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West Caldwell Adds Auxiliary Firemen, Warns Residents About Brush Fires

Community Garden ordinance approved. Council looks to honor fallen Vietnam hero.

The  added two new members to their ranks Tuesday night.

The township's governing body unanimously approved the appointments of Daniel Brown and Daniel Madden as auxiliary firefighters.

After the firefighters were appointed, Councilman Richard Otterbein, chairman of the Public Safety Committee and a volunteer fireman, warned residents of the dangers of brush fires.

With very little rain over the past month, Otterbein informed residents the possibility for brush fires is "significant and high". Otterbein urged residents to be careful around open outdoor fires and to exercise caution when extinguishing cigarettes.

While the area is experiencing an unusually dry spring season, Councilman Thomas O'Hern, chairperson for Public Works and Water, reported there are currently no water restrictions placed on residents. O'Hern recommended residents check the town website for updates if the dry spell continues.

Recognition for West Caldwell Fallen Vietnam Hero

After it was reported in the  that the town would honor a West Caldwell resident, James McNish, who had died while serving in the Vietnam War, with a new street named in his honor, Councilman Joseph Cecere learned of another Vietnam hero from West Caldwell, David Alan Nudenberg.

Cecere expressed his apologies to the Nudenberg family, and said the town would name the next available street in his honor.

Nudenberg was killed in action at the age of 24. A graduate of, he attended Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. and was working toward the goal of becoming a missionary minister, working with inner-city children.

Nudenberg served in the U.S. Army and worked as a dog handler with the 63rd Scout Platoon. While attending James Caldwell High School, he was a member of many clubs and sports programs, including Key Club, football, wrestling, Boy Scouts, class council, student newspaper, history, drama and radio electronics club. He also enjoyed skiing, church activities and airplanes.

Other Council Business

  • An ordinance formally approving the West Caldwell Community Garden was passed by the Council. This will be the third year the town has offered  space on Westville Avenue adjacent to the  and the  The community garden was established at the recommendation of the town's Environmental Commission for residents to use to cultivate fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers or herbs. Councilman Joseph Cecere, who serves on the commission, informed residents there are still six plots available for a $50 fee.
  • After rejecting the bid from Bagelwich Bagels and Deli to be the vendor for the  at the April 3 meeting, the council voted at this meeting to reject new bids for potential operators of the snack bars at both  and  pools. When asked the status of snack bars after the Council meeting, Business Administrator Jock Watkins said the town has been giving tours of the snack bars to potential vendors.  The bid process will most likely become more informal, he said. "We are just looking for someone to service them properly."
  • The Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the employment initiative program (EIP) in support of military personnel returning to civilian work. As O'Hern explained, the N.J. League of Municipalities had recommended towns approve this effort. To learn more about the initiative, click here.
  • O'Hern said West Caldwell is working to have Det. Paul Mazzeo take over running the Municipal Alliance. Mazzeo has been a volunteer with the Alliance for several years. O'Hern asked Essex County Liaison Alan Abramowitz if the county could help with this transition. The alliance is a joint effort with Caldwell along with school and law enforcement officials and the community.
  • Mayor Joseph Tempesta asked Abramowitz at the request of several residents if land owned by the county and PSE&G by the Passaic River on the West Caldwell-Fairfield border could be opened up for bicycling and walking. Abramowitz said he would investigate.
  • Councilman Stan Hladik, chairman of the Finance Committee, said the town is planning to refinance existing bond debt, with interest rates now falling below one percent. Hladik thanked Chief Financial Officer Helene Turner for her work on generating a cost savings on interest rates.

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