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HEAT Members plans include working towards getting directional signs around town to guide visitors and residents to Jungle Habitat and the Pump Track. Both are great town assists that are underutilized for their recreational capabilities. HEAT Members also plan to work on replacing the Menu Signs around town; specifically the one at La Rue Road and Union Valley that has fallen into severe disrepair. 

New West Milford Signs
WEST MILFORD – Visitors to the township now will receive a warmer welcome.
The 12 welcome signs placed beside popular roads entering the township from various directions had deteriorated in appearance over time. Once bright, fresh and inviting, the signs had long ago fallen into disrepair.
Now, though, Highlands Economic Development and Tourism Corp. (HEAT) has begun to replace the signs. The new versions feature a picture of a West Milford scene and, in keeping with the township’s focus as a center for eco-tourism, display icons depicting the various forms of recreation available in the municipality.
The first sign replacements – on Echo Lake Road just east of Route 23 and Greenwood Lake Turnpike – took place this past week. Members of HEAT, along with a small group of volunteers, removed the old signs, cleaned the surroundings of overgrowth and debris, installed the new units, and laid mulch around the display kiosks. Several large garbage bags were filled with refuse from the areas around the signs.
The HEAT plans to replace the remaining signs in the coming weeks.
The mulch was donated by Organic Waste Systems, owner Scott Ridings. HEAT members Tim Wagner, JC Ringer and Jon Sherwood were joined in the work by Laurie Hoppe-Ringer, Daniel Poeschl and Stu Feldman, vice president of the West Milford Chamber of Commerce.
The township Beautification Committee and Ada Erick, the committee’s Township Council liaison, had worked with members of the former West Milford Economic Development Committee, and the current HEAT organization, to design and build the signs.
The HEAT, which seeks to rev up the economy in West Milford and surrounding communities in the New Jersey Highlands, is composed of an array of experienced business and professional leaders. The group focuses on initiatives that encourage business growth within, and tourist visits to, the Highlands.
For more information about HEAT or upcoming events, visit the HEAT website at www.NJHEAT.org.

West Milford EDC suggests new signs, TV ads to spur tourism

Friday, December 16, 2011
Aim West Milford

The current signs identifying the Township of West Milford at its boundaries do not enhance the township’s image say the West Milford Economic Development Committee (EDC) members. They told the Township of West Milford Council at the Dec. 7 council workshop they are dedicated to getting new signs in place.

The long-existing brown signs with their "West Milford Is a Clean Community" slogan have to go, said EDC Chair Robert Nicholson. He told the council that the signs need to be replaced with ones that are more colorful, eye-catching and tell the message of the growing rebirth of the local tourism industry.

"A clean community is nice but we need something more on those signs," said Nicholson. "We need to tell about recreational activities that people can do. Thousands of cars pass along Route 23 all day long. We need to give them (vehicle occupants) a reason to make a turn off the highway. We don’t need them to go to Sussex County. The current signs are outdated and in disrepair. Brown was nice at one time but we (now) need bright colors."

He suggested having a contest in local schools for student submissions of their ideas for a new sign and slogan design. Nicholson pointed to signs at the entrances to other communities as examples of the type of sign that West Milford needs.

Greenwood Lake Airport Manager Tim Wagner agreed with Nicholson that new attractive signs at key locations are one component that is essential to the success of the township’s new tourism business effort.

"Signs showing age, wear and tear don’t grab attention," said Wagner. "We need to show we are a recreation, caring community. Like a business West Milford needs to be competitive. I look forward to having new signage."


Move is on for new signs at West Milford borders

Friday, April 6, 2012
Aim West Milford

An effort by two Township of West Milford appointed committees to have attractive signs placed on roads at entrances to the Township of West Milford will continue during their separate meetings on Tuesday, April 10. The West Milford Beautification and Recycling Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. The West Milford Economic Development Committee (EDC) meets at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings are in the municipal building meeting room.

This sign at the West Milford-Bloomingdale boundary on Otterhole Road was removed the day after this photo was taken in February as part of plans to make the township entrances more attractive with new or refurbished signage.
This sign at the West Milford-Bloomingdale boundary on Otterhole Road was removed the day after this photo was taken in February as part of plans to make the township entrances more attractive with new or refurbished signage.

Greenwood Lake Airport Manager Tim Wagner got people thinking about need for new signs during the Nov. 2, 2011 township council meeting. He expressed concern about the image presented to people when they arrive at the various boundaries of the township.

"The old existing signs at the entrance to the township are decrepit and present a bad image," said Wagner.

The signs he referred to remained in place for the first three months of this year. Since then, Recycling Coordinator David Stires has been taking them down and planned to take them to the department of public works (DPW) sign department in an effort to repair and improve them.

This year Wagner became a member of the West Milford Economic Development Commission (EDC) and his message that the township needs new signs to advertise the township’s beauty got immediate support there. EDC Chair Robert Nicholson is also a staunch crusader in the effort to get new signs.

The West Milford Beautification and Recycling Committee also discussed a need to improve signage at the entrances to the township at their meetings. Committee members said new signs are needed to improve the township’s appearance. They also support putting up new upbeat signs to welcome visitors and increase business incentives.

West Milford's new welcome signs renew beautification discussion

Saturday December 8, 2012, 9:27 AM
Suburban Trends

Fresh welcome mats for the township have put a spotlight on local housekeeping efforts.

The new roadside signs touting West Milford as a clean, multi-faceted community were designed by local volunteers in a joint effort between West Milford’s Economic Development and Beautification and Recycling committees. According to Economic Development Committee (EDC) Chairman Robert Nicholson, they represent a noteworthy development for the township and a small victory for the committees, which are adamant about showcasing the natural beauty of West Milford.

The replacement of the decades-old carved and painted wooden signs along the town’s main entryways resolved a long-standing concern, he said. Still, according to EDC member Tim Wagner, issues with high grass, weeds, and garbage remain a source of apprehension.

While many of the main roads are county owned, Wagner said he believes the ability of the local Department of Public Works (DPW) to handle maintenance on roadways in West Milford has been hindered by the department’s steady reduction in staff through attrition. According to Councilman Michael Ramaglia, who is entering his last month on the council, the local government has been taking a "wait and see" attitude toward replacing losses in DPW staffing in recent years.

He recently urged residents to contact the municipal administration to notify them of junk cars, overgrown weeds, and other eyesores "and see how fast they get addressed."

Mayor Bettina Bieri encouraged residents to do the same in order to allow the Planning Department’s zoning division to respond to – not find – eyesores and other instances of non-compliance, noting the "DPW has a lot of work to do as well."


Town Ordinance: Police Service Charges

For the events in town, the West Milford Police department charges the event organizer for the police officers at their overtime rate which can range from $65-$105 depending on the officers seniority. On top of this, the town charges a 25% administrative fee in addition to the Police charges. For an event that has an estimated 5,000 - 10,000 spectators, the police department requires 5 Special Officers, 6 Police Officers and 1 Supervisor. For a three day show, the total fee for the Police is roughly $17,800. This extremely high fee cuts into any potential profit the organizer may make, especially in the case of bad weather during an outdoor event, which many of the events in West Milford are. The issue has been raised at many town council meetings. It is proposed that:

  • 25% administrative fee is waived
  • Police rates be lowered to a comparable rate to those of neighboring towns
  • Open communication between local law enforcement and event organizer to review the industry standards and local police recommendations so that all parties have a better understanding of what is considered adequate security and safety of an event
  • Option to hire outside police agency (such as Passaic County Sheriffs Department or private security agency)
  • Contingency plan for bad weather to limit police expenses when crowds are minimal