FANWOOD – Long-time resident and community volunteer Dean Talcott was remembered this week for his many contributions to the borough, specifically when it came to the environment and, even more specifically, when it came to trees.
Mr. Talcott, who died last week at the age of 74, was a 48-year Fanwood resident who was a long-time member of the Shade Tree Commission and the Environmental Commission, a curator of the Fanwood Nature Center and documenter of all of the older trees in the borough by age and location. He also spoke to schoolchildren as part of the Union County Master Tree Steward program.
At Monday’s borough council meeting, Mayor Colleen Mahr called Mr. Talcott, “one of the finest Fanwoodians I’ve ever known” and an “all-around good guy.” Councilwoman Kathy Mitchell, who served on the Environmental Commission with Mr. Talcott, said his passing was “a terrible loss for everyone here in town.”
In other business, the council approved a new five-year animal control contract with Animal Control Solutions Inc. of Flemington. The contract, which runs from August 1, 2023 to July 31, 2028, will amount to $88,876 and be paid as follows: $6,675 for the remainder of this year, $16,668 in 2024, $17,340 in 2025, $18,036 in 2026, $18,768 in 2027 and $11,389 for the first seven months of 2028.
Councilwoman Patricia Walsh reminded residents that an anti-drunk driving effort by the police department is underway and will run until September 4. Councilwoman Mitchell encouraged residents with storm drains in front of their homes to try to keep them clear of leaves and debris before and after heavy rainstorms in an effort to keep stormwater flowing.
Council president Jeffrey Banks said construction of the new $8.2 million library “is coming along a lot faster than I thought,” with the roof now in place and furniture now selected. The project got underway in March of this year and is expected to be completed by next March.
Economic development director Liz Jeffery confirmed that “significant discussions” are being held for another restaurant to open at the site of the former Railside Café at the corner of South Avenue and Martine Avenue.
At the start of the meeting, Mayor Mahr announced the appointment of Vijay Sanghvi to the Shade Tree Commission and Nicole Haley to the library board of trustees.
The borough council’s next regular meeting will be on Monday, September 18.