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Fall 2014 Newsletter
Police Department -- Back to School Safety
As a new school year is upon us, please be mindful of children and our Crossing Guards in the school zones throughout the Township.  Our Crossing Guards work very hard to ensure your child's safety to and from school, and your attention to the speed limits through school zones will be very much appreciated.
Please talk to your sons and daughters about the dangers of speeding through our Township.  Remember:  Speed Kills, and it could be someone you know.  Speeding also becomes very expensive, costing you increases in your insurance and possible suspensions through the New Jersey MVC.  In addition, be mindful of the provisional driving laws for 17 year old drivers.  The Pequannock Police Department has a zero tolerance policy for provisional driving violations.  Remember to always buckle your seatbelt and do not talk or text while driving unless you have hands free capability.
The Police Department has ordered new pole mounted radar speed limit signs to be posted in various locations throughout the Township.  It is the hope of the Police Department that these signs will be helpful in suppressing excessive speeds in commercial and residential areas.  The Police Department has also ordered a new radar trailer which will have the additional feature of displaying messages such as "slow down".  It will also be utilized to supplement the variable message board that is currently in operation.  All requests for the radar trailer can be made through the Police Department Website


Fair Housing

Affordable Housing gives those low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to purchase affordable housing within their means. During the purchasing process, eligible income is discussed and reviewed. According to COAH (Council on Affordable Housing) listed below are some of the eligible and ineligible income considered when a household is purchasing affordable housing.

Eligible Income

  • Wages, salaries, tips, commissions
  • Alimony
  • Regularly scheduled overtime
  • Pensions
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment compensation
  • TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • Verified regular child support
  • Disability
  • Net income from business or real estate
  • Interest income from savings, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and investments

...and any other forms of income reported to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

Ineligible Income

  • Rebates/credits received under low-income energy assistance program(s)
  • Food stamps
  • Payments received for foster care
  • Relocation of assistance benefits
  • Income of live-in attendants
  • Scholarships
  • Student loans
  • Personal property (ex. Automobiles)
  • Lump-sum additions to assets (ex. Inheritances, lottery winnings, gifts, insurance settlements)
  • Part-time income of persons enrolled as full-time students
  • Court ordered payments for alimony or child support paid to another household shall be deducted from gross annual income


In addition to averaging the last three years of household income, prospective purchasers must project their income for the current year. Using their current paycheck stubs, households would use the gross income in calculating the total household's yearly income.


As always, should you have any questions regarding the Affordable Housing Program of Pequannock Township, please call 973-835-5700, ext. 198 or email Gail DeGraw at

Pequannock Township Public Library



For all Programs,  Visit the Library Website


Adult Computer Classes

Ready to search the Internet?

We are here to help!


Learn on the Library Patron Computers


Introduction to Computers

Thursday, October 9 at 9:30am

Searching the Internet

Thursday, October 16 at 9:30am

Using the Library Website

Thursday, October 23 at 9:30am


Bring your own laptop, iPad or tablet

Come and work at your own speed with supervision available.

Thursday at 11:30 October 9, 16, 23


Registration Required- Limited Space

Call 973-835-7460 x5 (Reference)

Pequannock Township Residents Only.





A Home, a Community, a Doorway to the Past

By:  Christopher Lotito, Historic District Commission















  • In pleasant Pequannock, a stony silent sentinel stands stalwart beside the bustle of Route 23. The Martin Berry house stands upon a small knoll, shaded by ancient trees, looking much the same as it has over three centuries, and watching progress go by. The culmination of Dutch architecture, a vast composition of local stone masonry and rough hewn beams from trees which predate the formation of Pequannock, such monuments to rural life are often lost but never left behind. Today the Martin Berry House exudes a quiescent quality of gentle grandeur which is at peace with the wooded acres that surround it. Modern buildings need to shout in proclaiming architectural glory, while historic homes are content instead to act as a backdrop for agrarian family life.


