Waldwick Borough Council Tackles PFAS Litigation and Emergency Services’ Finances

At a recent meeting of the Waldwick Borough Council, a series of significant discussions were undertaken, with the borough’s engagement with law firm Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer for PFAS chemicals litigation taking center stage. This complex litigation, currently progressing in the United States District Court in South Carolina, saw a complaint filed on the borough’s behalf even before the resolution’s consideration during the meeting, signaling the urgency and weight of the matter. The chosen law firm expressed confidence in the process and advocated for the board’s continued support.

The meeting also delved into the finances of the local emergency service groups, particularly the Waldwick Fire Department. The department’s two primary funds, the “operating endowment” and the “Ackermann Sickness and Distress fund,” became focal points. Debates centered on the allocation of excess fundraising monies and the disparity between how the Fire Department and Ambulance Corps managed their funds. Concerns arose surrounding how houses were donated for training, with the board clarifying that this pertained to permissions for use rather than property transfers.

In the realm of public safety, Ms. Kathleen E. Cericola reported on the Fire Department’s 14 calls in August, and an informative Warrior Night Out event slated for October 20th. Meanwhile, Mr. Donald E. Sciolaro, addressing the board as a representative of the Public Safety Committee, detailed WALVAC’s response to 48 calls in July and emphasized support for their fundraising campaign.

Recreational and infrastructural matters also saw discussions. Mrs. Michele S. Weber touched upon the summer concert series and recent developments in sewer authority meetings. Michael F. Ritchie spoke about paving projects and sewer truck maintenance, as well as a forthcoming water treatment system project. Mayor Tom Giordano, reporting a generally quiet summer, underscored the necessity of timely resident communication, despite staff vacations.

The board also took the opportunity to remind residents about borough rules, emphasizing their importance for the public’s welfare. Traffic issues were highlighted by resident Mike McHugh, who sought updates on a previously mentioned traffic study. The board confirmed ongoing assessments and promised a subsequent update. Other public comments revolved around the cost of a new sewer truck and concerns about alcohol at children’s parties.

A series of ordinances introduced stirred reactions. Noteworthy among them were regulations for fire inspections for non-owner-occupied properties and salt storage regulations. There was also a bond ordinance pertaining to water system treatment improvements. Additionally, updates from Clerk Kelly and Grant Administrator Matthew addressed minute approvals, various resolutions, and a $15,000 grant related to the spotted lanternfly problem.

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