Borough Council Proposes Emergency Services System Revamp

In a recent meeting teeming with democratic spirit and progressive discussion, the Old Tappan Borough Council commended the stellar achievements of Northern Valley Regional High School’s 2023 golf team, while also delving into substantial community issues such as the reformation of the Low-SAP system for the fire department and ambulance corps, concerns about litter, low-flying aircraft disturbances, and traffic speed limits.

In a heartwarming nod to local talent, Mayor Kramer recognized the high school golf team as the North One Group Two sectional champions. The star player, Zhang Hyung Chun, was particularly commended for clinching the first spot in Group Two and ranking third in the state finals. Coaches Tom Quinn and Michael Schulman were also honored for their mentorship.

While the council celebrated local achievements, they did not shy away from critical community matters. The most significant among them was the proposed revamp of the Low-SAP (Length of Service Award Program). The system, which awards points based on service and engagement, came under scrutiny as council members deliberated on how to modify it to better reflect the dedication and efforts of the department members. The key proposed changes included assigning more weight to those who regularly attend emergency calls and increase points per drill to spur participation.

A pertinent voice in the discussion came from an unnamed participant who emphasized, “I am the low-step coordinator, so it has to, they come up with their suggestions, don’t sit down and go through them.” The sentiment echoed the council’s commitment to encouraging younger members to propose and implement changes actively.

Environmental concerns were also addressed, particularly the litter issue around Lake Carigan and Washington. The council discussed organizing a community cleanup event, possibly with the Boy Scouts. “Maybe we could organize a town event or a Boy Scout event, go in the backyard and clean up the litter that’s around there,” one representative suggested.

In response to growing unrest due to the disturbance caused by low-flying aircraft in the area, the council decided to form a committee of residents to address the matter. “I’ve noticed an increase in aircraft flying over all the band here…it’s really got the neighbors upset,” voiced a council member, echoing the urgency of the situation.

Traffic safety emerged as a hot-button issue, with resident Sherry Follower suggesting a reduction in the speed limit on Old Tappan road from 35 mph to 30 mph. Acknowledging the proposal, the council agreed to assess the feasibility of the change.

Furthermore, the council reviewed the police department’s recent activities, which included over 1,500 service calls, more than 300 vehicle stops, and a successful implementation of a state-awarded “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

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