    Farms, Families, and Beginnings


    Lost to the annals of history, the construction of the Martin Berry House, as it stands today with its one and one-half storeys and basement, dates back to the early 18th century. During that era it was common to construct a new house on the occasion of a marriage, such as that of the Samuel and Catharine Berry in 1720. It is tempting to imagine some grand history forgotten, but the truth is likely more humble in nature. A wing here, a smokehouse there, walls and roof added to what was once cold-storage, this is how such buildings are birthed, gently into the world.


    The property was once a sprawling 55 acres of farmland, which has been whittled over time to less than three acres in a quiet suburb adjacent to the arterial NJ Rt. 23. The building consists of one and one-half storeys with a full basement, an attached smokehouse, and an attic. The home is of center-hall construction with the front facing South and both a West and East wing. Constructed predominantly of stone masonry, with a great deal of large rough-hewn timber visible in the ground-level basement, the building has seen blessedly few modifications over the preceding three centuries, though one or two stand out in memory. Notably, some of the stone masonry has been covered with white stucco and columns of unclear age have been added to the front porch. These modifications may have been intended to provide the impression of a Greek-revival style of architecture. The building is also situated on a hill, with part of the basement at ground-level, much like the construction of a bank-barn of that era, and which greatly facilitated its use as an antiques store during the middle part of the 20th Century.


    By the time the property was constructed, the Berrys (then known also as the Preakness Berries) were not new to the region, being descendants of Samuel Berrie (d. 1702) who had married Catharine Martense Ryerson at Flatbush, Long Island March 31st 1690 then settled in Pompton around 1695.


    The first record of the Martin Berry House occurs in an ante mortem Deed of Gift, granting property from the estate of the deceased to a beneficiary, dated September 9th 1784. The deed conveys the property from Martin Berry to his grandson, Henry Berry, bypassing Martin Berry's deceased son, Peter. The document describes the property conveyed as the farm on which grantor then resided, a 12 acre lot adjacent to the "great turn" of the Pompton River, and "the Houses and buildings thereon erected." The use of the property was reserved for Henry and his mother Sussannah for the remainder of her life with allowances for the property to be split among Martin Berry's others heirs should Henry pass away without an heir. Catrena Berry, wife of Martin Berry, also signed the document, giving up her right to inherit the property.


    In 1806, the Newark and Bloomfield Turnpike, also known as the Newark-Pompton Turnpike, was established by Israel Crane. Parts of this thoroughfare would one day become modern NJ Rt. 23. While the roadway originally followed the path of the modern day Newark-Pompton Turnpike through the center of current day Pequannock between the schoolhouse and the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains, later changes would put Rt. 23 at the border of the Martin Berry property.



    The 19th Century


    On July 27th 1833, Henry Berry Senior willed the Martin Berry properties to his youngest son, Henry H. Berry, who occupied the residence for the following decades.


    On April 1st 1862, Henry H. Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, sold the Martin Berry properties, then totalling 55 acres, to James Graham of Paterson, NJ for a sum of $6,000. The properties were subsequently referred to as the Graham Farms through the 1920's. In 1872, the Pompton Plains Railroad Station was located just a half-mile west of the Martin Berry House, rendering the home fortuitously close what was then a major transportation hub, while preserving it from the rigors of passing locomotives.


    Fourteen years later on August 1st 1876, James Graham and his wife Eliza who were then living in Wayne, sold the western 20 acres of the farm, including the Martin Berry House, to Mary W. Dwight of Montclair for $6500. Some short 3 years later, on September 16th 1879, after moving to Reigelsville Pennsylvania, Mary W. Dwight sold the property to Pompton Plains Station Agent, Civil War Veteran, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient James R. Evans for a sum of $2250.


    Records indicate Evans was leasing the property prior to his purchase. James R. Evans was not only one of the more distinguished owners of the house, once having served as postmaster in addition to his legitimate status as a Civil War hero, but also had the distinction of working as a Railroad Agent at the Pompton Plains Railroad Station. That station is located along a track of railroad that likely traversed the rear of the Martin Berry Farm when the Berry's holdings were somewhat larger.



