Thursday, February 21, 2008

PMUA Reorganizes

Carol Ann Brokaw will head the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority’s board of commissioners for a third year after her selection as chairwoman at Wednesday’s reorganization meeting.

Other officers chosen Wednesday are Harold Mitchell as vice chairman, Dave Beck as treasurer and Alex Toliver as secretary.

The commissioners approved hiring of professionals, the 2008 meeting schedule, official banks and newspapers and committee assignments as part of the annual reorganization. The commissioner board controls actions of the authority, which was established in 1995 to provide solid waste and sewer services to the city. Authority officials said they are exploring the possibility of serving other municipalities to offset or stabilize rate increases. Plainfield received a 22 percent rate increase last year.

The authority also provides recycling and litter abatement to the city. Resident Maria Pellum inquired about the Clean Communities program, which formerly gave $250 grants to block associations and non-profit groups for litter pickups. Pellum heads the Crescent Area Neighborhood Association and the group’s goals include beautification and litter control. But authority officials said currently the PMUA can only offer to pick up and dispose of litter that neighborhood groups collect. The Clean Communities grant funds may also be used for staff or operational costs, officials said.

Executive Director Eric Watson noted that as the authority begins its 13th year, it has lost four commissioners in the past five years. Watson suggested a memorial plaque to honor the service given by late commissioners Peter McDonough Sr., Gerard Lee Jr., Cassell Wood Jr. and Jo-Ann Sloane. The board agreed to the proposal.

--Bernice Paglia


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