More than 100 cameras will be installed throughout the township, and will be monitored by civilian and police personnel at a local headquarters.
According to North Bergen township administrator Chris Pianese, the two applications were for $1.6 million for the cost of the system's wireless installation, as well as a $574,000 grant to pay the salaries of the personnel hired to monitor the security system.
"The state requires that we apply for the grants in phases," Pianese said. "We already received the go-ahead to have the monitoring station [some $500,000 to renovate the current PAL headquarters and turn it into the security system's central location] and now we needed to apply for these UEZ grants to pay for the cameras and the personnel. We're required by the UEZ laws to apply to the state. These resolutions put those applications into place."
A UEZ is a business district where vendors can collect sales tax at 3.5 percent instead of 7. Some of the money is used to upgrade the zone, and the districts can also get certain state grants.
The sales tax collected in North Bergen's business district is deposited in a special UEZ Assistance Fund that is monitored by the state. The funds are eligible to be used for township programs and projects that are designed to promote economic development, not just in the designated UEZ area, but throughout the entire township.
Pianese said that the first grant will cover the cost of the cameras and the networking process. Instead of having to lay down cables and wiring, the entire system will now be wireless, giving more access with less work and cost.
Pianese said that the people manning the security system at headquarters will be a combination of police and civilians, but that the civilians might be retired police officers or retired police supervisors.
"But we could quite possibly have a retired police member serve as the supervisor for the system," Pianese said.
Town gets grants for road repairs, safety
In other news from the latest commissioners' meeting, the township also received a substantial $498,000 grant from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund, the highest allocation the township ever received from the fund.
"We're going to use the funds to pave and repair the streets that need it the most," Pianese said. "We have a priority list for streets that need the work the most. This will strictly go for milling and repaving of streets. It's a critical grant for us, because without it, we would have to pay for these projects out of the capital budget and ultimately, that would hit the taxpayers."
Pianese said that the grant was secured by hard work in the State Senate by North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, who is also the state Senator for the 32nd District.
"The senator made a big push to get more," Pianese said. "Usually, we get anywhere between $300,000 and $400,000, so this was significantly more."
The township also announced the receipt of a $100,000 grant from the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission's Municipal Assistance Grant, which provides funding to the municipalities that are part of the Meadowlands Commission.
The township also announced the receipt of smaller grants, like a $20,000 grant for Pedestrian Safety Education and Enforcement, a $12,577 grant from the state's Department of Law and Public Safety's Body Armor Replacement Fund to purchase new bulletproof vests for the police department, an $8,254 grant from the state's Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund and a $5,000 grant, also from the state's Department of Law and Public Safety, from the Over the Limit Under Arrest Crackdown 2007 Year End fund.
The township also passed a resolution calling for the purchase of two new street sweepers, with an estimated cost of $316,000, with UEZ funding. The township is required to match 20 percent of the cost, with the rest coming from UEZ funds.
"We were in desperate need of new street sweepers," Pianese said. "The new street sweepers will be dedicated for use within the UEZ area."
Taxes and contracts
The commissioners also passed a resolution extending the date for when the first quarter taxes are due by homeowners. The bills for the first quarters were delayed in being mailed, so the date for payment has been extended from Feb. 1, 2008 to Feb. 20 without penalty of interest charges.
Vision Media of Secaucus received another contract for 2008 to serve as the township's media consulting and public relations firm for $58,970.
P.R.S. Consultants of Manchester was also retained as the township's consultants for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Program for approximately $20,000.
A resolution was also passed to enable the township to continue to repair and provide maintenance for vehicles owned by the North Bergen Parking Authority.
Another resolution was passed that authorized North Bergen's inclusion in the Hudson County 10-year plan to end chronic homeless problems entitled the "Keys to Ending Homelessless in Hudson County."
The commissioners also approved the appointment of Rehab Awadallah as a member of the Planning Board for a two-year term.
The commissioners also approved the payment of bills totaling $3.293 million to vendors for the month of December, 2007.
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or email@example.com