    The 20th Century


    James R. Evans and his wife Julia A. Evans (nee Kinsley) later conveyed the property to Lockwood R. May for $5,000. On April 16th 1916 the property was deeded from William H. May to Warren C. Eberle and his wife Ellis.


    From 1921 until July 1st 1938, the property was owned by Ludlow C. Meeks and his wife Louise and operated as the "Old Stone Inn." Foreclosure proceedings at that date saw the property transferred to the ownership of Home Owners Loan Corporation who sold the property into private ownership, where it remains as of 2014.


    An entrance to the Martin Berry property from Jackson Ave. was once flanked by two stone pillars which were remnants from the old "First Church of the Plains," originally located in present day Wayne Township (est.1760). That church had operated from 1760 to 1771, a result of a schism in the church, and was decommissioned after the founding of the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains and the reconciliation of its congregations. In the 20th century, Mrs. Andre Graham permitted those pillars to be removed by Charles Breen and George Bogert so that they could be placed on the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains property in memory of the now lost "First Church of the Plains." Those pillars now rest in the grass between the church house and sanctuary of the First Reformed Church, a modest monument to that religious reconciliation.



    Preservation Efforts


    Since 1973, the Martin Berry House facade and exterior features have been protected from modification by 22 separate deed restrictions. The well-preserved nature of the largely unaltered historic structure has allowed the Martin Berry House to be listed in both the State and National Historic Registries.


    In 1976, the Morris County Heritage Commission placed a marker at the site of the Martin Berry House which reads, "Built by Martin Berry (1693-1784) son of the first family to settle Pompton Plains. Only Pre- Revolutionary building substantially unaltered in Pequannock Township."


    Potentially predating Wayne's "Dey Mansion" (1740), and A contemporary of such venerable historic sites as former NJ governor's mansions, Trenton's "William Trent House" (1719) and Princeton's "Morven" (1730), the Martin Berry House truly is a legend in its own right. While progress marches on and NJ Rt. 23 becomes more developed each year, the Martin Berry House stands quietly, a place where residents can see where we've come from.

                                          *  *  *  * 



The township has an opportunity to purchase the Martin Berry House and preserve it as a House Museum. Purchase funds would come from the Morris County's Open Space Trust fund, Historic Preservation Trust, and tax dollars already allocated for historic preservation. Residential taxes would NOT be affected by this purchase.


A volunteer group called Friends of the Martin Berry House is working on a plan to sustain the House Museum for future generations. The museum will offer educational programs and social events that seek to inform us about our past. To show your support, attend the Township Council meeting on October 14th at 7PM in the municipal courtroom when the Friends present their case to purchase the house. Find out more at 


Note that the house is currently a private residence. Please respect the owner's privacy.





Engineering Department Update

Summer Fun


Each year the summer seems to go by a little faster than the last. This year was no exception. The good news is several projects were successfully completed, mostly in advance of the school year. Over a mile of new sidewalk is constructed on the Boulevard; the West Franklin improvements are complete, Greenview Pond has been restored, and the rain garden at the library is complete. Here is an update on each:


West Franklin Reconstruction - I suspect folks have looked forward to the completion of this project for a while! Now complete, we have fielded questions regarding the road profile and drainage. West Franklin is known as a very flat road from end to end. Previously, there were no curbs with flat profiles feeding each inlet. Furthermore, this area is served exclusively by seepage pits attached to the storm drains. In order for the top of curbs to match existing lawn areas, the road had to be lowered and sloped to each inlet while maintaining the sanitary manhole elevations at each intersection. The result is a somewhat exaggerated rise and fall throughout. The resulting profile promotes positive drainage to all inlets thereby eliminating puddles and water flowing into driveways. Visually, the road looks a bit like a roller coaster, but actually provides for safer drainage and driving speeds. The safe speed limit for West Franklin is established at 30 MPH. At this speed, driving is comfortable. However, if you are speeding in this area, the drive might be uncomfortable. Hopefully the profile will promote lower speeds and ultimately a safer street for the residents.


