Passaic County approves $30K aid for Greenwood Lake while state delays vote

West Milford. While Passaic County is stepping up to approve Greenwood Lake funding, the state has not yet scheduled a vote.

Oct 09 2019 | 04:36 PM

While the chairman of the New Jersey division of the Greenwood Lake Commission waits for an approved $30,000 check from the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders to arrive in the mail, he hopes that Trenton legislators will follow suit and approve funding the commission requested from the state.

GLC New Jersey Chairman Paul Zarrillo said he is thankful to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders for its recent action to pass a resolution approving $30,000 for various programs for Greenwood Lake for the current year.

In its resolution approving $30,000 for the GLC, the freeholders noted that neither the state of New York nor New Jersey gave the GLC the means to raise revenue for lake programs.

As happy as the GLC is with the county gift, Zarrillo and other GLC members said they are frustrated that the pending Bill A-3804/S 2167 for the state to annually fund $500,000 for the lake projects, continues to lay dormant in the New Jersey Appropriations Committee.

The money would come from vessel registration and renewal fees.

Zarrillo said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) has refused to bring the bill up to be heard and voted on.

He asked residents to contact Coughlin and other legislators to take necessary action.

Coughlin’s phone number is (732) 855-7441, and his office is located at 569 Rahway Avenue in Woodbridge.

Sponsors of the bi-partisan bill are Republican Representatives Jay Webber and Betty Lou DeCroce and Democrat Representatives John McKeon, Nancy Pinkin, and Thomas Giblin.

It is the General Assembly Speaker who decides the voting schedule for the assembly, which bills will be considered, appoints committee chairmen and generally runs the assembly agenda.

The bi-partisan bill for the annual $500,000 funding for Greenwood Lake was introduced April 5, 2018.

On Jan. 24, 2019, it was reported to be out of the Assembly Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

In the resolution adopted on Sept. 24 to provide $30,000 for lake programs, the freeholders said they are committed to protecting and enhancing health, safety and welfare of all residents of Passaic County to the greatest extent practicable.

“The board is mindful of the vital role played by recreation and outdoor activities in promoting the quality of life within the county and its constituted municipalities,” the resolution said. “It is the important component of recreational offerings of the county as well as a significant benefit to the local economy.”

The board is aware of continuing programs and efforts of the Greenwood Lake Commission, a bi-state agency created by New York and New Jersey, to protect and enhance recreational and economic aspects of the lake for both residents of the area and citizens of both states, the document said.

West Milford officials requested the $30,000 from the county and administrator in June and County Administrator Anthony J. DeNova III recommended approval.