The cleared up rumors about what the property behind Arch Street and leading to the Pequannock River could be used for after a transfer of the property to the Passaic River Coalition is finalized.
The transfer has been in the works for the past several years, but the borough is still attempting to resolve a few encroachments on the property. Borough Attorney Robert Oostdyk said a second round of letters to the residents whose properties have the encroachments would be going out.
After a resident approached the council and said that he had heard the area by the river was going to be used for passive recreation and would possibly include walking trails, Oostdyk said that right now, the plan is for an accessway to the river to be made from Arch Street so that the Coalition could get to the river, and so that people could access the river without having to go through residents' yards. At this time, he said, a walking trail is not being considered, although it could be considered by the New Jersey Green Acres program at a later date.
Sherry Bednarz-Mosier, an Arch Street resident, said she went to her neighbors and asked if she could help them with their encroachments, as she would like to see the project move forward.
"I went out to the residents and asked if they needed help," she said.
But Borough Administrator James Lampmann said Bednarz-Mosier should have informed the borough that she was speaking to her neighbors about the project and offering to help with the encroachments, as miscommunication may have resulted about plans for the project.
"When these discussions go on and somebody in the office isn't aware, this is what happens," he said.
Arthur Soules, another Arch Street resident, also said he had been told by neighbors that the property would be used for passive recreation, though Bednarz-Mosier said she was simply telling neighbors about the accessway as a representative of the Coalition.
"We were just out there as a community offering our help," she said to the council.
Mayor Robert Alviene said the mayor and council has to be abreast of the communication as well.
"We have to know, as a group, what's going on," he said.
Megan Soules approached the council and spoke about garbage that was left on the street after the last Clean Communities clean up of the property. Councilwoman Judy Woop said that she thinks there was a miscommunication about picking up the garbage, but as of Monday, the garbage is now gone.
Woop, the liaison to Clean Communities, said she started the Clean Communities initiative in 2004 and that once they saw the property behind Arch Street, they wanted to clean up the area.
"We started to unearth the natural habitat and it was wonderful," she said.
Clean Communities began working with the Coalition in 2006, she said, and they decided to work on cleaning up the area, which used to hold a park. Now that the transfer of the property is in the process of going through, Woop said, "I think that that's a wonderful thing for the good of the people and the environment."
Several Arch Street residents are holding a garage sale on July 16 and 17 to help raise money for the Coalition for the project. The sale will be held at a home on the street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.