Franklin Lakes November 11, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 5 Beaver problem resurfaces in borough by Frank J. McMahon Two residents of Indian Trail Drive who said they represent residents of their street and others from Dakota Trail, have complained to the planning board about the elevation of the water table around their homes due to the damming of the wetlands in that area by beavers. The two roads border a boroughowned area of wetlands known as the Franklin Lakes Swamp, and the recent complaints about the beavers in that area mirrored those lodged with the borough council in 2003 and 2004. George Zorbas and Kelly Reeves, who live on Indian Trail Drive and are next door neighbors, complained that the activity of the beavers is obstructing a culvert underneath the Indian Trail Drive roadway and, even when it was recently unclogged, they said beavers reclogged it within eight hours. Zorbas asked the board to capture the beavers and relocate them to stop the water encroachment of his property. “In my case,” he said, “there are only a few feet before the water will come into my house.” Reeves told the board she moved to the area in 2007. At that time, she said she could walk in the woods, but since then she has lost a lot of her property. Franklin Lakes Planning Board Attorney John Spizziri advised the residents, however, that the board has no jurisdiction in this matter and they must contact the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to ask them to visit the site and remove the beavers. He emphasized that the beavers will continue to return no matter how many times they tear down their dams, because they are looking for a place to live for the winter. “This board cannot do anything about it,” Spizziri said. “It has no jurisdiction.” Mayor Maura DeNicola, a member of the planning board, advised the residents that the council recently passed an ordinance authorizing the emergency repair of the culvert under Indian Trail Drive and the borough engineer is currently putting together a plan for that project. She also suggested the residents contact the borough’s Animal Advisory Committee about the situation. DeNicola said she was present when the culvert was recently cleaned. “I can’t imagine how (the beavers) put it all back in,” she commented. Other residents who attended the meeting voiced their concern about the health of their small children. Those residents also asked to have the beavers relocated. One woman noted that the activity of the beavers is reducing the value of her home while no one is reducing her property taxes, and she needs to eliminate the water problem. Spizziri reiterated that the culvert could be cleaned, but the board cannot do anything about the beavers. Planning Board Chairman Frank Conte added, “We don’t have any authority over the animals.” The problem caused by the beavers in this area of the borough was discussed at council meetings in 2003 and 2004 based on resident complaints, including Zorbas, about an “infestation” of beavers that was altering the ecology and raising the water table in the area and creating more bodies of water that could be breeding places for mosquitoes. In 2003, the Mosquito Control Division of the Bergen County Department of Public Works recommended the relocation of the beavers from that area because the trees that are felled by the beavers to build dams were providing nesting and breeding areas for mosquitoes that could carry the West Nile Virus and those breeding areas were hard to reach with the sprays that were used to kill the mosquito larvae. Based on the complaints about the beavers at that time, the borough called the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. The state advised that they would trap the beavers if requested by the borough, but would kill the animals. The borough, therefore, arranged with a private individual to have the beavers trapped and relocated to an area in Sussex County or in Ringwood. However, when two beavers were found shot and killed in the wetlands area that extends from Wyandotte Drive around the Franklin Lake up to the boroughowned wetlands west of Indian Trail Drive, that effort was discontinued. THOUSANDS OF DESIGNER & FAMOUS MAKER COATS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY DEPARTMENT STORE PRICES EVERYDAY Our family has been keeping America warm and happy since 1924 and are thrilled to be here in Paramus to do it again with the very best coats at the very best prices! We’ve leveraged our long time friendships in the coat industry to deliver to you an amazing collection of designer and famous maker coats at prices you’ve never seen before, and may never see again! THE ORIGINAL FIRST FAMILY OF COATS IS BACK IN BUSINESS! PLUS THOUSANDS OF LADIES’ DESIGNER SHOES & BOOTS 150 Rt 17N • Paramus, NJ 07652 • 201-262-1060 (in the former Fortunoff Outdoor Store) Open 10am to 9pm Monday - Saturday