The Montclair Times from Montclair, New Jersey on April 8, 2004 · A9
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The Montclair Times from Montclair, New Jersey · A9

Montclair, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 8, 2004
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THE MONTCLAIR TIMES NEWS THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 2004 A9 Rehab project slated for Watchung station Township plans to finish pipe replacement to remove lead from water lines Staff photo by Susan Zeilnhofer HOLES IN THE CANOPY of the Watchung Avenue Station would be repaired as part of a restoration project, slated to begin in May. By PAUL A. ZIOBRO of The Montclair Times The Montclair Water Bureau hopes this year to complete a seven-year-long effort to eliminate lead from township-owned and -operated water service lines, the bureau stated in a mailing to residents last week. The mailing was part of a federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) public-education requirement after a random sample of 60 houses in Montclair revealed lead levels above .015 milligrams per liter of drinking water, according to Township Superintendent of Water Operations Gary Obszarny. According to the bureau's pamphlet, a lead level above .015 milligrams per liter warrants action, including corrosion-control treatment, source-water treatment and public education, to minimize lead in potable water. A similar mailing was sent to residents last year. Obszarny said, however, that lead had not contaminated the water supply at its source. The culprits were lead-lined pipes, some owned by the township. As a result, in 1997 the Water Bureau launched a $1.8 million project to remove lead-lined water services, and verify makeup of other municipal-owned pipes. Since the project began about seven years ago, more than 800 pipes have been replaced. Another 900 pipes were verified as copper, which do not need to be replaced. The bureau expects to check another 750 pipes this year, changing those that the bureau identifies as lead-lined. "The township of Montclair is going out of the way to do our best for our customers," Obszarny said. The homes whose tap water broke the lead threshold came into compliance when the taps ran for about five minutes, Obszarny said. Once water leaves the township's service line, it enters a home, where the water can pick up traces of lead in the household plumbing. Obszarny recommended that residents test their drinking water at one of the following state-approved laboratories: Agra Environmental Services, (973) 989-0010 Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories, (973) 227-0422 Water Works Laboratories, (973) 678-3787 Replacing a home's internal pipes, if contaminated, can cost $3,000 to $6,000, Obszarny said. Water has not been the most common vehicle for lead poisoning in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust contribute more to the 434,000 children 1 to 5 years of age with high traces of lead in their blood, according to the CDC Web site. The EPA, however, estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person's total lifetime exposure to lead. By PAUL A. ZIOBRO of The Montclair Times The Watchung Avenue Station, the first of several train stations built to serve Montclair commuters, has an appointment for a touchup, anticipated to begin in May. NJ Transit expects to begin a partial historic rehab of the building's leaky roof and canopy, spokeswoman Janet Hines told The Times last week. The project also includes upgrading the lighting to a more historic style. Shingles have slipped from the tile hip roof with ridge cresting. Water damage has eaten through the white-boarded rafters, leaving holes rotting through to the roof. The township had been entrusted with maintaining the building. A sign at the station states, "This station and grounds are leased and maintained by the Township of Montclair." But Montclair's restoration efforts were curtailed because the project has historic implications for the building, which was listed on both the State of New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 1984. "Because of the building's historical significance, we were limited in what we could do to repair it," Parks Superintendent Kevin Ward said. The Third Annual "Painting Montclair" window-painting contest will occur on Saturday, May 1. This event brings together local businesses and the children The township had painted over graffiti and repaired hazardous gutters on the building before NJ Transit stepped in about two years ago to begin a larger-scale restoration project, Ward said. Ward said NJ Transit officials came to the township with plans to begin the process of restoring parts of the building with historic details. "NJ Transit has been proactive in their work, but it has taken some time because it is not a small undertaking by any means," Ward said. "It should be very impressive when it is done." Inwood Avenue resident Ed Deep, who has been commuting from the Watchung Avenue Station for about 30 years, said that restoring the historic station is vital to the town. "It's a little thing, but it's clearly part of the character of the town," Deep said. Deep said he had contacted the township and NJ Transit to repair the building. The leaks and holes in the ceiling had irked him for some time, he said. A National Registry of Historic Places sign at the station states that a building contract, dated March 19, 1901, reveals that Robert N. Wolfe of Ramapo, N.Y., constructed the building for "$4,740.00 with free transporta- of Montclair to create a canvass of spring-themed paintings throughout the town. Children in grades two through eight are eligible to par- tion for men and materials over the lines of the Erie Railroad Company." The Erie Railroad Co. paid for the station, originally known as the Park Street Station, which was completed in 1904. The building was designed as a mixture of Queen Anne style and Renaissance revivals, and modeled after other suburban stations in the Erie New York District. NJ Transit is currently receiving bids on the project, which is scheduled to begin in May and be completed by the end of the year, Hines said. A budget for the pro- ticipate, and will be assigned to paint on store windows in every business district. Winners will be announced at the Montclair Art Museum at 4:30 on the after- ject has not yet been set. "This is part of a larger project where we looked at roofs around our facilities, and identified some in need of repair and rehab," Hines said. "This is just its time to get the rehab done." The building's status in the state and national registers could help the NJ Transit take of financial benefits, such as a 20 percent federal income tax credit or matching grants from the New Jersey Historic Trust, according to the state Historic Preservation Office Web site. noon of May 1. "Painting Montclair" is a project of the Montclair Economic Development Corp. Call (973) 509-1188, or e-mail, May begins with Third Annual 'Painting Montclair' contest mm Advertising Section "MEDICINE FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM" Dr. Gerard deVastey Board Certified Internal Medicine Restore vitality and wellness with a personalized prevention a nutrition based primary care program. 311 -A Orange Road Call (or appointments Mon-Thurs 973-783-4703 . - h a y.. r -ss Dr. Edward Krupp Board Certified Internal Medicine Crescent Internal Medicine Group. We're a medical practice that provides personal medical care and treatment for adults and adolescents. 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