20221208 - Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes


Dec 8, 2022, 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Village Hall, Senior Lounge, 1st floor


Green Ridgewood attendees: Christine Amundsen, Beth Gould Creller (Vice- Chair), Nurhan Ezik, Tessa Florida (Student Liaison), Caitlin O’Leary, Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison), David Refkin (Chair), Yvone Nava, Jill Fasano


Green Team attendees: Adam Peterseil, Daniel Rozentsvayg, Roman San Doval, Derek White, Anthea Zito


Guests: Sofia Florida, George Wolfson, Carolyn Jacoby, Miles Luo




  1. Welcomed new members + Introductions Voted to approve Nov. 10, 2022 minutes
  2. Leadership

David Refkin explained that we are seeking new members for Green Ridgewood and the Green Team. Deadline for applications is tomorrow. The village will vote to approve our increase in size.


School Reports: New trees are being planted at various schools.


Discussion with Carolyn Jacoby (Shade Tree Commission) about the importance of planting non-invasive species.

Miles Luo explained that the Green Team at RHS has a new IT person and she is excellent at working the SJFS website. He will try to get her to come to one of our meetings.

Tree planting grant project had been put in hiatus, looking to reignite spring 2023.


Sustainable Jersey

Pam explained the results (bronze certification) of the most recent meeting and encouraged people to get more involved. George Wolfson mentioned that it would be good to find a way to link the village with the schools so that it would be evident to both entities of the efforts undertaken…and to seek mutual cooperation.


Beth Creller explained that she has been having coffee meetings with parents who are involved in SJFS actions. She will resume these


meetings in January. Meetings will be held the third Friday of the month at 11am (Bulldog Café).


Earth Day and Daffodil Festival: Green Ridgewood will have its own theme (One suggestion: Acting on our plan for future generations), consistent with the whole Master Plan. The date is April 23 from 11am – 2 pm.


The steering committee meeting on Nov. 29th with Nancy Bigos, Rich Calbi and Cynthia Halaby also included George Wolfson, Pam Perron and David Refkin. All kinds of strategies are needed for fundraising. This will begin in earnest in January. Last year was very successful. There is no budget or financial support from the Village.


There is an Earth Day steering committee meeting on 01/10 that will address the issues.


  1. Leaf Blower Ordinance -

Subcommittee met and discussed why aren’t we talking about lawn mowers also? Planning to send a letter to local landscapers and ask for their comments. Pam Perron has asked Heather Mailander, the Village Manager, to view the letter before sending it.


Subcommittee needs to contact the towns who have implemented the ordinance; they find that most people observe it. Most towns report good cooperation. Ellie Gruber has worked for a long time to promote a noise ordinance – Princeton has one.


Pam suggested that we use money in our treasury to purchase an industrial strength electric leaf blower for the Parks Dept, as an incentive.


Discussion focused on the fact that they are waiting for more powerful batteries; however, we should try to get the transition going.


Carolyn Jacoby is very concerned about the extensive use of chemicals on the lawns and fields of the Village. Why aren’t we proposing ideas to leadership about this issue?


NEW EPA Grant available – Nurhan Ezik volunteered to work on this application. It is for a period of three years. We are going to work on getting a recycling truck. A grant writer will be assigned to us.

Application is due in mid-January 2023.


Old Business/New Business: Tree planting in town is done! Everything has been mulched and they will be watered accordingly. In the Spring the watering gator bags will be put on. In the business district, it has to be determined who is responsible for care of the trees. Two yrs. of care necessary to ensure that the trees survive. Total was 88 trees in the business district. And 192 in residential areas.


Field Trips:

Village engineer extended an invitation to the Leaf Composting Facility. David to inquire for a weekend date or a weekday right after the holidays. Ridgewood Water, potentially in January. Jill to look into hours and day options.

Water pollution control facility, tentatively for Spring as it is outdoors.


Master Plan sub committees:


The 5 subcommittees are:

  • Communication (leader TBD)
  • Earth Day
  • Recycling (name and leader TBD)
  • Green Building & Sustainability -Beth will be leading this subcommittee
  • Resilience, Flooding and Stormwater - David will be leading this subcommittee


Several people have volunteered for all of the five subcommittees.


David sent in an application to be on the Planning Board. Someone from Green Ridgewood should have a seat on the Planning Board.


George Wolfson suggested that we create a chair and make sure that someone from Green Ridgewood attends the meeting.



