Annual Tree Lighting and Visit with Santa

The 30th annual Tree Lighting and Visit with Santa will take place on Sunday Dec. 3rd at the Gazebo on Main Street in Chester. The tree lighting marks the official start of the holiday season in Chester. Musical Entertainment will be provided by the West Morris Mendham HS Saxophone Quartet, Brass Choir,​ and chorus beginning at 5:00pm. Santa arrives via firetruck courtesy of the Chester Volunteer Fire Company at approximately 5:20pm. Children are invited for individual visits with Santa to share their holiday wish lists. All from the community are welcome to join us for this free event.

Leaf Pickup extended until Dec. 1

LEAF REMOVAL

Leaf pickup has been extended to December 1st. Leaves must be out before 8 am on December 1st for pickup. This is for leaves only.  Brush pickup ended on October 13th.  There will be another pick up in the spring.

Leaf pick up is only for residential properties. No mixed use or commercial proprieties will be picked up; leaves need to be removed immediately.

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Please place leaves in piles behind the curb line.  Leaves should not extend more than 2 feet into the street.

Leaves cannot be closer than 10 feet from the storm drain as per NJDEP regulations.

Leaves will NOT be picked up if: put in bags, mixed with grass, sticks or garden debris.

Leaves that are not picked up due to non-compliance with the above will become the responsibility of the homeowner.    

JCP&L Offers Halloween Safety Tips 

Trick or Treat is here – the time when little ghosts, goblins and, most likely, vampires, zombies and a superhero or two, will run door-to-door, excitedly collecting treats from their neighbors. FirstEnergy Corp.’s utilities would like to remind all participants in this honored and fun tradition to include safety as part of their plans before the big night arrives.  

FirstEnergy suggests participants limit their travels to well-lit, familiar areas, and never go trick-or-treating alone – it’s less fun and less safe. Also, be sure costumes are visible after dark and that costume masks don’t block the vision of the wearer. Carrying a flashlight or including reflective material or glow sticks as part of a costume improves visibility for all.  
Motorists also should use extra caution during trick or treat hours, especially on narrower neighborhood streets without street lights.  

Additional safety tips include:  
• Don’t use open flames in jack o’lanterns or other Halloween decorations. Battery or electric-powered tea lights or glow sticks in jack o’lanterns are much safer than candles.  
• Wear flame-resistant costumes and never walk near lit candles or other open flames.  
• Keep walking areas, steps and porches well-lit and free of obstacles to avoid falls. 
• Wherever possible, use established crosswalks and look both ways before crossing the street.  
• Inspect all treats before consuming to assure they have not been tampered with.  
• Decorative lights should be approved by Underwriter’s Laboratory and carry a UL seal on the tag. Red UL marks indicate the lights are approved for indoor or outdoor use, while green UL tags indicate approval for indoor use only.  
• Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into outlets that feature Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).  
• Indoor lights should not touch window treatments, carpet or furniture.  
• Place all lights on a timer if you’ll be away from home, and turn off all lights before you go to bed.  

Additional recommendations to stay safe this Halloween can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, www.cdc.gov/family/halloween 

Helicopter Inspections for JCP&L in October

Starting on FridayOctober 13th (weather permitting), Chesapeake Bay Helicopters will be performing UV/IR patrols on the 500kV and 230kV and will also be performing Routine Patrols/Inspections on the 115kV lines in JCP&L. Chesapeake Bay Helicopters will be patrolling JCP&L territory full time until the inspections are complete. The patrols are estimated to take 7-10 days to complete and will be carried out by the following helicopters:
N90TJ – Black & Silver, Hughes MD500 
N748CB – All-black Hughes MD500 
A routine patrol/inspection is a general, overall look at the transmission line and associated hardware. The helicopter will be traveling at speeds of 25-30mph and may at times hover over top of structures and/or spans of conductor to get a better look at any problems/issues found during patrols. 
An infrared (UV/IR) patrol is similar to a routine patrol in terms of speed (20-30mph) but special equipment mounted on the bottom of the aircraft is used to get a detailed look at the conductor, insulators, shield wire, and their associated hardware through the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum. 
It should be noted that the contractor has been authorized to patrol the transmission circuits in their entirety (i.e. “breaker-to-breaker”), so patrols on certain lines may therefore extend into the neighboring regions. The flight crew provides information on their daily location to both Transmission Lines Maintenance and the FCC, and the pilot will be in communication with any local airports when in their airspace. 
If you have any questions please contact your local JCP&L Area Manager. 

