From Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee:
Happy Labor Day! Below is a Tropical Storm Ida Update and Labor Day message from Mayor Frank McGehee. Please disseminate as you see fit. Thank you.
I hope that this communication finds everyone safe after last Wednesday night’s storm Ida. Throughout our community people continue to address flooding that impacted their home or business.
Wednesday night’s storm lasted only eight hours but caused significant damage. Our community had so many heroes who put themselves in harm’s way in dangerous conditions as our residents were urged to shelter in place – from our police officers such as Justin Moen and Giovanne Cruz, to our public works team led by Cesare Riccardi, to our firefighters like Alejandro Colatruglio and Anthony Fortunato. There were also volunteers who stepped up like resident Ed Meade. Their heroism is greatly appreciated by everyone and during Thursday evening’s Township Committee meeting, we will formally recognize them.
As I toured our community on Thursday and Friday to assess the storm’s impact from College Hill to Hilton to Midland Boulevard to Lightning Brook to Golf Island and our business districts, every neighborhood was impacted, but despite the damage it was encouraging to see neighbors and residents helping each other.
I want to recognize the untimely passing of our Maplewood family member. We were saddened to learn about their death and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones. We are also saddened by the loss of a couple who were beloved professors at Iona College. They were the parents of one of our Maplewood families. We ask that everyone lift them up in your prayers while respecting their privacy during this difficult time.
The Township held an emergency management meeting on Friday to begin a full assessment of events during the storm and damage to town property and facilities. Four police cars and one fire department vehicle were lost as our police and fire departments responded to over 200 calls and conducted approximately 40 water rescues. Water damage to our municipal facilities and property included The Woodland, Civic House, playgrounds and courts, the municipal pool, Main Library Building, and our Memorial Park bridges.
Ida was much more intense than predicted – another example that climate change is real. As a municipality we will continue to identify and implement safeguards both pre and post storm to stay safe.
Maplewood Bulk Drop Off request and pick up
As part of the Township’s commitment to assist with clean up from the aftermath of Ida, we will conduct a one time bulk pickup for Ida-related damaged items only. The town will conduct the pickup program similar to our leaf pick up program.
We will start with section 6 (from the west side of Ridgewood Road up through the reservation) on Thursday September 9th after Rosh Hashanah and work our way section-by-section down to section number one (Springfield Avenue heading east).
At this time, we’re not going to provide finite dates but ranges because we’re not sure about the amount of material that needs to be picked up as each section might take a day or two.
Please find below a link to our township webpage which has the leaf map so you can see which section your home resides in town and plan accordingly.
Memorial Library Closed
As a result of flood damage, our Main Library will not reopen to the public before our construction project begins. Please visit our Hilton Branch at 1688 Springfield Ave. https://www.maplewoodlibrary.o
Township Committee Meeting
Please be advised that out of respect for Rosh Hashanah we will hold our Township Committee meeting this Thursday September 9th at 7:30pm instead of Tuesday. We will cover several topics / discussion items including the petition regarding the turf grass fields, the need for a rehabilitation study with regard to the Gleason Cleaners location, our Community Board on Police ordinance, Outdoor dining and parklets, and Cannabis adult use regulations released by the state.
September 11 event
At 8:30 am on Saturday September 11th, we will hold a 9/11 remembrance event outside the Hilton Branch Library at 1688 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood. Please join us as we pay our respects to those who lost their lives on that day.
Back to School
On behalf of the township committee we want to wish all the families in our community a successful and safe school year. Please find below a link to the school district returning to school information.
Although we experienced a very difficult week as a result of Ida, the COVID pandemic is ongoing. As of Friday evening we have 1732 confirmed cases and have had 15 cases since September 1st. If you have not been vaccinated by now, please do so – unless you are immunocompromised or abstaining for religious reasons. Also when going indoors strongly consider wearing a mask if it’s not required. Thank you.
Happy Labor Day
The meaning of Labor Day is to pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. Without a doubt, American workers have and continue to be tested throughout the pandemic. Whether it’s working on site in uncertain conditions as an essential worker, learning new technologies to facilitate work from home, home schooling or working while caring for aging parents and loved ones- I salute our residents of Maplewood for your resolve at this unprecedented time. Happy Labor Day.
To everyone in our community who celebrate Rosh Hashanah – Shanah Tovah. May this year be filled with health and happiness for you and your family.