Pam met with Dawn Cetrullo , Head of our Health Dept, and an entomologist from the county came as well as other technical experts (TYCo). Ridgewood has lots of deer but not lots of ticks.


Minutes respectfully submitted by Christine Amundsen & Yvone Nava

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Nov 10, 2022, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

In person, Village Hall, Senior Lounge, 1st floor



Green Ridgewood attendees: Christine Amundsen, Beth Gould Creller, Saurabh Dani, Nurhan Ezik, Tessa Florida (student), Frank Mortimer, Caitlin O’Leary, Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison), David Refkin


Green Team attendees: Mike Faherty, Ellie Gruber, Justin Manger, Adam Peterseil, Daniel Rozentsvayg, Roman San Doval, Derek White, Anthea Zito

Guests: Bill Armbruster, Sonia Berman (RHS Sophomore) & her Dad, Sophia Florida, Kimberly Madrigal, Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Justin Jonsson 

Administration:  Voted to approve October 6, 2022 minutes 

  1. Leadership: Pam Perron explained that we have not had chairpersons for Green Ridgewood and the Green Team for the past few months. David Refkin volunteered and was nominated to serve as the Chair for Green Ridgewood. Beth Creller was nominated as vice-chair. There were no other nominations. Green Ridgewood voted to elect David as the Chairperson and Beth as the Vice Chairperson.
  2. Communications, Web Site, Social Media: No new updates. We discussed posting on various websites to make people aware of what is happening with Green Ridgewood.
  3. Project 1,000 Acres update: The Wyckoff and Glen Rock green teams/commissions expressed interest in creating their own versions.  Frank Mortimer suggested that we could use National Pollinators Week in June to promote Project 1,000 Acres and other issues we are working on. Actions going forward – we need to update our website’s links to resources because links have expired. Project 1,000 Acres should launch in Jan/Feb when folks are preparing for the spring/garden season...with a repeat of Earth Day push). Project 1,000 Acres is also planning to do a display at the Ridgewood Public Library.
  4. School projects – Sonia Berman presented an update on her project to recycle compostable eating utensils from George Washington Middle School cafeteria. She proposes to install three yellow plastic bins in the cafeteria to collect biodegradable utensils. She is requesting ~$300 from Green Ridgewood to purchase the bins. Sonia has created posters to put up at school to promote recycling. She spoke with Interstate Waste Services and will speak with them again next week about recycling the utensils. Most disposal companies do not take the materials she is proposing …ECO Rich can compost the materials. Care Cycle should call her back within 3 business days. Java Compost…special processing goals. She has spoken with the Principal at GW about the cost of $.06/per fork or knife. She still has to talk with the cafeteria manager. Will students be willing to pay a little more for their lunch to cover the cost? $300 would pay for the bins but not for the utensils. She will report back to Green Ridgewood again next month. Bob Upton suggested getting samples of the utensils and trying them at home.
  5. RHS report: RHS Green Team moderator, Miles Luo, was not in attendance; however, Tessa Florida advised that they are preparing the school gardens for winter. Many sub-groups within the RHS green team address different projects. E.g., hydroponics. Google chat has made it easy to correspond with each other as well as Mr. Luo.
  6. EAGER: The Village Council passed the ordinance and was supposed to vote to select an energy consultant. The Council, however, deadlocked; so, we have to wait until January to revisit this issue.
  7. Green Team/Sustainable Jersey: Pam Perron is going to attend the Sustainable Jersey annual luncheon to accept the Village’s bronze level certification. Justin Manger explained that the Village could try again in 2023 for silver status. Anyone can log into the Sustainable Jersey site to see what has been worked on and determine where actions can be taken. They were thinking of waiting until after the holidays for the next meeting; Pam encouraged more prompt action. The biggest problem is the Green Team lacks a chairperson at this time. Mike Faherty said he would schedule a meeting to discuss further action/progress.
  8. Earth Day and Daffodil Festival: We will need “all hands on deck” for the Earth Day & Daffodil Fest on Sunday, April 23, 2023, 11 am – 2 pm. This is our biggest event of the year. Bob Upton advised that he is willing to work on this for the coming year. George Wolfson advised that he is retiring from this activity but is willing to work in an advisory capacity.  The Steering Committee will meet on Nov. 29 with Nancy Bigos, Rich Calbi and Cynthia Halaby to develop a theme and start contacting sponsors and vendors. We need someone from Green Ridgewood to join the Steering committee. Beth Creller said she is interested but cannot attend meetings on Tuesday mornings. Always looking for new ideas. Sponsors and exhibitors/vendors are needed. Pam Perron expressed concern that we might not have enough food vendors. David Refkin wants to be on the email list for this information. Green Ridgewood will have its own theme, consistent with the overall theme. Last year, Green Ridgewood included displays concerning electric cars and Project 1,000 acres. What would Green Ridgewood like to support this year?
  9. Bergen Hub – Beth and Mike Faherty attended the recent Bergen HUB meeting. Quarterly meetings will be held going forward. Q-1 in Glen Rock; Q-2 in Ridgewood. HUB Subcommittees are going to remain intact. Leadership opportunity: shredding subcommittee. Beth presented a screenshot summary. The HUB does not have the resources they need. Lots of talk about Overpeck Park, complaining that the County removed trees without providing information to the public. Difficult to get info from the County. Carolyn Jacoby said she was going to speak with Ramon Hache. Pam spoke with him. The objection to cutting down the trees was concern for endangered species, but the County found no evidence that endangered species were present. According to Commissioner Hache, the County removed the trees to cap & contain soil contaminants and create a meadow. Mike Faherty will be leading a new HUB committee on Landscape, Parks and Arbor Management. Bergen County Arts amble is hoped for again. Ridgewood will host the HUB meeting for the second quarter.
  10. Leaf Blower Ordinance: Frank Mortimer suggested that rather than setting the end time at 6 pm, the ordinance should say, “at sunset,” or “at sunset or 6 pm, whichever comes first.” The leaf blower subcommittee needs to send the draft ordinance to local landscapers and invite their comments. Pam wants someone to draft the letter and then divvy up the letters to be sent out. Ellie Gruber suggested that the subcommittee contact the towns that now regulate gas-powered leaf blowers. She said that most towns report good cooperation. Ellie has worked for a long time to promote a noise ordinance – Princeton has one. Pam suggested a leaf blower meeting on Nov 30. It can be on Zoom. She will send email of letter to be drafted. Enforcement is an issue. Is talking to your neighbor the best way to get people to cooperate? George Wolfson commented that new initiatives often receive push back at first; but when kids get involved, the adults then accept it.
  11. Master Plan Actions and Green Ridgewood/Green Team Goals

