Verona Council Passes Bond for Capital Improvements
Young township resident expresses concerns about inorganic pesticides used on township athletic fields.
The Verona Township Council passed a bond ordinance Monday night calling for various capital improvements throughout the township.
Council member Jay Sniatkowski called the ordinance an “aggressive plan” which allows for drainage improvements on Cole Road, reconstruction of drainage structures, inlets and manholes, reconstruction and resurfacing of various streets as well as sidewalk replacement, removal and replacement of shade trees, purchases of several vehicles and the purchase of standby emergency generators.
The total cost for the capital improvements is $2,592,000. The township will receive an expected $210,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. In addition, $108,738 is expected as part of a community development block grant. The ordinance also authorized the issuance of $2,501,500 in bonds and notes to finance the remainder of the cost.
During the public portion of the meeting, 10-year-old Nina Machnowski of South Prospect Street addressed the council expressing her concerns about the town’s use of pesticides and fertilizers applied to township athletic fields.
Recently, Machnowski and her soccer teammates had practice on Linn Drive only a few hours after the field was treated with pesticides.
“There were a few pesticide warning flags on the field, but my mom didn't see them until she picked me up after practice,” she said. “None of the parents were notified before or after the pesticide application.”
Machnowski and her parents expressed concern inorganic chemicals have been known to “kill fish on contact and are absorbed through the skin.”
Several council members, who also have children playing on Verona's athletic fields, said they were taking her request very seriously.
“I want residents to know that we are aware and are very much on top of this,” said Deputy Mayor Bob Manley. “The health, safety and welfare of anyone using those fields, particularly our children, is paramount.”
The council plans to contact a third party from the Rutgers Turf School to do an analysis and ensure the fields are safe and healthy for kids to use, he added.