Boulevard Sidewalks - A little more than a mile of sidewalks were constructed. The project included ADA compliant curb ramps, driveway aprons and miscellaneous curb replacement. Sidewalk sections that were not constructed from Sunset Road to Lincoln Park Road are planned for the summer of 2015. Upon completion of the next section, the Boulevard will have sidewalks throughout.


The pond at Greenview Park was cleaned and restored. Special thanks to the Morris County Mosquito Commission (MCMC) for the fine job they did at no expense to Pequannock.   MCMC obtained all necessary NJDEP permits, provided dredging equipment, and all the labor needed to remove generations of muck. All the fish and turtles were relocated prior to dredging.


The Township DPW completed the restoration after the dredging. The bottom of the pond was lined with sodium bentonite, a natural sealant that is used for sealing recreational ponds. It works by swelling of the bentonite particles to stop the leak. Bentonite will not stop the leak immediately. Some seepage is expected from 60 to 90 days after the material is applied. Generally, the leak is slowed within 45 days due to underlying conditions.


The water is clear and you can see the tan bentonite material along the bottom as well as fish, frogs and turtles. The existing fire pit is connected to the new ADA compliant deck. The deck is designed so a person using a wheelchair or other mobility device has the opportunity to comfortably fish. The area is topsoiled and seeded for fall/spring growth. Later this year or next year we intend to construct an ADA compliant path from the parking lot to the fire pit/deck.


The long discussed rain garden is complete! The sustainable function of the garden helps clean and store runoff from the 24,000 square foot library parking lot. 28,000 gallons of rain is infiltrated back into the ground preventing the water from contributing to potential flooding. The Township was fortunate to have an Eagle Scout candidate (Brian Van Wart) spearhead the construction. Clearly, Brian was central to the overall success of the project. The purchase of material, advertising and project planning was completed mostly by Brian. Brian directed the construction with the assistance of about forty volunteers to successfully construct the garden in six (6) hours. This project provided outreach to a diverse group folks ranging from ages 8 to 80. Several scouts helped with the planting. Local contractors, business owners, senior citizens, master gardeners, helped.




Sewer Construction Update





Romondt Road Construction:  Construction will continue from Village Road near the pump station along Romondt Road.  Due to the high water table, the depth of construction and difficult subsurface conditions, work will move slowly through this area.  In an effort to move as quickly as possible, the work trench will be secured and covered each evening, but not filled in.  The road ill be closed overnight at the point of the trench, and residents will need to detour around to access their homes.  Individual notice will be provided to impacted homeowners when the exact construction schedule is established.


Related Construction Activity:  The section of sewer line along Sunset and Leeland has been completed and tested.  The service connection to PV School was made before the start of the school year.  Sidewalk and curb repairs are underway along Sunset Road where service laterals were installed.  Final resurfacing on Sunset and the Turnpike will not occur until next year to allow adequate time for the patching to settle and obtain the best quality in the final road surface.








 Mayor's Message    

Summer is over and school is back in session. We had a hot summer and PV Park swimming was terrific this season. We look forward to another great opening season next year. 

The Township Council has announced the planned appointment of a "Solid Waste Advisory Committee" to review bid specification and recycling collection services. Interested residents should submit a completed Volunteer Citizen Leadership Application form to the Township Clerk no later than September 30, 2014. The form may be found at:


The American Legion Post 242 in Pompton Plains celebrated their 80th Anniversary of the Post's founding. The community thanks American Legion J.H. Lookhoff Post 242 for their commitment to mentoring youth and sponsoring athletic, service and civic programs, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and advocating on behalf of military veterans. Next time you see a veteran, thank him or her for their service to our Country.