Residents should not put white EPS styrofoam out with bulk waste. Rather, they should bring EPS directly to the Recycling Renter. Other towns may in future be allowed to bring their styrofoam to Ridgewood on Wednesdays when the Recycling Center is closed to the public. Should there be a styrofoam day in January? That was Mike Faherty’s suggestion. However, it should be in addition to repeated styrofoam collections.

Frank Mortimer suggested motivating people to only put out cardboard when it is not raining. Pam agreed that we have to educate the public. The Village’s styrofoam densifier is less than one year old. So far, they have sent two truckloads in a six-week period. Each truckload brings in about $1,700.

Goals Each member of both committees picked five Master Plan Action items that they would like to work on. The three top picks were:

GBS 5.2 (Promoting Recycling, Composting & food scrap recycling

GBS 6.4 (Encouraging low maintenance native landscaping, i.e., Project 1,000 Acres)

R-1 (Continue & expand outreach to encourage recycling to reduce solid waste that goes to landfill.)


Enough people were interested to form a subcommittee in those areas.


Beth showed a PowerPoint of the results and shared her ideas.  We have limited resources, so let’s focus our efforts on Master Plan ideas and then present the committee’s recommendations to the Village Council. We could have a communications committee. We need one person who would be our lead on this. Beth showed 5 sections for subcommittees. We might have better buy- in if we relate the issues to the Master Plan. It gives Green Ridgewood a well- defined role. Justin suggested broader topics with sub topics underneath.


Discussion – Let’s increase the number of members involved. We want to keep Sustainable Jersey active. Beth asked everyone present to let Christine Amundsen know on which sub-committees he or she wants to work. Pick your Top two.


Project 1,000 Acres is under Green Buildings and Sustainability. Where would blowers come under? Same as well.


Green Amendment to NJ Constitution – Copies of the proposed wording were distributed. Concurrent bills in support of the Green Amendment are pending in the NJ Senate and Assembly. The Delaware RiverKeeper has asked the Village Council to pass a resolution in support of amending the state constitution.

Ellie Gruber explained that if there is no constitutional guarantee there is no legal way to oppose any action that is harmful to the environment. Must be voted on by the public. Pam questioned the use of term “pure water” in the proposed language of Green Amendment; nevertheless, she is willing to support it. There is a website with a model resolution. We will ask get it on the agenda for January for the Village Council.


