calls; but if you missed it, it’s on the website. And a new post on the homepage offers instructions on hurricane preparedness.
I’d also ask that, in the future, you consult the website for this newsletter, and for regular updates and postings with town news. As we announced in July, in order to save money and alleviate the production burden, the borough is discontinuing the mailed quarterly newsletter, and instead will email it to those who sign up, with printed copies available at locations around town. The newsletter will also continue to be posted on the Borough Website. If you would like to receive a copy by email, please send your email address to email@example.com .
Thanks for reading down this far. As always, if you have questions or comments, or especially if you would like to volunteer in some capacity, please do not hesitate to call me at 732-576-8595, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to my borough email address, email@example.com . See you around town.
IMPORTANT FROM MAYOR NEFF: EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS
Dear Little Silver Residents and Businesses,
The recent water pipe failures at New Jersey American Water showed how the Borough of Little Silver can reach more residents, more quickly, in an emergency. But we need your help, so please read this letter to learn what you can do.
· SIGN UP FOR OUR CURRENT EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM. We have not used the former alert system, Nixel, for some time. If you still use that system, or are not signed up at all, please visit our website, www.littlesilver.org , and click on the Two River Alert System button on the left side of the page. You can sign up to receive text, email and phone alerts, and if you are already signed up, can test the system and make sure all of your contact information is current. Your family or friends who don’t live in Little Silver, but who may want to receive notifications about an emergency here, can sign up as well.
· TELL US ABOUT A SPECIAL NEEDS SITUATION. If you or someone you know may need special assistance during an emergency, please contact the Borough Clerk’s office at 732-842-2400, to supply the name, address, phone number, and the nature of the special need. To assist these residents, and to perform other tasks in an emergency, we are adding members to our Citizens Emergency Response Team. To volunteer for that team , please email OEM@littlesilverpolice.org with your contact information, or call the Little Silver Police at 732-747-5900, and ask for Officer Frank Salerno.
· BE SURE YOU ARE IN THE “REVERSE 911” DATABASE. Due to “operator error,” the water company placed emergency calls to all residents in every town except Little Silver during the recent water pipe failure, and their second attempt failed to reach a significant number of residents. We will make sure the water company fixes that problem. In the meantime, it will be our practice to always place our own “reverse 911” phone calls, whether or not another agency is already doing so. Our vendor automatically updates the call list with all landlines in town every six months, without the need to sign up. To include your cell phone, or a new landline, sign up for the Two River Alert System as instructed above.
· MONITOR THE WEBSITE. The town’s website, www.littlesilver.org , is always kept current by our web editor, but particularly so in an emergency. During the water company’s crisis, for instance, our website posted all emergency information available to us upon receipt, beginning Friday afternoon when we learned of the pipe failures. Please use that site (list it on your “favorites”), and any other sites or information sources it may provide, during an emergency.
Thank you for helping Little Silver to communicate with you in an emergency. If you have any questions, please call the Borough Clerk’s office at 732-842-2400.
Very truly yours,
Robert C. Neff Jr.
Mayor, Borough of Little Silver
Message from Mayor Robert Neff, Jr. May 2012
One of the duties of a mayor is to look beyond the town’s borders and establish relationships with neighboring towns, the county, and the state. At times, even the federal government figures in local events.
And so it did, recently, when I picked up a local paper and read that the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory at Sandy Hook is on the endangered species list. Known as Marine Labs, the widely respected federal institution is scheduled to close at the end of 2013, when its lease expires.
Marine Labs has had an enormous impact locally, especially through its association with educational institutions around the state and with high school students from Little Silver and around the county. I remember visiting the facility as a member of Little Silver Cub Scout Pack 3, and later as a local newspaper reporter, covering the arson nearly 25 years ago that destroyed significant portions of the lab and its scientists’ important work.
So rebuilding the lab after the fire was money well invested. It enabled the first federal scientific laboratory in the United States devoted to researching marine recreational species to thrive. Among other things, the research conducted at Marine Labs has been instrumental in successful efforts over the past several decades to clean up the ocean waters in a critical region extending from Long Island south to Cape May, including the New York Bight and coastal Monmouth County.
In other words, it’s one of the reasons that we can now go to the beach in one of the most heavily populated areas in the world, wade into the ocean up to our necks, and look down and see our toes. That wasn’t possible 30 years ago. What better place than this for an oceanographic institute with international clout?
The Borough Council recently passed a resolution urging the federal government to rethink its decision to mothball a facility so recently upgraded, and so important to the area – especially after the huge economic hole and brain drain left by the closure of another federal institution, Fort Monmouth. Through the Two River Council of Mayors, I was able to distribute our resolution to numerous other towns in the area, each of which supported the resolution and passed one of its own, as did the Little Silver Board of Education. We’ll pass on those resolutions to our friends in Congress in hopes of saving the 50-year-old institution for generations to come.
New Walking Trails:
Of course, most of the action in town government is purely local. Since my last message, the Borough Council supported an initiative by the Environmental Commission to increase the number of walking paths in wooded areas in town. The Commission, using grant money it obtained through the efforts of its chairperson, Rosemary Brewer, funded the creation of trails through wooded areas extending from the end of Woodland Avenue up through to Branch Avenue. The new walking trails will soon have signs identifying them.
Parker Homestead Moving Forward:
The Parker Homestead Committee has been meeting in earnest in an effort to move along the renovations of our historic gem, the Parker House. Among other things, the paperwork to create a charitable corporation has been drawn up by committee member Jim Berube, and the committee has begun discussing ways to more specifically define, and raise money for, the project. Led by its excellent chairman, Monte Edwards, the committee is working very hard to move this project forward.
Notification of Revaluation:
Lastly, residents will soon be receiving letters from a revaluation company. Little Silver and its neighbors, Shrewsbury and Fair Haven, were recently ordered by Monmouth County to engage in a town-wide property revaluation. That order, supported by the state Division of Taxation, was based on ten years having passed since our last revaluation, and on the discrepancy between fair market value and assessed value. According to state statute, property taxes must be based on market value, and so when the assessed valuation becomes disproportionate to market value, especially after ten years, the County orders a revaluation.
Property revaluations create uncertainty, since it is never sure whether a particular property’s assessment will go up, stay the same, or go down. Revaluations do not, however, mean that your local government is increasing (or decreasing) the amount of money it raises through taxation to pay its bills. In fact, the revaluation has nothing to do with the amount of money raised for municipal purposes, which your Borough Council remains committed to keeping as low as possible. Rather, its intent is to fairly distribute the tax burden based on actual market value of each property. This can be a complex issue, so if you have questions, please refer to the letter that will be coming out, or call our able Tax Assessor, Steve Walters, at 732-842-7039.
Stay In Touch . . .
In closing, if you have questions or comments, or would like to volunteer, please do not hesitate to call me at 732-576-8595, or to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , or to my borough email address, email@example.com . And please visit our website, www.littlesilver.org , for important updates and information.