Group home issues, snow are hot topics for Morristown council

By Berit Ollestad

A group home on Headley Road has raised concerns among neighbors, who came to last week’s Morristown council meeting to complain about frequent visits by police, fire vehicles and ambulances.

Residents cited growing incidences of violent outbursts, vandalism and unsupervised youths at the nonprofit Devereux facility, which houses young adults with mental health issues.

“The safety of our children is now in jeopardy and it is totally unacceptable” one resident told the council at the sparsely attended session.

Management of the group home has been unresponsive, residents said.

Promotional video from Devereux:

Town Administrator Michael Rogers said the town was aware of the situation and Police Chief Peter Demnitz has spoken with the Devereux regional director.

The chief tried to reassure residents during an impromptu meeting in the lobby of town hall.

“After conversations with these individuals overseeing the Devereux house, they seem to be genuinely interested with the concerns and complaints from nearby residents and they are committed to addressing the concerns mentioned,” Demnitz said.


While motorists are on the lookout for summer milling and paving projects, the council is thinking snow.

Councilwoman Alison Deeb is leading a subcommittee studying how the town can improve its snow removal operations.


It’s not always clear about when cars must be moved for snowplowing, she said, asserting that signage is inconsistent and tickets are costly. The subcommittee plans to plow ahead with this, as the administration critiques its performance during one of the harshest winters in recent years.

Deeb also advised residents to call the Department of Public Works to report any clogged storm drains that could cause flooding.

Snow removal in Morristown, Feb. 19, 2014. Photo by Berit Ollestad

Snow removal in Morristown, Feb. 19, 2014. Photo by Berit Ollestad



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