By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Fair Haven’s newest residents aren’t the kind you want to offer a welcoming fruit basket. In fact, the borough government is hoping to run them out of town as soon as possible, with a little help from the county.
Rats have apparently found happy dwellings in two sections of the borough, according to public officials and complaining neighbors. They’ve been spotted on Park Avenue behind the Acme supermarket and in the residential area of McCarter Pond.
Roger Lyman, who lives on Fair Haven Road, said he’s seen the long-tailed critters hanging out around the pond and creeping though the neighborhood.
“I’ve seen them jump up out of that sewer drain and come into our block,” he said. “They’re coming out of that pond, and that’s the source of the problem.”
Borough Administrator Mary Howell said the rodent invasion is most likely linked to the combination of backyard feeders spilling birdseeds, bread crumbs left on the ground and nearby water sources.
“That actually attracts rodents and rats and things of that nature,” she said. “It’s actually fairly common among waterfront towns.”
But not for Fair Haven, until now at least. Howell said the borough hasn’t experienced an infestation in recent memory and wants this one to be brief, which is why it’s bringing in the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission to hold a public meeting at 2p on Sept. 23 to discuss the rat problem and how to extirpate it.
“It’s a challenge,” Howell said. “We’re going to try and educate folks on how to take care of that.”
More information on the Sept. 23 meeting can be found on the borough’s Web site www.fairhavennj.org.