Garrett Gazette - October 19, 2006
Washington, Oct 19 -
Earlier this month, I was pleased to announce Federal funding to replace and upgrade the fire alarm system at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Paramus. I have been working hard to secure these funds for the Veterans Home throughout the year, and I was pleased to see that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would be making the funding available to ensure this critical safety improvement is made as soon as possible.
This facility - home to hundreds of older, often vulnerable veterans must be suitably equipped to protect both the residents and those who work to take care of them, from harm by fire, smoke inhalation, or other fire-related hazards. When Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson toured the Home with me in June, I impressed upon him the dire need for these improvements and he was able to see the needs first-hand. Following that visit, I urged New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner Col. (Ret.) Stephen G. Abel to provide the necessary state matching funding.
I am encouraged by the VA's support for this critical project and will continue to stay on top of other important projects on the Paramus Veterans Home's to-do list until the needs of those American heroes are fully satisfied. In the coming year, I will continue to work for funding for rehabilitation of the HVAC system and expansion of the dayroom. I consider it an honor to do all I can to help these veterans and their home.
Member of Congress
ISSUE OF THE WEEK: DEPUTY SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION HEARS ABOUT NORTH JERSEY TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES
On Monday, October 16th, I invited Deputy Secretary of Transportation Maria Cino to New Jersey to meet with Bergen County mayors and council members and discuss the transportation infrastructure needs of our communities. A number of different issues were raised, including the congestion at the intersection of Routes 17 and 287 in Mahwah. Earlier this year, I secured $500,000 for a study of the merge patterns and traffic flow problems at this intersection in the Fiscal Year 2007 transportation appropriations bill. In fact, Deputy Secretary Cino was able to see the problem firsthand on Monday and I am hopeful that the solution to these traffic problems is not far around the corner.
Another issue raised at the roundtable was the airspace redesign project currently being drafted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that has the potential to dramatically impact the quality of life in many North Bergen communities. I have been working with our local elected officials to encourage the FAA to consider the concerns of many Bergen residents who will experience a marked increase in aircraft noise levels if some of the proposals under consideration prevail. In addition to the several letters I have sent the FAA on this issue, I also arranged a meeting for Pascack Valley mayors with the FAA official in charge of the redesign project this past spring and another meeting for those mayors with Congressman John Mica, Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the FAA. I am hopeful that when the Final Environmental Impact Statement is released at the end of this year, these meetings and letters will have had some influence on that final recommendation.
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