Belleville Township Manager Kevin Esposito and Deputy Mayor Steve Rovell attended the Essex County Environmental Commission’s Storm water Roundtable at the Rutgers-Newark campus recently.
The Essex County Environmental Commission is dedicated to creating awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and its relationship to Essex County residents, according to the commission’s website.
The Belleville duo learned “different strategies” to help with the subjects of flooding and collecting rainwater as part of the roundtable, according to Rovell.
“With flooding, we learned about preventing flood infiltration by using more porous land,” Rovell said. “We also learned how to better collect rainwater so that it does not flood low-lying areas.”
The information interests Belleville residents who face flooding. Fairway Avenue residents have come to Township Council meetings for decades to complain about flooding problems on their dead end street near the Second River.
Gary Hinton has led his Fairway Avenue neighbors efforts to gain relief from constant flooding. His neighbors continue to complain about thousands of dollars in damage to their basements during steady, heavy rainstorms and the loss of momentos, among many stories of loss.
Rovell said, “Fairway Avenue has been in a floodplain for a long time, and will continue to be, but we’re always looking for ways to help.”
Esposito said he was contacted by county officials and invited Rovell to come along and report back to the full Council.
The two met with Tara Casella, Director of the Essex County Environmental Center; Thomas Pietrykoski, Chair of the Essex County Environmental Commission, and Amy Rowe, who presented the roundtable.
Rowe is the Environmental and Resource Management Agent of Essex and Passaic Counties, and comes from the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.