During the Manager’s Report at the Dec. 4 Scotch Plains Conference Meeting, it was proposed that the council increase the emergency appropriation funding from $500,000 to $800,000 to cover the additional costs involved in Superstorm Sandy cleanup.
At the Nov. 20 council meeting, the amount of $500,000 was approved for cleanup and removal of debris left behind by Sandy, but at last night’s meeting Councilman Mickey Marcus felt the $300,000 increase was sprung on the public and council without any warning.
According to Township Manager Henry Underhill, the additional $300,000 specifies leftover tree trunks that are the township’s responsibility. He added that the reason he hoped the increase would be voted on that evening is in order to have all the costs in by the end of the year so that it does not take away from the 2013 budget.
Additionally, according to both Underhill and Mayor-Elect Kevin Glover, the township is hopeful that 75 percent of the costs will be reimbursed to the town by FEMA.
Mayor Mary DePaola noted that during the initial survey of the damage done to the township from Hurricane Sandy, they estimated the cost to be nearly $1 million. She added that she was not completely surprised now that the amount has increased to be closer to the original estimate.
Since Marcus felt strongly about having little time from hearing the information to having to vote on it, the council decided to table the vote until the Dec. 18 meeting.
Also on the note of cleanup, Underhill said that so far the town has cleared 21,000 cubic yards of debris from the roads. As the township finishes up debris pickup they will then move to leaf pickup.
Underhill stated that any road that already has had debris picked up would not see another pickup. Within the last 12 days he said that crews have noticed that streets which have already been cleared have been filled again with new debris.
“At some point we have to draw the line,” Underhill said. “And maybe they will have to hold on to it until spring cleanup.”
A list of streets that have not been completed is available on township's website. If your street is not listed, that means it will not be revisited.