Debris, neglect have made Sayreville an embarrassment

I have read the article “Resident Asks Borough to Address Garbage Issue” (Suburban, Sept. 16) and the “Your Turn” guest column, “Sayreville Needs a Good, Clean Sweep” (Suburban, Oct. 28). The only thing I am upset about is that Barbara Kilcomons, who voiced her concerns at the Borough Council meeting, and Sydney Hanover, who wrote the “Your Turn,” spoke out before I did.

Unfortunately, both residents accurately describe a town that has not done anything to maintain the curbside appeal of its borders. We are an embarrassment to Middlesex County.

I recently had the opportunity to meet a former Sayreville resident and classmate who moved from the borough more than 10 years ago. He commented to me that he could believe the growth in Sayreville because of its location and land, but he was so disappointed that his hometown was so dirty.

This situation isn’t about the Boy Scouts doing roadside cleanup, and summer help or volunteers cleaning the nature preserve, though these are noble enterprises. This is about taking a good, hard look at the litter, overgrown grass and trees along roadsides, our schools, parks and library, and the unacceptable debris and neglect homeowners have been allowed to foster.

The new-construction developments are just as bad. The new Hovnanian development in town, Patriot Hill, is supposedly complete. Fences around the water reserves are falling apart and have never been completed, many of the trees planted were dead when they were planted, sidewalks lead to mounds of dirt and electrical boxes in their path — and these are just samples of why the current system doesn’t work in Sayreville.

There is a ton of time spent trying to get money for new projects like the Raritan River Project or building skate parks — once they are built, they look 10 years old in one year’s time.

Next, it will be the National Lead site. It is evident we can’t care for what we have, let alone a new tract of land the size of National Lead Industries. National Lead is not going to be the savior to Sayreville, as many officials wish us all to believe. In fact, if nothing changes, it will add to the town’s demise.

Taxes continue to rise, and services continue to fall. Officials need to take responsibility for this neglect and start addressing these necessities that are intrinsic to a good quality of life.

Thank you, Barbara and Sydney, for getting this discussion started.

Jeffrey Skwira

Parlin section of Sayreville