Miscellaneous Old Business/New Business:

Lyme Disease - Anthea Zito spoke about misunderstanding Lyme disease and its relationship to deer. Deer do not get Lyme disease. Ticks attach themselves to deer and that’s how they are transported. Mice transport ticks, too. It takes 24 to 36 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease. Deer are the carriers and not the host of the disease. Let’s educate people about this. Worth asking our Public Health Dept. for more info.


PFAS – huge issue. Ridgewood Water is working very hard on this issue. Pam explained that NJ DEP established new maximum limits for PFOS of 13 parts per trillion (ppt) and for PFOA of 14 ppt. Ridgewood Water’s exceedances are in the 20 ppt range. Ridgewood Water is consolidating the system to only 12 points of entry in order to build PFAS treatment facilities at each. Two treatment facilities are already up and running. Ridgewood Water has applied for five more DEP permits to build treatment facilities. They expect to break ground on those in 2023.  The remaining five facilities are in the design stage. If you want to treat for PFAS in your home, make sure that the filtration system you chose is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation. NSF.org is the site where they list the systems that remove PFAS.


Tree planting - Saurabh Dani advised that the schools appropriated money to take down dead trees. They are also planting trees around schools.


David Refkin met with Rich Calbi about recycling; he will report on this next time.


Next meeting was scheduled for Dec. 1, but there is a conflict so we will move it to Dec 8.



Minutes respectfully submitted by Christine Amundsen.


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20221006 - Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes


Oct.6, 2022, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Village Hall, Senior Lounge, 1st floor


Green Ridgewood attendees: Christine Amundsen, Beth Gould Creller, Caitlin O’Leary, Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison), David Refkin, Yvone Nava, Jill Fasano, Nurhan Ezik, VH


Green Team attendees: Justin Manger, Adam Peterseil, Daniel Rozentsvayg


Guests: George Wolfson, Sophia Florida (Student Liaison), Miles Luo, Bob Upton, Justin Jonsson, Sonia Berman (RHS Sophomore) & her dad, Kimberly Madrigal, Nancy Koontz, 2 or 3 Parents of Somerville School students


  1. Pam introduced herself and welcomed new members, Adam Peterseil and Nurhan Ezik, and guests.


  1. Minutes from the Sept. 8 meeting were approved, pending an answer to

Bob’s question about the $ amount for the screens.


  1. Pam explained that we do not have chairpersons for Green Ridgewood and the Green Team and if there is anyone who has the time to devote to this task, reach out to Pam Perron. Pam Perron took over as Village Council liaison to the Green Team now that Michael Sedon is no longer on the Council.


  1. Communications: Website/Social media – no new updates.


  1. Project 1,000 Acres update: 50 properties registered totaling 177 acres; 31 of the 50 are families, the rest is a mix of parks (registered with Nancy B.), schools, churches. All registrants have received certificates and follow up emails/letters/circular.

Website and registration map remains functional (thanks to RW Water department).

Summer social media (June/July) seemed to work, leading to ~8 added signups... thanks to Yvonne for enabling. (Note: attending the Ridge School event in June with Beth was also helpful).

Last month and a half, no additional social media or signups. Interest expressed by both the Wyckoff and Glen Rock green teams/commissions in creating their own version... have met with Wyckoff, and scheduling Glen Rock.


Going forward actions:

Website resources need updating as some links have expired.


Opportunity to work through elementary and middle schools (HSAs) to get both the schools and the parents involved and registered.

Opportunity for P.R./social media as we head towards new season. This plan needs to be developed. (note: it feels like a "P1000A 2.0" launch should happen in Jan/Feb as folks are preparing for the spring/garden season...with repeat of Earth Day push).

Key issue is workload and focus ongoing. Summer intern was helpful.


  1. School projects – Miles Luo reported that the RHS Green club has seen a recent increase in membership.


  1. EAGER: Council passed ordinance; we got 3 bids back; Council interviewed all three bidding companies. However, current energy market is too high; we have been advised to wait until Spring before going out for electric supply bids.


  1. Green Team/Sustainable Jersey: Justin Manger explained that the Village has been silver certified for the past 5 or 6 years but current status is now bronze level. 180 points have been approved; we need 170 more points and one more priority level action for silver status. Nov. 20 is the deadline for additional submissions for points this year. Pam asked Justin to schedule a meeting of the Green Team so that this information can be reviewed with them. No need to gain Green Ridgewood approval on whatever next steps are decided. (There were only 2 Green Team members at the current meeting.)