"A Day We Will Never Forget"... September 11th, 2001. The community came together for the annual remembrance ceremony in front of Town Hall. Thank you to Pequannock UNICO for organizing this ceremony for the victims and families of 9/11. Thank you to the American Legion Posts 242 and 450 who participated and also helped organize and run the event. Thank you to the Boy Scouts who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and thank you to Perry Russo, Eastern Regional Dg Chair for chairing the ceremony and Bob Diana, the President of Pequannock UNICO for his remembrance story. We would also like to thank Reverend Kathleen Chase of the First Reformed Church, Reverend Paul O'Donnell Duggan of Good Counsel Church, and Reverend Thomas Mangieri of Holy Spirit Church for leading us in prayer and remembrance. A special thank you to Haley Grimes for singing our National Anthem and for singing a tribute song entitled "There's A Hero". Thank you to all of you who came together as a community in remembering all those whose lives were lost that day. We will never forget our Pequannock Township residents who perished that day. We remember, Francis Deming and Mark Zangrilli. They will never be forgotten and will forever be in our thoughts and prayers. May God Bless those who are no longer with us, bless those who are here that they may carry on, and continue to bless our troops all over the world. God Bless America.

The Township was deeply saddened by the passing of Mace Koroski of this Township. Mace served as a foreman within our Department of Public Works and worked for the Township for the past 39 years. Mace will be missed.

The community mourns the passing of Don Van Dyke, a distinguished member of this Township for over 65 years. Don proudly served for 6 years in the US Army Signal Corps. He was an active member of the First Reformed Church for over 54 years and served as an elder and a Senior High advisory. Very active in his community, Don was a member of Pequannock Fire Engine Company #1 for 54 years, the Silentia Lodge #168 F&AM Masonic Lodge for 34 years, and the John H. Lookhoff American Legion Post 242 for 24 years. Don also served 21 years on the Pequannock Township Board of Education. Don will sadly be missed.


The community also said goodbye and mourns the passing of David Cox, a longtime resident of this Township. David proudly served as a 1st Lt. in the US Army. He was active in political activities in the community and the county and served as Mayor of Pequannock Township in the early 1980s. David attended the First Reformed Church and was a member of the American Legion Post 242. Dave will be missed.


On a much brighter note, members of the Volunteer Fire Company 2 in Pequannock helped celebrate Jack Lowe's retirement from the Fire Dept. Jack was a member of the Fire Dept. for over 66 years, joining in March of 1948. He was a Lieutenant for Company 2 for many years. Members of the Fire Dept., the community, and the Town Council paid tribute to Jack's service to the Township. The Pequannock Town Council presented a Proclamation to Jack for his service to the community. Jack will be moving to North Carolina, where his son currently lives. We wish Jack the best and will miss him!


Now for a project status update. SEWER CONSTRUCTION UPDATE -

 The section of sewer line along Sunset Road and Leeland Ave. has been completed and tested. The service connection to PV School was made before the start of the school year. Sidewalk and curb repairs are underway along Sunset Road where service laterals were installed. Final Resurfacing on Sunset and the Turnpike will not occur until next year to allow adequate time for the patching to settle and obtain the best quality in the final road surface.


The sewer construction along the Newark Pompton Turnpike, in the business district, is almost complete. Construction along Jackson Ave. continues. Traffic will be detoured around Evans Place. Local traffic to businesses will be permitted to the extent that safe distances can be maintained around the work area. Due to the nature of the work and the layout of some of the driveways, access to individual parking lots will be blocked for periods of time. Pequannock Township Police Officers will be on site and available to assist motorists and pedestrians to their destination in a safe manner. Customers and Clients to local businesses are advised to allow an extra 5 minutes for travel and parking. Business and property owners are encouraged to work together and be permissive of customer parking in adjacent lots. By working cooperatively, we will be able to minimize the inconvenience to everyone in the community.


