Wednesday, August 17, 2016
PMUA Renames Fair for Eric Watson
The Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority's annual Environmental Fair will be renamed the Eric C. Watson Memorial Environmental Fair in honor of the authority's original executive director, who served in that role for 16 years.
At Tuesday's PMUA meeting, attorney Frank Borin read aloud a resolution recounting Watson's leadership, starting with the authority's creation in 1995 and in dealing with many challenges as it developed.
He had been the city's director of Public Works & Urban Development before initiating the PMUA and returned to that title in September 2014.
He died unexpectedly at age 59 on July 17 at home.
The fair provides education to the community on environmental topics, as well as fun for the family and free food in the sylvan setting of Library Park.
In other action, the board of commissioners approved renewal of Chief Financial Officer Duane Young's contract and discussed new services as well as some concerns.
- At the League of Municipalities conference in November, the PMUA will promote use of its spot liner sewer repair service to other municipalities. The spot liner method permits repair of a broken pipe without digging holes.
- In another business move, the authority has two new customers, local private haulers who bring waste to the Rock Avenue transfer station, and is reaching out for more. The selling point is that it is closer than facilities in Elizabeth and although the fee is a bit higher, trucks are not tied up making a long haul to the east end of Union County.
- The authority is working on an "'EZ Pay" billing system for customers for their convenience .
- In a new arrangement, the authority will let the Union County Mosquito Control Bureau into the transfer station to spray. The bureau sprays near the station every other week and will now increase protection from mosquito-borne disease by spraying inside.
An ongoing concern is getting residents to roll back containers from the curb after they are emptied. A notice on the PMUA website reminds people that service in summer may begin as early as 3.a.m., so containers should be placed at the curb after 8 p.m. on the night before scheduled pickup. Once emptied, they should promptly be removed from the curb to prevent rolling into the street. If an inspector comes across a container that needs to be rolled back, the property owner may incur a rollback charge;
PMUA Executive Director Daniel Mejias said the authority receives anonymous letters regarding failure to comply, but officials can't respond to let the writers know they followed up. Mejias said people are cited every day for failure to comply, and the PMUA will have to be more strict to gain compliance.