Fair Haven Council Greenlights Mcarter Pond Restoration and Debates Waste Management

In a recent session, Fair Haven Borough Council approved the allocation of $200,000 in the capital improvement fund for the restoration of Mcarter Pond through Hydro Raking and associated upgrades. This environmental action aims to address invasive species removal and public land restorations in the Natural Area. Amidst this decision, the council engaged in rigorous debates on the management of solid waste and recycling. The discussions revolved around the impending expiration of the current contract and the consideration of various options, including three-year and five-year contracts, to meet the borough’s needs.

With a substantial amount already spent and a portion of the project ahead, the council weighed the options of obtaining quotes from vendors for phase two. The dialogue addressed whether to go out to bid or use the quote process and the possibility of volunteering efforts to halt the pond’s deterioration manually. The issue of invasive species in the Natural Area was also a concern, with the council considering the use of remaining funds for their removal.

Waste management was another focal point, as the council deliberated on the best approach for the town’s trash and recycling services. The expiration of the current contract sparked a discussion on the requirements for a new bid. The council examined different contract lengths, the need for detailed information for bidders, and the possibility of introducing recycling downtown. The environmental impact and feasibility of enhanced recycling services, including the idea of a “carry in, carry out” policy for parks, were hotly debated.

The council also addressed the frequency of waste collection services, with proposals ranging from maintaining current schedules to reducing pickups to once per week. The aim was to minimize truck traffic and maintain clean streets, while also considering cost implications and service flexibility. The idea of in-house pickup for specific areas was suggested to better address local needs, such as pet waste management in parks.

The meeting took a community-centric turn with the discussion of the Farmers Market. The council approved the event, emphasizing insurance, street closures, and garbage removal logistics. Ensuring minimal impact on DPW resources, the Farmers Market is anticipated to add vibrancy to the town while being managed responsibly.

Environmental concerns were a recurring theme, with the council delving into the Environmental Commission’s 2023 annual report. Topics such as stormwater management, shoreline stabilization, and green team collaboration were on the agenda. The issue of deer mitigation was particularly contentious, as members debated the merits of a controlled hunt versus other methods like public education and alternative deterrents.

The council also contemplated the establishment of an environmental round table, aiming to enhance coordination among various town committees, commissions, and boards. The structure and purpose of this round table prompted concerns about its potential overlap with existing liaisons and the clarity of its reporting and decision-making processes.

In addition to environmental and waste management topics, the council dealt with a range of community issues. The Fair Haven Business Association was granted permission to post thank you signs, and the foundation of Fair Haven reported on upcoming events, securing approval for sign placements. The council also discussed street lamp repairs on River Road.

Public engagement was evident during the meeting, with residents weighing in on the proposed “take in, take out” policy at the transfer station, the frequency of recycling collection, and the impact of the farmers market on local traffic and park conditions. Residents also voiced concerns about the deer population’s effect on safety and the environment.

As the meeting progressed, there was an acknowledgment of the fire department’s commendable response to a vehicular crash and fire. Additionally, the Fair Haven Foundation’s upcoming fundraising event for community initiatives was announced.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Josh Halpern
City Council Officials:
Elizabeth Koch, Tracy Cole, Michal DiMiceli, Kristen Hoey, Andrew “Drew” LaBarbera, Brian Olson, Allyson Cinquegrana (Borough Administrator)

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