Brush and Leaf Removal – 2017 Guidelines

BRUSH REMOVAL

Spring Brush Clean up – April 10th – 14th

Fall Brush Clean up – October 9th – 13th

Limbs/large branches:  1” to 4” diameter.  Place branches in neat piles with butt ends in same direction facing the curb. This material does not need to be tied.

Brush:  1” or less diameter.  Tie material in 3-4 foot bundles and place at curb.  Use string, NOT WIRE!

Do not mix with grass, leaves, roots, stumps, garbage etc.  This will not be picked up.

LEAF REMOVAL

October 16th – November 22nd

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.

All brush and leaves must be placed out at the curb prior to 8 am on the required dates.  Brush and leaves that are not picked up due to non-compliance with the above will become the responsibility of the homeowner.    

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

Meeting Feb. 9th on Master Plan Amendment for Highlands Conformance

On Thursday, February 9th at 7:00 pm, the Chester Borough Land Use Board will be meeting to discuss the Master Plan Amendment for Highlands Plan Conformance. The meeting will take place at the Chester Borough Municipal Building, 50 North Rd., Chester NJ. 
The public is invited to attend. The meeting agenda and associated documents can be found at the following link:

Taxes due February 1st

Taxes are due February 1st with a grace period until February 10th. Please have payment to the Tax Collector’s Office by that date as we don’t accept postmarks. If you have already paid your taxes, thank you.

For your convenience, we have installed a secured lock box at the front entrance for after hours payments.

Borough and Township to Share Police Services

Chester Borough Mayor Janet Hoven and Chester Township Mayor William Cogger signed an agreement on December 20th, 2016 whereby the Township will provide all police service for the Borough.  The six Borough officers will become employees of the Township.  This agreement will go into effect on January 1, 2017.  To read the agreement, please go to the end of this article for the link.

As of January 1, 2017, The Chester Borough Police & The Chester Township Police Department will become The Chester Police Department. There will be no disruption of services and we will continue to provide the highest level of dedication to all residents of Chester. As of March 1st, 2017, the non-emergency phone number, 908-879-5626, for The Chester Borough Police Department will no longer be operational. This number will be forwarded to The Chester Police Department until that date.

If you are a resident or business in Chester Borough and have a Home Security Monitoring or Medical Alert system, please notify your security company of the phone number change.  The non-emergency phone number for The Chester Police Department is (908)-879-5514.  If you have an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

Click here to read the agreement.