Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Emergency responders graduate from seven-month training.
Some seven months and more than 40 hours of training later, 11 Washington Township volunteers were certified to be official members of the town’s Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.). Washington Township Police Department facility operator and Office of Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator Jim Smith took the reigns on interviewing members of the group and giving volunteers the proper training and coursework necessary to be certified by the state. New Jersey’s Emergency Response Specialist Captain Howard Butt commended Smith, along with Bruce Clark, for adding 11 more residents to the state’s 20,000 volunteer emergency responders. “Now comes the hard part,” Butt said. “To get up at a God forsaken time and help others. These …
Monday, September 17, 2012
Township committee sees recurring problems in first year of communications arrangement.
A year after Washington Township switched its emergency dispatch system over to the county command center, the municipality’s governing body says things aren’t going as planned. “(The county dispatch system) clearly isn’t working as well as we want them to,” Mayor Ken Short said. Short mentioned there was a mix-up in communications with an emergency call at Cobblestone Fields recently, which only adds to a growing list of gaffes between the county and township. A letter from the attorney representing the Washington Township Police Benevolence Association Local #301 has been sent to the county regarding communication problems as well, Short said. “I’ve heard from some of our guys the problem is the inconsistency,” Vice Mayor Bill Roehrich …
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Six weeks after private firm takes on duties, online presence gets new look.
Less than two months after Washington Township outsourced its Webmaster position to a private firm, the municipality’s online presence has undergone a radical facelift. The new Webmaster, Scott Gaskill, has redesigned the site to feature town announcements, events and messages from the Twitter feed. Gaskill, the Information Technology director for Mt. Olive Township, is under contract with Washington Township through his private business. To see the redesigned site, go here. Highlights of the redesigned site include a map of Washington Township noting specific businesses, parks, and municipal buildings, as well as archived and recent Eagle and Gold Award projects from the Boys and Girls Scout troops in town. Staples from previous …
Friday, August 24, 2012
Historic storm made residents band together to help during natural disaster.
Weathermen and women on every television network, radio station and webcast said she was coming. And she was coming with a fury. Usually, they’re wrong or overreacting. But for Hurricane Irene, which touched down in New Jersey Aug. 27, 2011, they were spot on. Washington Township saw firsthand what too much rain and wind in too little time can do to a wooded, rural area. There were floods not seen in 100 years, water rescues in the center of town, and homes devastated by the storm’s fury. And–brace yourself–Long Valley became stronger for it. Now a year later, at least I think so. We had fair warning of the storm coming our way, and alerted readers with as much information as possible by posting this story. Little did we know, Irene was …
Friday, August 17, 2012
YouTube search shows variety of flooding and damage videos taken during and directly following natural disaster.
On the final weekend of August in 2011, Hurricane Irene touched down in and around Washington Township, devestating roads, homes and businesses for days and weeks to follow. Power was lost for many residents for as many as eight days, while some stores needed to remodel and homes were nearly destroyed by the impact. As the one-year anniversary nears, we're diving back into the immense amount of media–photos and videos–of the effect that legendary storm had on our area. Click on each YouTube video here to see what residents were able to capture. If you'd like to upload your own photos or videos from Hurricane Irene, go here.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Community Advisory Committee continues exploration of extra classroom space of enrollment projections come true.
The Community Advisory Committee, constructed by members of the Washington Township Board of Education, is preparing to draft a report of its findings to present to the school’s governing body in September. The group, which has been meeting monthly but not convening in August, was tasked with finding different ways–if any–to make up for a potential enrollment drop of 500 students over the next five years. That projection was made in the fall of 2011, when a private demographer studied various economic factors and established a potential decline of 20-percent of the district’s current enrollment. The committee, made up of volunteers from the community, encompasses parents, empty-nesters and residents without children alike, and has met six …
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Nearly two-thirds of arrests made on non-Washington Township residents.
Washington Township Police have made a total of 60 arrests for individuals with controlled dangerous substances or driving while intoxicated over the first seven months of the year. The data, spanning Jan. 1 through July 31, shows 38 total arrests have been made for individuals in Washington Township with some kind of illegal drug—controlled dangerous substance—in their possession. Another 22 were arrested for driving while intoxicated inside the Washington Township Police jurisdiction, which includes the borough of Califon. A large percentage of those arrests, however, have been of individuals who do not live in Washington Township. Police arrests for driving while intoxicated charges included 64-percent transients, while 63-percent of …
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Arbitrator finalizes agreement, retroactive to 2009.
After nearly two years of sitting on an arbitrator’s desk, a contract has finally been settled between Washington Township and the Washington Township Police Benevolence Association Local 301, ending a four-year contract drought. Retroactive to July 1, 2009, when the last contracted ended, new salary guides and raises have been implemented in the settlement, along with other negotiations both sides came to terms on. The five-year contract shows pay increases of 2.5-percent in 2009, from effective July 1 of that year; 2.25-percent in 2010, effective July 1 of that year; 2-percent in 2011; 1.75-percent in 2012; and a 1.5-percent raise in 2013. All increases will be compounded year over year. “There were some parts we were happy with, and …
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
East Valley Brook and Wehrli Roads to be milled, paved in coming weeks.
Two major road paving projects in Washington Township will take place simultaneously this summer, with detours provided for drivers that are expected to last no longer than a month. A one mile stretch of East Valley Brook Road–from East Mill Road heading west–and the second portion of Wehrli Road, which was not completed last year, are expected to be completely milled and resurfaced beginning on Monday, July 23. Mark Paving from Clifton will be completing both projects. Hours of scheduled work times are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. By contract, the work must be finished by Aug. 24. Earlier this year, Washington Township received a Department of Transportation grant in the amount of $210,000 to be specifically used for the East Valley Brook …
Monday, July 16, 2012
IT employee Bob Kelly won't stay on board until Aug. 1 when private firm takes over duties.
Washington Township Information Technology employee and webmaster Bob Kelly won’t work in his position any longer, after township committeemen asked he stay on until Aug. 1, when his role was being outsourced. Kelly, who was informed by the governing body at a July 11 work session meeting that his position had been eliminated, has worked in the township full time for nine years. His role in operating the town’s website, along with Califon Borough’s website, will be in the hands of Scott Gaskill, the IT Director for Mt. Olive Township. The new setup won’t be a shared service, however, as Gaskill will take on the duties under his own private business, committeeman Tracy Tobin said. The committee had hoped Kelly would stay in his position …