Wild Plant Growers May Be in Violation of New Law
Residents with invasive vegetation will be required by a code enforcement officer to remove or abate the plant
The Township Committee unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance requiring residents to control the growth of invasive plants such as bamboo otherwise they may be in violation.
“There are ways to plant these things so they don’t evade on neighboring properties,” Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said. “We’ve had several problems over the years with bamboo especially.”
Sometimes residents plant bamboo, ragweed, poison ivy or oak, or other invasive plants on private property that grow to evade the neighbors yard, Laureigh said.
“The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the public health through the control of the growth of invasive plant species,” the ordinance states.
The ordinance defines invasive plants as “all native and non-native vines and vegetation that grow out of place and are competitive, persistent and pernicious.”
The invasive plants may damage trees, vegetation or structures, it says. The ordinance refers to bamboo, ragweed, multi flora rose, kudzu-vine and poison ivy or oak as examples.
If a resident does not control the vegetation beyond the boundaries of their property, they are in violation. A code enforcement officer would conduct an investigation.
If there were invasive vegetation, the code enforcement officer would write a violation requiring the owner to remove or abate the plant within a specified time.
If the owner fails to comply, the code enforcement officer may remove or control the invasive plant and the township would recover the cost.
A second reading of the ordinance will be done at the next Committee meeting on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
In other news at the Committee meeting...
- The Committee approved the second reading of an ordinance setting salaries for the Fraternal Order of the Police (superior officers). The contract gives the superior officers a .25 percent non-retroactive increase in salaries for 2011 and a 2 percent increase for 2012-14 for the superior officers of the Fraternal Order of the Police. This was contractual and for sergeants, lieutenants and captains. Longevity for new hires was eliminated. Story to follow.
- The Committee approved a second reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 211 entitled “Land Development Fee.” The amendment says that the board can determine as to whether a Certified Appraiser will be needed to provide professional services. If necessary, the developer will have to post additional escrow deposits to cover the expenses of the board in conjunction with the professional certified appraiser. The costs are set throughout the chapter.
- The capital budget for 2012 was amended adding the demolition of the nursing home. The demolition will cost $240,000 and the money is coming from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Story to follow.
- The Committee awarded a contract for the Laurel Boulevard improvement project to F & P Contractors. The bid came in at $386,178.20 but the township bonded $420,600 including engineering costs. A $200,000 Department of Transportation grant will help fund the project.
- The Committee awarded a contract for the 2012 CDBG Roadway Improvement Project for the connecting streets between Williams Avenue and Vaughn Avenue. The project was awarded to CJ Hesse with a bid of $150,161.07. The township bonded $234,000 but the project came in $30,000 less than anticipated. The township will be using a $32,000 grant.
- The township awarded a contract for the Rescue Pumper for the Lanoka Harbor Fire Company. The bid came in at $439,625. The department received a $280,250 federal grant and the township will bond for $159,375.