TRENTON – The state Senate voted 31-8 on a non-binding resolution that calls on Gov. Chris Christie to authorize the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission (DRCC) to hire a new executive director and a full time staff for the commission.
Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) of Piscataway, said the commission is instrumental to the DRCC’s success, effectively raising money to fund projects. Plus, the commission doesn’t cost much to run.
“It does not consume a single cent of taxpayer dollars,” he said at Monday’s voting session. “There are no costs to taxpayers.”
DRCC members testified before the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee last Monday and the committee passed a non-binding resolution urging the same.
John Loos, a commissioner, said it’s incumbent for the authority to hire an executive director in order to enable the body to continue performing its operations, and not put applicants for permits in limbo.
“If this is not resolved, we will have to lock all doors,” he said at the committee hearing.
Executive director Ernest Hahn was the last executive director who was scheduled to leave last week.
The tasks of the DRCC, which was formed in 1974, include reviewing and approving projects around the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, rejecting or modifying any action by the State in the D & R Canal State Park, or any permit for action in the park, according to the bill.