Construction continues from Village Road near the pump station along Romondt Road. Due to the high water table, the depth of construction and difficult subsurface conditions, work will move slowly through this area. In an effort to move as quickly as possible, the work trench will be secured and covered each evening, but not filled in. The road will be closed overnight at the point of the trench and residents will need to detour around to access their homes. Thank you for your patience as we work through this important project.


Additional De-snagging work along the Pompton, Pequannock and Wanaque Rivers will begin shortly. This is work that was funded by the joint grant award received earlier this year from DEP.


A DOT Grant application will be submitted this fall for improvements to Mountain Avenue between West Parkway and the Boulevard.


The Jefferson Street reconstruction project is expected to start this month. The existing railroad crossing by also be removed. Anticipate completion to be end of November.


The liner of the Pond at Greenview Park has been repaired. The 40 year old liner made it difficult to hold water. A Sodium Bentonite coating was used which forms a new clay liner. The curing process takes about 60 days. In order to provide immediate habitat for acquatic wildlife, tree branches and green masses were placed in the pond intentionally. We anticipate the liner to be stable in early November.


All concrete work has been completed on the Boulevard sidewalk reconstruction project from Sunset Road to Ackerson Avenue on the west side and from Sunset Road to Tilley Avenue. Sidewalks, driveway aprons and ADA compliant curb rams are completed. Final restoration is underway which includes placement of additional topsoil and seed, as weather permits.

The 2014 road resurfacing program is complete. West Parkway from Jacksonville Road to Chilton Hospital, West End Ave. from Mountain Ave. to Saddle Drive, Tunnis Place, Riverside Drive Elmwood Ave., and portions of Beech Street received a 2" overlay.

The Engineering Department is currently evaluating options to complete the proposed athletic field at Washington Park. Anticipate construction in the summer of 2015.

For a detailed list of current project updates go the Engineering Department page on the Township website at:


The Township has been awarded $100,000 under a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program for Energy Sustainability. These funds will be used to install generators at additional locations that do not currently have them. Of the 10 locations that were identified that needed new or replacement generators after Hurricane Sandy, 4 have been completed and 2 are under construction. This grant will support our effort to complete all locations within the next two years.

The Farmers Market is winding down for the season and was a success. The Farmers Market ended their season on Thursday September 18th. If you did not have an opportunity to stop by this year, please look out for what I hope will be another successful Farmers Market next year. Thank you to Parks & Recreation for bringing the "Farmers Market" to our community.

Please be safe when driving around town. There has been quite a few complaints about "Speeding" through the Township. The initial project design is underway for improvements that came out of our "Walkable Communities" study. These proposed changes include various traffic calming measures including, but not limited to, laddered crosswalks, parking stall changes, lane striping, and additional signage.

It is a pleasure and honor to serve my community. What makes our community so great is the volunteerism all our residents show in this great community. Please feel free to contact me anytime at 973-809-4401 or e-mail me at if you have questions or concerns.



Mayor Melissa Florance-Lynch


                                                2014 Fall Leaf Schedule


The Township of Pequannock, Department of Public Works will begin the 2014 fall leaf collection program throughout the Township during mid October. The Department of Public Works needs your cooperation. Please do not park vehicles in such a manner as to block the leaf piles. Our vehicles need room to maneuver. Also, please remove any play equipment from the roadway or near the piles. If we cannot get to the leaf piles, we will not be able to pick them up.


Following are some guidelines regarding this program:


  1. Leaves raked into piles should be placed near the road. Leaves should not be placed in such a manner as to pose a safety hazard or impede drainage. Use common sense, please.


  1. Litter such as branches, rocks, dirt, glass, paper, etc. should not be raked or bagged with the leaves. This material poses a safety hazard to our workers and will damage costly equipment. Leaf piles containing this debris will not be collected.


  1. Leaves can also be placed out at the curb in biodegradable, paper bags or rigid containers for collection on Mondays by the contracted disposal company through the last Monday in December.


The patience and cooperation of residents is appreciated as we will make every effort to pick up the fallen leaves as quickly and thoroughly as possible.


Department Links