March 26, 2019
In previous correspondence, NJWSA stated they would,
“Thin-out the underbrush and small trees on the western bank and in and on the stone wall between Coryell Street and Bridge Street.”
In fact nearly every tree between Coryell and Bridge has been eliminated, and if not for citizen and mayoral intervention, the large tree near the Bridge Street bridge would have been removed. (Photos forthcoming, details below).
From: Judy Detrano
Date: March 23, 2019 at 9:53:57 PM EDT
To: Christopher Plummer, Julia Fahl
Subject: Re: Trees along the canal (info now on my blog)
I have but a bit more information which I will email you tomorrow. I was with them as they cut away and with the help of Mayor Julia and Cindy Ege we saved the tree by the canal at the bridge alongside the Princeton Bank. Michael A. Sellar was the Facility Manager , Delaware & Raritan Canal Office, that I spoke with on site. <snip> The destruction of our trees in and around Lambertville has become an issue to be addressed and we need the support of a number of departments, including NJ DEP.
March 25, 2019
Hello again Chris,
Upon speaking with Michael Sellar of the NJWSA on-site the day they cut down the trees from Coryell to Bridge Street in Lambertville the following answers to my questions were as follows:
1. The cutting of the trees was to prevent them from falling into the canal which would undermine the drinking quality of the water
2. They believe the trees and shrubs are destroying the structure of the stone wall along the canal, river side of the canal
3. They are not fixing, replacing or relining the stone canal wall (even though the stones are there in the canal) because the budget allotment does not cover the expense to do so. It is faster, easier & cheaper to cut down the trees.
4. He has no explanation for why a tree here and there was left uncut but they would be happy to come back and cut them down. (3 trees remain by the River Horse Brewery building)
5. He is not aware of any advance notice required to the city of Lambertville as that side of the canal falls under their maintenance obligations.
6. The towpath side of the canal will not be sheared by them as that side of the canal is under the authority of NJ State Parks Commission.
7. They admit that their maintenance of the canal has been neglected for close to 25 years due to budget constrictions
8. They can be stymied by the Shade Tree Commission from cutting down a tree that falls under the Shade Tree protection.
+The NJWSA supposedly has a Capital Fund Component for Capital Improvement..where is that money and why not fix the stone wall
+They are indeed required to notify the public if more than 1/2 acre is to be ‘deforested’ with 60 days to hold a public hearing
+ I have not ascertained their responsibility to notify the City of Lambertville
+ They might have had to submit a tree cutting plan to the Division of Parks & Forestry as the property is also NJState Park property. (or should have)
+ It may be possible to demand some sort of replanting to refurbish the embankment via the Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission
+ There were no Project Updates or notices on the NJWSA website referring to Lambertville that I uncovered
+ There appears to be no coordination/integration/communication between the various commissions to control either of committees/authority/commssions to review, supervise or hold to any aesthetics of proposed work, nor review of the destruction of wildlife habitats, particularly to bird species and bats.
+ If the DRCC has jurisdiction over the entire state-owned D & R Canal, should they have not been notified and required to offer approvals of the NJWSA ?
+ Also, where would a public notice appear that would reach the residents of Lambertville without their needing to search for such a notice.
+ And, I have heard, with no further information, explanations or confirmations, that the railroad had leased the property to which the rails are on, but that their lease had/has expired and there is no current enforceable lease at this time. Does that not restrict them from doing anything along the tracks through Lambertville until that is made more clear and current in their authority to do so. AND that the railroad does impact our wildlife habitats, noise and air pollution…..and what input do the residents of Lambertville have, if any, to curtail their work in our city.
Concerned citizens are encouraged to contact their representatives:
The City of Lambertville
Mayor Julia Fahl
18 York Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530
“Ask the Mayor”
Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission
Clinton Administration Building
1851 State Route 31
P.O. Box 5196
Clinton, NJ 08809
P: (908) 638-6121
F: (908) 638-5241
145 Mapleton Road
Princeton, NJ 08540