Has anyone but Amelia tried to piece together, from the public record, what is going on regarding the “South Street Water Project?” If you want information, that does not come from an idling truck or an end of driveway chat, how do you piece together what the “deal is” that has been offered to our citizens? If you want to address the Mayor’s criticism of his public “that it is too late to speak about something, and change it, at a township action/resolution second reading” then how does one go about edifying oneself to speak on an issue when it is just about impossible to figure out what the plan is? The meeting’s minutes from the planning board or the township committee should help me figure it out, but they don’t (or they are not approved in a timely fashion). Everything I have heard at regular town meetings has been about the “process of inquiry” about water on South Street but never “what the plan is.”

A public meeting, scheduled for March 20th, was cancelled.

And a public meeting a few months ago it was reported that the 8 residents affected by water in their yard and in their basement had received a tax reduction because of it. Now how exactly does that work? If you have water in your basement then you qualify for a tax break? Or does this only apply to 8 people on one street? What kind of unruly precedents are being set here?

From the township website: “It is our vision to create a virtual Town Hall to accommodate the needs of our busy residents whose schedules cannot be accommodated by our Town Hall’s hours of operation. It is our goal to provide as many services online as possible to meet community needs.”

O.K.; well here is Amelia doing her thing: The virtual town hall needs some work… in addition to the workings of the town hall. Here is yet another call for transparency. Let us know what the plan is!

And in the mean time, while I wait for someone to share some real information about what has been happening at the end of people’s driveways and in their private homes (not on the public record), here is a basic chorus from the NJ DEP regarding water issues:

Deal with water where it is, rather than trying to move it. If you move it, rather than deal with it where it collects, you create another problem downstream or to the left or to the right of your current problem.

One cannot help but think of levees being blown up along the Mississippi River this week to save one town, only to flood another down the way. If I put on my utopian thinking cap I imagine that since the township owns the land where the water is before it hits private lands why don’t we start a farm of some kind and harvest something that drinks water (like perhaps a controlled bamboo forest or some kind of exotic? If you google “plants that help with wet basements” or “plants that like their roots wet” you get a huge list of plants.) I am sure the DEP would give Frelinghuysenfolly a grant for plantings rather than have us channel or move water. But of course I have no idea what I am talking about because for the life of me I cannot research this issue through the public record.