PSE&G Terminates Lease for Community Garden Land
Utility company cited safety concerns with new monopoles as their reason for ending the lease.
The Chatham Borough Community Garden will close this year due to PSE&G terminating its lease for the land.
PSE&G representatives said there are safety concerns with respect to the new monopole erected near the garden, which can be seen on the north side of Kings Road east of Division Avenue.
A letter sent to gardeners from Julia Callahan of the Community Garden Committee said in part, "PSE&G engineers have determined the distance of safe space from the new monopoles to our community garden be outside a radius of 130 feet. This is far greater than previous reports and, unfortunately, the location of our garden is severely compromised by these new regulations."
The letter went on to say borough officials met with representatives from PSE&G to try to find a compromise, "to no avail."
The Community Garden Committee is looking at alternative space, but they do not anticipate finding something in turn for the 2013 growing season. Renewal fees will be refunded.
The Community Garden opened in May 2010 with support from Community Garden Engineer Paul Suszczynski and Garden Coordinator Marcy Wecker, and donated materials and labor for its creation and installation from Green Path Organic Landcare and Coviello Brothers.
Later in 2010 the borough reached a license agreement with PSE&G to use land on the north side of Main Street near Brooklake Road for a community garden extension. However, when Madison residents complained, PSE&G terminated their agreement with Chatham.
In 2011 the garden was expanded in time for the growing season, with an additional 18 plots, plus smaller "kinderplots" for children, installed.
"We are all deeply saddened by the turn of events and the thought of not being able to garden this season," Callahan wrote.