  1. Earth Day and Daffodil Festival: Dir. Of Public Works and Dir. of Parks and Rec are meeting tomorrow to discuss plans. George Wolfson explained the two functions: steering committee and participant piece. Bob Upton advised that he is willing to work on this for the coming year; we are seeking a Green Ridgewood member to also volunteer this year to learn for future years. George indicated that he is retiring from this activity but is still willing to work in an advisory capacity. Village Steering Committee has to develop theme for the event. Green Ridgewood will have its own theme, consistent with the whole plan. The date is April 23 from 11am – 2 pm.


  1. Bergen Hub – Bob Upton explained the various projects on which the hub has worked, notably styrofoam collection. Next meeting: Oct 24th in Wyckoff library. Bob encouraged active Green Team members to attend. If someone else can come, Bob will attend to make introductions.


Basecamp (Bergen Hub’s social media site) - group is upset that county has been indiscriminately taking trees down. David Refkin commented that many trees have been taken down on Saddle River Bike Path.


One condition of county involvement is that it has to be accessible to every town within the county.


Sonia Berman presented her proposal to reduce plastic waste. She is passionate about it. She began working on elimination of plastic utensils when she was a student at GWMS. But then Covid put the brakes on the project.

This year she has been designing coasters explaining the harm of plastic. She proposes to install 3 yellow plastic bins in the GW cafeteria to collect biodegradable utensils. She has contacted companies to get estimates of the cost to have the materials picked up. Interstate Waste Services is one of the companies. Hopefully, the other schools in Ridgewood could eventually come on board. She is requesting ~$213 from Green Ridgewood to purchase the bins. Proper composting is the goal. Various questions were posed by committee members.

Pam asked if she might have more information to share with the committee next month and she agreed.


Miles advised that RHS is trying to increase their recycling efforts. Sonja will research the biodegradability claims. Seven members raised their hands in support of this project (consensus).


  1. Goals – Pam asked each member to pick 5 projects in which they are interested, Chris and Yvone will receive recommendations by Oct. 13th and make note of overlaps.


  1. Master Plan- David Refkin commented there are important issues that were left out and should be included. Pam agreed and advised that if we have the interest, we should address it.


Natural Gas Phaseout - Discourage Natural gas usage. We can pose it to the council as a recommendation. It’s up to the Green Team to cherry pick which suggestions to turn into possible projects. What are other towns doing?


Oct. 18 is the next Planning Board meeting. Questions can be emailed to Jane Wondergem or 3 or 4 people on the subcommittee. If you want to comment on the record, you have to go to the meeting in person.


Thank you to Caitlin O’Leary who spoke about the Master Plan in front of the Board on behalf of Green Ridgewood; it was received positively.


  1. Deer and Geese: Dr. Nurhan Ezik spoke about the problem of the over- population of deer and ticks. They also discovered Covid 19 in deer. NO natural predators (except cars and trucks).


This is the context:

Couple of things can be done: selecting deer averse plants, using chemical repellants (controversial), using physical barriers, herd control. In rural areas they can be hunted. Live capture and relocation can be very expensive. People worry about deer dying from this method. Best way to control deer population is castration, vasectomy done in a clinic; chemical not surgical vasectomy but deer need to be tranquilized. More humane - they can keep their hormones. It’s easier to do males as opposed to females. Caitlin O’Leary called NJ Fish & Wildlife. They said sterilization is almost useless in declining the population.

The cost is $600 - $1,000 per deer. Hunting was a better idea.


Somerville School district parents in attendance raised concerns about the increase in Lyme disease. Thirty new Lyme disease cases in a three-block area. CDC is not publishing this information. Tick borne disease is hard to identify; it is costly to get the lab tests. Deer migrate throughout our whole town.


Whitney Climg started the ball with identifying the problem. She, her husband and three children have all gotten Lyme diease. Has any community been successful in eradicating the deer? County is responsible. Essex County has a particular park that they shut down twice per year to cull the deer. George Wolfson said it’s important to focus on the tick problem. Deer and ticks are two separate issues.


Pam Perron suggested we have a forum. We could ask TYCO to come and talk to us about how to control the deer overpopulation. Perhaps it’s a HUB Issue to be addressed. Nurhan Ezik said it would be good to have public input.


County issue – Ramon Hache is in charge of parks. Pam will bring this up to him. Parent comments: It is frightening. No one at Valley Hospital is knowledgeable about tick borne diseases. Recommended reading: Chronic by Stephen Phillips … epidemic in Ridgewood.


