Township of West Milford officials have asked Passaic County to help pay for a project to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking and seating needs at Bubbling Springs Municipal Park athletic fields. The total price tag for the improvement is $50,000. The park is located at 1428 Macopin Road.
West Milford officials have asked the Passaic County Open Space, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund to pay $30,000 of the bill. The township would be responsible for the remaining $20,000 if the grant is approved. The project was recommended to the council by the West Milford Department of Recreation and Engineering Division. Deadline for filing this year’s grant applications is March 18, and this was met by council action earlier this month.
The park has recently undergone improvements to athletic fields utilizing other Passaic County Open Space grant funding. In 2020/2021 the Passaic County Commissioners awarded a total of $3,255,475 in 2020/2021 grants to West Milford and other county municipalities. West Milford received $180,000 for restrooms and a septic system at Nosenzo Pond Park in the Bubbling Springs municipal park complex.
West Milford’s neighboring communities that received grants in that round were: Ringwood Borough – Skyline Drive/Erskine Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge $200,000; Bloomingdale Borough $125,000 for DeLazier Field grandstand and bathroom renovations and Wanaque Borough $200,000 for the Ace Walking Pedestrian Bridge.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law designed to make activities that most people take for granted accessible to physically challenged people. By making improvements, such as West Milford officials are planning to do, people with disabilities can better enjoy activities at the park with family and friends.
The county manages and provides grants to municipal and non-profit partners for open space acquisition, park development and historic presentation projects from the fund on an annual basis.
When received by the Trust Fund office, the applications are first reviewed for completeness. Then they go to the Open Space coordinator and Open Space Committee for a review. The panel reviews and rates each application on eligibility criteria. The quality of submitted documents and plans and the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed project are considered in the ranking. The panel also factors in any proposed interpretive programs and impact they have. A recommendation is made to the Advisory Committee and then the request goes to the Passaic County Board of Commissioners for formal action.