RUMSON BIZ OWNERS TRASH GARBAGE PLAN

dumpsterStarting in July, Rumson will no longer collect trash from Dumpsters, leaving some businesses to hire outside contractors to do the job. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

After howling from residents and business owners last year over a plan to lay off a handful of employees and  privatize trash collection in Rumson, the borough council scrapped the idea — for this year, at least — and instead came up with cost-saving measures within the public works department.

Now, as the borough prepares to implement one of those measures, some local merchants are bristling at the plan that they say digs further into their pockets.

Read More »

RUMSON DPW GETS SOME LOVE AT WORK

mark-wellner1Privacy and mobility have not been at a premium at the public works building, but that’s going to change, says director Mark Wellner. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There isn’t much to Rumson’s Department of Public Works building — a narrow, bland concrete stretch of garage bays with a couple of offices behind borough hall.

One of those offices belongs to director Mark Wellner, where warmth is generated by a space heater next to his desk. When he steps out, he’s in the department’s conference room, which also happens to be the kitchen — consisting of a microwave and small counter — and, during snow emergencies, a bedroom for a dozen or so on-call employees who try to catch z’s on one of a few used couches picked up curbside over the years.

“Sometimes, you’ve got a guy laying on the table with a blanket trying to get some sleep,” he said.

Attached to the conference room is a closet of a bathroom, with one toilet and a sink behind a rickety door.

“No room for the guys to even wash their hands,” Wellner said.

There’s not much in the way of comfort and privacy for the DPW guys, that’s for sure. So it must’ve been frustrating to watch last year when the borough built its pristine, $5.77 million government offices building right in front of the public works structure that went untouched in the 56 years since it was built.

Read More »

RUMSON OUTSOURCING SCRAPPED FOR NOW

trashTrash collection will remain a borough operation in 2011. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Rumson officials have canned the idea of outsourcing trash collection in 2011.

That doesn’t necessarily mean jobs are safe in future years, though.

Read More »

A ROOM FULL OF GARBAGE IDEAS

rumson-dpwA public works employee picks up recycling in Rumson last week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If you ask the residents who filled borough hall Tuesday night, there are plenty of ways to keep Rumson’s half-dozen trash collectors employed in the face of tight budgets.

Make cuts across every department, hold annual fundraisers, reduce collections to once a week, work out a deal to pick up trash in Fair Haven, which plans to outsource its collection.

Or, instead of soliciting bids to demolish the old police headquarters, sell the property as-is and use the money to bankroll public works, said “Uncle” Bob Fazzone.

“Then you get the $200,000 for the boys,” he said.

The input residents gave the council will be part of the borough’s research on whether to privatize its garbage collection, a move that’s anticipated to save between $200,00 and $350,000 a year, Council President Shaun Broderick said.

Read More »