To assist with clean-up, demolition and even humanitarian efforts needed after Superstorm Sandy, the township council unanimously agreed to authorize an agreement that allows Bridgewater to work with the county in offering temporary employment to qualified workers.
According to the resolution, this is being done through a Hurricane Sandy National Emergency Grant issued to Somerset County, and will cover the costs of having workers do temporary work throughout Bridgewater, and the county as a whole, for clean-up, demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of public facilities, as well as assisting in humanitarian projects and working on homes of economically disadvantaged families.
These are all projects that have come about because of the superstorm.
All costs will be handled by the county, and the township will be reimbursed where needed for any projects done by workers hired through this program.
Township administrator James Naples said the county will handle all the hiring and screening of workers as well.
“There is very little risk to the municipalities,” he said. “We do have use for these individuals for office skills and manual labor.”
One such piece of work that these people can participate in, Naples said, will be clean-up of the parks that have been opened for collecting brush that came down in the storm.
“We have a lot of brush in parks, and we intend to use the labor in parks to control the exit and entry, and help manage them to keep them open for residents,” he said. “We have an immediate need for this.”
And this is all being done at no cost to Bridgewater, Naples said.
“It is all paid for by the county for insurance, labor and everything,” he said.
Councilman Howard Norgalis only asked that the resolution state that the township has no liability in the case of injury or other such occurrence during the work that is done.
“We don’t want someone not physically capable of doing so pushing around the brush,” he said.
Aside from this concern, the council unanimously approved the agreement at the Dec. 3 meeting.