Ambulance Services

From Chester First Aid Squad President Cassandra Cline:

As many of you already know the First Aid Squad (FAS) has been utilizing Atlantic Ambulance for almost a year now for our daytime calls when volunteers were unavailable. Meaning, if squad members cannot get to a call, Atlantic would support us by responding to the call. This was done in an effort to provide quicker response times to the members of the community. Most of our members have full-time jobs which prevents them from running calls during the work day. Many years ago, Chester was a one income family community with people working in town. This is not the case in 2017. We recognize the need to put the people of Chester’s needs before our own. We want to make sure the community is afforded excellent care, along with quick response times. This in no way, lessens or negates the heart and soul of our volunteers. We are still the same highly trained and dedicated volunteers you know and respect. At this time we need help making sure we continue with a high level of care, Atlantic will help us achieve this. We are still volunteering, we are still training, and we are still available for the community. We do not plan to go anywhere!

To be able to better serve the community during the daytime hours, the FAS is testing the following plan for a TRIAL PERIOD OF 3-6 MONTHS-

*Atlantic Ambulance will be stationed in Chester. This will allow them to respond to Chester calls Monday-Friday, 5:45am-7pm.
-The first and second calls out will be handled by Atlantic, should a third call go out volunteers will be activated.
*The FAS will handle calls after 7pm and on weekends.
*Atlantic does bill for their services which is covered by many insurance companies. By federal law, they cannot change your deductible if you have one. If you do not have insurance at all, Atlantic can work with you on managing their fee.

The squad is trying to see if this system better serves the community. We will re-evaluate this system each month.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via our website.

If you live in Chester and are able to join the squad as an EMT, please reach out to us via our website to join. We love to have new members!! Especially daytime hours!

Thank you,
Cassandra Cline
President

Larison’s property – update

**Update 6/7/2017 The Larison’s application has been postponed until further notice.**

From Mayor Hoven 6/1/2017:

There has been some public discussion about the Turkey Farm property, triggered by a pending land use board application for a demolition permit for the Sunnyside building on the property.  This is appropriately in the hands of the Land Use Board.  However, discussions and proposal for the redevelopment of the Turkey Farm property have been on-going for over 15 years.  It has been the subject of litigation three times.

The current litigation concerns an appeal by the property owner of the Highlands Council conferring plan conformance status to the Borough, and an objection of the Borough’s COAH (Affordable Housing) plan which is pending in Superior Court. The latter has cost the Borough a significant amount of money, which resulted in a property tax increase this year, rather than a reduction.  The Court has ordered the parties to mediate and has encouraged the parties for find an amicable resolution of the litigation. The Borough remains open to settlement negotiations with the property owner, but at this juncture, a comprehensive plan which includes Mill Ridge Lane has not been submitted for the governing body’s consideration.

Any discussion about the negotiation process is privileged and must remain confidential pursuant to the rules of mediation.

Take our Communications Survey

Chester Borough would like to be able to reach all of its residents in order to communicate information in a timely manner. Please let us know your preference about you would like to be reached by filling out a short survey with your contact information. Please open this post and click on the link in order to take the survey. Thank you!

Click here to take the survey.

Radon Detection Canisters Available

The Bernards Township Health Department has radon detection canisters available for Chester Borough residents in single-family homes who would like to test their homes for radon gas. The kits are $10 each, and must be picked up at their office at 262 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that comes from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in soil and rock. Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings through pumps, pipes, and drains. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to radon may cause lung tissue damage in a way that can eventually lead to lung cancer. Any home might have elevated levels of radon even if neighboring homes do not. Testing your home is an easy method of detecting high radon levels, and homes with high levels can be mitigated. Winter is the best time of year for testing radon since it is heating season and all windows and doors are closed.

