TRENTON, N.J. – Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin today announced the award of a $238,000 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant to the Borough of Ringwood.

“My administration has worked closely with local officials to expedite the grant application process and provide the Borough of Ringwood with the necessary resources to determine the cause of the sinkholes and remediate the area as quickly as possible,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “I have every confidence that working together, we will move forward to quickly address the significant public safety issues associated with the sinkholes, as well as the remediation of the entire site."

Ringwood will be using the money to study and remediate three sinkholes that have developed throughout the borough. 

“The situation in Ringwood was at a dire point,” said Commissioner Levin.  “This grant will allow for this potentially dangerous situation to be remedied as expeditiously as possible.”

The first sinkhole, which developed late last year near the center of an iron mine, measures approximately 20 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.  To determine the full extent that this situation threatens to become requires 50-foot deep soil borings throughout the area to locate “empty” or low density fill spaces.  These soil borings are required by the State Bureau of Mines to properly remediate, or close, the main sinkhole.

The Borough of Ringwood was granted $130,000 for engineering, soil boring and remediation costs related to this original sinkhole area.

“This is very good news for all of us in Ringwood,” said Mayor Joanne Atlas.  “Everyone is truly grateful to the state for stepping in and helping us out.”

Two other areas with suspected developing major sinkholes are also to be investigated, using the standard methodology required for mine remediation by the Bureau of Mines.  This requires targeted soil borings combined with a geologist or engineering analysis of the boring core samples, all done according to a state-approved plan.  One site is between two houses on small lots and the other is adjacent to a house.

The first site is believed to be atop a mine tunnel; the second, a large mine shaft.  Ringwood was granted $100,000 for the borings and analysis of these two sinkholes.

To protect the residents, the Borough of Ringwood sealed off the area around the sinkhole with temporary fencing.  The Borough was granted $8,000 to establish permanent fencing around the sinkholes to ensure the safety of the residents.