Stop Work Orders Issued on Former Apple Ridge and One Lake Street: On Thursday, July 11, 2019, we had a significant rain event with flash flood warnings in effect. Our Construction Official and Borough Administrator were on site at the former Apple Ridge site and witnessed runoff onto Carlough Road. Hay that was in use to restrict runoff, had been swept off the property by the force of the rain and clogged the storm drains. DPW was called in as well. The hay was removed to clear the drains and sand bags placed. A portion of the silt fence had fallen down. This project is under the jurisdiction of the NJ DEP (who has stated they consider the site fully remediated and the matter closed) and the Bergen County Soil Conservation District.
As a result, Mayor Minichetti, our Borough Attorney, Construction Official, DPW Superintendent, Zoning Officer, and Borough Administrator held a meeting with Toll Bros representatives and Boswell Engineering.
Although Toll Bros brought up the fact that it was a significant rain event, shortcomings were addressed.
Unfortunately, although there were no issues Wednesday, July 17, another severe storm on Monday, July 22 resulted in runoff again. Although this was another significant storm with heavy rainfall and flash flood warnings, this is a residential neighborhood and is unacceptable. Toll was on site as was Boswell Engineering and our Construction Official for both storms.
As a result of this, Mayor Minichetti met with our Borough Attorney, Construction Official, DPW Superintendent, and Borough Administrator the following morning. As a result, Boswell Engineering was directed to issue a stop work order immediately for both sides of the project – Mahwah and Upper Saddle River. Work has also been stopped at One Lake Street. The order demands that all work be halted other than work required to further stabilize the property. A follow up meeting is scheduled with Boswell and Toll on Wednesday, July 24. Mayor Minichetti has personally spoken with Mayor John Roth, who is in complete agreement with our actions. Mayor Roth will attend the meeting.
Although we have met with them many times already, we will be meeting with NJ DEP, Bergen County Soil and NJ DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife. Bergen County Soil was at the two sites on Tuesday, July 23. It was the NJ DEP who allowed over 100 acres of land to be cleared at the same time. All concerns raised to any of the state or county agencies have been met with reassurances that everything is being done according to protocol.
In addition to the stop work order, the following has been put into place:
Toll and Boswell will have staff on hand during any expected rain event. The silt fence was repaired and will be closely monitored. Snow fencing will need to be re-installed in the fall
The Borough has supplied Toll with a list of residences affected. They have agreed to obtain DEP permits, clean and dispose of any sediment related to the project.
Hay mats were installed replacing loose hay which are heavy and less likely to be swept away by extreme rainfall.
Toll drove and walked the Pleasant Brook with USR’s Construction Official along the stream to the Saddle River confluence and met with several property owners along the way. Contact info for Toll was distributed to those they met. Business cards were left in doors for those that were not at home.
Toll met with USR residents to discuss the condition of their pond and opened a dialogue so they can contact Toll directly. Others will have similar meetings.
Toll met with a resident near the Carlough runoff. Toll has agreed to his request to power wash his front brick parking area.
Toll prepared a statement, with a website and phone numbers which will be made available to the residents regarding the project. This way all concerns can be addressed quickly by Toll. This will be made public in the next few days as they are making sure the phone and website are operational.
Costs incurred during the storms due to personnel being called in will be reimbursed by Toll.
We have required additional escrow from Toll Bros.
We will continue to monitor and update residents via SwiftReach, the Borough Bulletin and Borough website, www.usrtoday.org.