The town’s pollination program, an initiative by the Environmental Department that helps honey bees pollinate local gardens, got a $1,000 boost from Walmart last week.
“They’re very, very important pollinators, so thank you, Walmart,” -Amamda Nesheiwat
Amanda Nesheiwat, the town’s environmental director, announced the store’s $1,000 grant to the town at the Jan 24 Council meeting. The money will help support the town’s “birds, bees and butterflies,” according to Neshiewat.
“They’re very, very important pollinators, so thank you, Walmart,” Nesheiwat said.
She also announced a number of upcoming programs that her department will be involved in. Her department will be installing four electric vehicle charging stations around town, to be used by residents who own cars such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Ford Focus Electric.
This was made possible by a $20,000 “It Pays To Plug In” grant from the Department of Environmental Protection. The stations will be located at the Recreation Center, Library, Town Hall, and municipal lot located on Center Avenue.
Another initiative includes the purchase of a rocket composter — a machine designed to recycle food wastes from catering or food services on site — through funds from a recycling grant. The composter will be used at Secaucus High School in the fall.
At the meeting, Mayor Michael Gonnelli awarded a local property manager who performed work on the town’s central shopping center with a plaque for his efforts. Eden Kongoli, who works for Oster Plaza Properties, was responsible for having the center’s facade work, brick work, awnings and other sections redone, according to Gonnelli.
“I can’t thank you enough,” Gonnelli said.
Gonnelli revealed that the town is currently planning out its own facade program, with Kongoli’s work serving as an example to build on. Town Administrator Gary Jeffas expounded further on the program after the meeting.
“What we’re trying to get together is a work in progress,” Jeffas said. “In the center of town, we have our business district. The town is working on a program to assist business owners in redoing their facades, for a more updated and uniform look.” According to Jeffas, the town would lend interested business owners something along the lines of a mortgage or minimum to no-cost loan for the work.
Fios is coming
The council also adopted an ordinance regulating and permitting Verizon-New Jersey’s use of the town’s public streets, roads, avenues, and highways to install local and through lines and communications facilities over the next few years.
Mark Bocchieri, director of external affairs for Verizon-New Jersey, thanked the board for adopting the ordinance.
When asked by the mayor when Verizion Fios will be available for the area (the company’s bundled internet, phone, and television service over a fiber-optic communications network), Bocchieri responded, “It’s coming. We’re in the pre-planning stages.”
Bocchieri further explained what residents can expect from this agreement. He said that while basic Verizon services, such as high-speed internet and phone service, are already available in Secaucus, Fios is largely unavailable, relegated to a small pocket around the city’s southern end. Fios will be fully accessible within the coming years, as work is done to install more Verizon infrastructure throughout the town.
Before the council adjourned, the mayor also mentioned the New Jersey Comfort Partners Program. The free, energy-saving and energy education program targets families with significant energy use, living at or below 225 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Eligible families can receive installation of cost-effective energy measures in their homes. These include energy-saving showerheads, efficient lighting products, and thermostats. The program runs through Jun 30. For more information, visit http://www.njcleanenergy.com/residential/programs/comfort-partners/comfort-partners or call at 1-800-915-8309.
“We need to get the word out on this, because this is a really good program,” Gonnelli said.
The meeting also featured a prayer for retired Secaucus Police Captain John Buckley. According to town attorney Keri-Ann Eglentowicz, Buckley passed away at his home in the town earlier this month. He previously had headed the department’s detective division for over 35 years.