Canadian geese are protected by US Fish & Wildlife; efforts have been unsuccessful in reducing the geese populations. Official dogs are trained to disturb them.


  1. Bylaws – We reviewed a few changes being proposed and approved bylaws.

See the attached By-laws. Discussion –

We should have student liaisons for both Green Ridgewood and Green Team. We need to amend the ordinance to state this.


  1. Leaf blower ordinance: Not enough time to go over leaf blower ordinance.


Miscellaneous Old Business/New Business:

PFAS multi-district litigation. Large lawsuit - many companies involved. Defendant companies moved for summary judgement but the judge denied their motion. Good for our side.


The Village is planting 88 trees in the central business district this Fall. 2 more trees from Guild and Girl Scouts.


Watering……statistics show that 30 % of smart controller homes are actually saving water. 70% are not. Council is considering limiting the allowable irrigation days and hours for homes with smart controllers to 3 am to 7 am - 4 days per wk. as opposed to 2 x a week for people with sprinkler systems.


Green Amendment – discussion at luncheon today. Pam brought literature. Resolution would make Trenton govt. sit up and listen. Counter argument – costly and will take jobs away. Insert website: https://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/ongoing-issues/new-jerseys-green- amendment-generations


Recycling – contract is up for renewal. David Refkin is meeting with Rich Calbi,.etc.


Next meeting is Nov 10th.



Minutes respectfully submitted by Christine Amundsen and Yvone Nava.

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20220908 - Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes


September 8, 2022, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

 Village Hall, Senior Lounge, 1st floor


Note: Many persons could not attend due to a conflict with Back to School night.


Green Ridgewood attendees: Christine Amundsen, Beth Gould Creller, Tessa Florida (Student Liaison), Caitlin O’Leary, Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison) and David Refkin


Green Team attendees: Maria Damasco, Justin Manger


Guests: Nurhan Ezik, Sophia Florida (Student Liaison), Carolyn Jacoby, Miles Luo and Bob Upton



Pam Perron advised that she will run the meetings for Sept and Oct.

Beth Gould Creller will run meetings for Nov and Dec.

David Refkin has agreed to be the acting Vice-chair during this time.


We approved July 7, 2022 meeting minutes.


Communications: (Web Site, Social Media)

Beth advised that we are seeking additional help. She mentioned that if any members come across interesting articles, please share them.



Project 1,000 Acres  – Mike Faherty was not able to attend the meeting. No new information at this time.


School projects – Miles Luo mentioned a request from an RHS sophomore to work on a project to increase composting at GW. She is seeking a grant from Green Ridgewood. Bob said there is no official application. We just want any students who are seeking a grant to write a proposal and indicate the amount of money they are seeking.

Beth suggested they give a presentation to Green Ridgewood.

Bob spoke briefly about the grant we gave to students at BF in 2019. He has a copy of what they presented and he will send it to Miles for reference. It was supposed to be for a hydroponic cart and a greenhouse. Update: greenhouse was purchased but it has yet to be put together. The amount of the grant was $542.


Miles advised that class meetings are happening tomorrow.

34 sets of the new recycling bins will be set in place.

Tessa Florida advised that the Ridgewood High School Club Fair is being held tomorrow. She is going to promote the Green Club.


EAGER: (Encouraging Alternative Green Energy for Ridgewood) The Village Council has to choose an energy consultant for this project. The Village received 3 bids. The Council is going to interview the consultants. The Green Ridgewood sub-committee plans to submit questions. The interviews are open to the public. Subsequently, the Council will meet and vote on the chosen consultant.


David Refkin advised that nuclear energy as a component of supply is a big question mark in a lot of people’s minds. What do the consultants consider Green? Let’s ask them.

Interviews will be held on Mon Sept 26 at 7:00 p.m. and Wed Sept 28 at 4:45;

Pam is going to ask that the public be allowed to ask questions.


Bob Upton advised that the carbon issue is getting more pressing over time so perhaps there needs to be a compromise. Hopefully, we can get a mix of wind and solar, but there are challenges. Beth Creller advised that the fixed price component is attractive.