For more information, contact: ckomline@bernards.org or call (908) 204-3069 or click here.

Information about Prescribed Burns in NJ

From the NJ DEP

The New Jersey State Forest Fire Service advises residents that its seasonal prescribed burning program – which reduces wildfire risks by burning away the buildup of undergrowth, fallen trees and branches, leaves, pine needles and other debris on forest floors – is underway. Residents are advised that they may see large plumes of smoke in areas where these controlled burns are being conducted.

Prescribed burns will take place through the end of March, conditions permitting. These burns are generally conducted during the winter – especially toward the late-winter months – to minimize the amount of smoke produced, and when weather conditions tend to be safer for controlled fires.

“Prescribed burning is an important tool in keeping our forests and other wildlands safe and healthy,” said Bill Edwards, Chief of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. “These burns are conducted only under exacting conditions by highly trained personnel. By burning them away now, we can reduce the risk of these materials serving as tinder for wildfires later in the year. This practice also improves the overall ecological health of our forests and grasslands.”

The New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry will provide as much notice as possible of prescribed burns through its Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests. The public may also contact the State Forest Fire Service at (609) 292-2977 about the prescribed burning program and where burns are expected to be conducted. When in doubt about the source of smoke or fire, call 9-1-1 or 877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337).

The peak wildfire season in New Jersey typically begins in middle to late March and runs through late spring, when the weather tends to be dry, windy and warmer. This also is the time of year when forest canopies and undergrowth have yet to leaf out, making forest debris more susceptible to the drying effects of wind and sunshine.

Because of the types of trees and shrubs it supports, the sprawling Pinelands region of southern New Jersey is particularly susceptible to wildfires and is typically the focus of much of the prescribed burning activity conducted by the Forest Fire Service.

During prescribed burns, Forest Fire Service personnel use hand-held torches to set smaller fires to burn away fallen leaves, pine needles, fallen branches and other debris on the forest floor. The personnel take into account wind, moisture and other conditions. These prescribed fires do not reach the forest canopy or cause significant loss of mature trees as wildfires do.

While the annual burning program began late last year, the Forest Fire Service is entering peak season for controlled burns. The Forest Fire Service expects to burn between 10,000 and 20,000 acres of forests and grasslands this season, depending on weather conditions. Most burns take place on state-owned property, such as state forests, parks and wildlife management areas.

“Prescribed burning has been a successful wildland fire mitigation tool used by the Forest Fire Service since the 1920s, protecting property, lives and infrastructure by creating defensible space around developed areas and strategic fire breaks that help the Forest Fire Service quickly contain wildfires,” said Richard Boornazian, DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources.

In 2016, the Forest Fire Service responded to 1,065 wildfires, 75 percent of which were a quarter-acre or smaller. The largest was a 464-acre fire in Bass River State Forest in Burlington County.

Roads in areas where burns are taking place are clearly marked. Motorists traveling through these areas are advised to observe posted reduced speed limits and to be alert to the presence of trucks and Forest Fire Service personnel. During the burns, firefighters employ best management practices to control smoke impacts, but nearby residents and forest visitors should expect temporary smoke.

For more information on wildfires in New Jersey, steps you can take to protect your property and other resources, visit: www.njwildfire.org. For more information on New Jersey’s Statewide Forest Resource Assessment and Strategies, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/forest/docs/NJFSassessment.pdf.

Storm info from JCP&L

From JCP&L:

JCP&L reminds customers to immediately report any downed wires to the company, or their local police and fire department.  Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity.  Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris.  To report downed wires or power outages, call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), or click the “Report Outage” link at www.firstenergycorp.com.

At JCP&L we’re providing more ways for our customers to report outages and check the progress of our efforts to restore service. We’re the first electric utility in New Jersey to offer outage reporting on our Facebook page. Now JCP&L customers have four easy options:
* Visit facebook.com/JCPandL and click the “Report an Outage” tab
* Sign up for text messaging with us and text “OUT” from your mobile phone
* Visit our 24/7 Power Center on www.jcp-l.com using a smartphone, tablet or laptop
* Call 1-888-LIGHTSS
To learn more visit www.jcp-l.com/connect