Recycling: The Village Council is going to vote upon the resolution to purchase the Styrofoam densifier. Evidently, there is a lot of interest from other towns. Sean Hamlin said they would have the other towns come on Wednesday’s when the recycling center is closed. Now that the program is getting more popular, Rich Calbi said they will be getting the word out to the residents. Recycling suggestion: once a week pickup. David Refkin spoke with Sean about it, since once a week pick-up is a best management practice. Sean is supportive of the idea

Christine Amundsen raised the issue of how to educate village residents about the necessity of keeping cardboard dry so it can generate dollars for the Village rather than costing us money (when wet cardboard has to be trashed).


Tree issues:   Carolyn Jacoby reported that 88 tree wells will be refurbished/replanted in the CBD (Central Business District) this Fall.  This will include three trees on Chestnut Street that are supported in part through the Ridgewood Guild/Girl Scouts/residents contribution of $2,250.  Due to dramatic cost increases, the cost of the CBD tree well refurbishment is @~$1,300 per well.  160 trees will be planted along the municipal strip in residential areas @~$600 per planting.


Ash trees … ~300 Ash trees have had to be removed over the past two years as they have died/greatly diminished and become potentially hazardous. Another ~200 will, eventually, need to be removed due to EAB (Emerald Ash Borer) disease.   

New pests: … Spotted lantern flies - the insects can spread by getting carried under vehicles.  Not only invasive insects are infecting our trees but invasive pathogens are causing disease. The family of Red Oaks (includes Pin Oaks) is being impacted by a leaf blight.


Pam commented that another issue is: Sidewalks versus trees. In order to preserve a tree, you may put a roundout to save the tree. But if you add the extra cost of a roundout or ramp-over, many residents objected. How can we help the home owner? Possible that the Village would reimburse homeowners for half the extra cost. On average it’s about $1K more.  Meanwhile, we are going to use porous pavingat six sites, which lets the water come through.


Green Team/Sustainable Jersey - Silver Recertification? – No current update as Mike Sedon was not able to attend the meeting.


Other news:  


·       The Village received a grant for ~$200,000 from the USDA to desilt the Hohokus Brook and the Saddle River. The town must match ~$60,000 to it.

·       The Village is replacing bar screens at the Water Pollution Control Facility, which is our sewage treatment plant. The screens were ruined as a result of a Hurricane Ida. The Village will be appropriating about $1.3 million to buy these screens and other equipment. The Village is also applying to FEMA for reimbursement.

·       Ridgewood Water - They contracted for the design of 2 more PFAS treatment facilities.  We have 52 wells. New well on Linwood Ave. to be connected to the Carr facility. The Village is contracting for leak protection service. The less leakage the better. Ridgewood Water’s leakage rate is ~13%... much better than Suez’s (~25%) or NYC’s (~40%).


David and Caitlin both commented that there was a recent NYTimes article about a new discovery on how to treat PFAS - simple technology with enzymes.

If you see illegal watering, take a picture with your phone. Email it to Rich Calbi. In ground sprinklers are allowed to run 3 am – 7 am two days per week. Smart controllers will get 4 days per week.


Master Plan and Environmental Resource Inventory

Sept 20 at 7:30p.m. is the only time Village residents get to comment on the Master Plan. Pam encouraged committee members to review the draft, if necessary focus on mandatory issues (Smart Growth/EVs, sustainability, climate change vulnerability assessment, disaster response), Sustainability Element and ERI and Recycling Element, then submit comments to be presented by someone from Green Ridgewood speaking for the whole committee.

If the Master plan is adopted, our job is to prioritize the recommendations.  Environmental resource inventory. We are guiding our community toward a healthy future.

Climate change vulnerability assessment. Strategies to reduce risk.  Required elements and optional elements are included. What’s really important is their recommendations. They go over various trends. The funding section is helpful. They tell you where we can apply for grants. But unfortunately, the Village does not have a grant writer on staff.  Nurhan volunteered to help with grant writing.

After Sept. 20 it’s time for Green Ridgewood to make a written recommendation to the Council on what we want to implement. There should be more reference to Green Ridgewood.

Discussion on water issues. David is getting the Master Plan from Ann Arbor, MI. He will review and share any ideas which may have been left out of the Ridgewood Master Plan.

Carolyn Jacoby wrote a letter asking if the Shade Tree Commission can be directly involved with the Planning Board. She explained that the new Ridgewood Water Building has been landscaped so that the stormwater runoff will go down to the library and then Village Hall.

Bob Upton mentioned that Cynthia Halaby spoke at the Council meeting to complain that the Planning Board were not accepting comments on the draft Master Plan except on Sept 20th and in person.

Stormwater is a big issue. Is there enough about it in the plan?

Who does climate change assessment?

Pam advised that the Village spent a good deal of money on the Master Plan. It could take ten years to implement the recommendations. Master plan does not prioritize their recommendations. We have to USE the recommendations. 

Old Business/ New Business 

Bylaws revisions- Bob, Justin and Pam looked at making revisions. But they had to leave it until next time because the committee did not have a quorum.


Leaf Blower draft ordinance.   Pam provided latest revision and requested comments please.


Solar panels on Recycling Building. Not worth the investment in putting solar panels on this building due to it’s age and the age of the roof.


Green Amendment  - Speaker will address State constitutional amendment at LWV luncheon on Oct. 6.


Next Meeting: Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 pm, at Village Hall Senior Lounge. Discussion of goals, projects, focus, responsibilities. What aspect of environmental protection would you like to explore?

Training…Perhaps we can present to the others what we are passionate about.



Minutes submitted by Christine Amundsen Sept. 19, 2022


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20220714 - CBDAC Minutes


Central Business District Advisory Committee (CBDAC)

 Minutes of July 14, 2022 Meeting[1]

Members present:  CBDAC held this meeting at the NOMA multifamily building at the invitation of John Saraceno.  Jordan Kaufman, Pamela Perron, Michael Pickholz, Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke, Philip Davis, Glenn Carlough, Tom Hillmann.  Anastasia Bamberg and Steve Aspero joined remotely.

Guests present: John Saraceno, Paul Vagianos, Kathryn Schmidt, Jeanne Johnson, Joan Groome, Mahmoud Hamza.

Jordan welcomed our newest member, Tom Hillmann.  This is CBDAC’s first in-person meeting since COVID arrived in 2020.  It is also our first hybrid meeting, as some members attended virtually.

Minutes:  Members present approved the minutes of the June 9, 2022 meeting.

Term Termination Date:  Because of the Nov. 2020 referendum, the Village Council election date was moved from May to November.  The Village Manager asked if CBDAC wished to switch their committee term to end on December 31 instead of June 30.  A consensus of the CBDAC members agreed to extend their terms through December 31.  It would make sense to align CBDAC terms with the Council’s terms. 

Village Council Liaison Update: a) Pam advised that the Garage webpage on the Village website is up and running.  b) Council considered buying new garbage cans but decided the cost was prohibitive.  The Village will use black plastic bags to line the existing receptacles rather than clear bags.  c) The Citizen Safety Advisory Committee’s banners are now hanging downtown.  d) On July 19, Heyer Gruel Assoc. will present at the Planning Board regarding the draft Master Plan.  e) Village Council passed an ordinance to facilitate better enforcement of the 15-minute parking spots and extended Grab & Go 15-minute parking spots through September 30, 2022.  f)  Pam distributed copies of an ordinance that Council introduced to require window displays in storefronts that have remained vacant for three months.  The public hearing will be August 10.  g)  Council approved renewal of liquor license for Maple Avenue Liquors for 2022-2023.


A-Frame signs: Council discussed the fact that producer of A-frame signs that comply with Ridgewood Code is no longer making them.  Discussion followed.

Speaker John Saraceno:  John is a Ridgewood resident and Co-founder and Managing Principal of Onyx Equities.  His company developed the new apartment complexes, the Benjamin and NOMA.  John presented results of a poll of Benjamin and NOMA residents that his firm conducted.  Twenty percent of respondents were Ridgewood residents before moving in.  Eighty percent came from Bergen County.  After moving in, 75% of respondents said that they shop and eat in the CBD.  Among resident school aged children, most go to private school.  Some tenants moved here because they are renovating their homes in other towns, so their children continue to attend public school in neighboring towns.  Every retailer wants to be in Bergen County, despite the blue laws; but they prefer to be in a shopping mall.  Summit, Princeton, Red Bank and Morristown do a lot of marketing.  A Q & A followed.

Other business:  Pedestrian Plaza – The Chamber of Commerce suggested that an objective way to evaluate the effect of the Pedestrian Plaza would be to compare parking revenues in July and August 2021 to the same in 2022.  CBDAC members present arrived at a consensus that it would be helpful to include revenues from 2019 and 2020 as well.  A suggestion was made to separate out income generated those months at the Hudson Street Garage.  Pam will ask the Village Manager for these figures.

The Chamber of Commerce Car Show will be Sept. 9.  They would appreciate volunteers to help during the event.

Next meeting:  September 8, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom.



Respectfully submitted,

Pamela Perron

[1]   These minutes are topical rather than verbatim.


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