Downtown residents to get library branch
Commissioners also pass $84.2M budget
by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
May 12, 2013 | 2542 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WITHIN THESE WALLS … This space on Kennedy Boulevard will be the site of the township’s first downtown library.
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Come mid-summer, residents of downtown North Bergen will be web surfing and enjoying movies in their own library branch for the first time ever, thanks to an ordinance passed at Wednesday’s township commission meeting.

Right now, the town has a main library near 84th Street on Bergenline Avenue. The new branch will open near 21st Street.

The measure, authorizing the leasing of 1,800 square feet of a new building at 2127 Kennedy Blvd., is the first step in the creation of the satellite library, which will save residents travel time and provide them with computers and special event space.

The new facility is an annex to the main library at the other end of town.

The idea for the new library came from residents, who expressed to township commissioners a need for a “library presence downtown,” said Township Administrator Christopher Pianese after the meeting.

“We expect to open the annex in the next two months,” he said. “It must first be retrofitted for our purposes.”

An estimated $50,000 will be spent on electric, air conditioning and other basic construction. The exact annual lease is still being negotiated with landlord Wizdom III LLC.
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“We expect to open the annex in the next two months.” – Administrator Christopher Pianese
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When completed, the new library will feature two dozen computer work stations, community room space for meetings and other activities, and handicapped accessibility. In addition, a book-sharing program with the main branch be created that will provide books requested from the annex within 24 hours.

The community space will include evening and weekend cultural programs like those held at the main facility, such as the popular “Taste of” culinary events, comedians, and musical offerings, said Mayor Nicholas Sacco. Afternoon movies for township seniors will be a staple. The space will also be used for education trainings, such as English as a Second Language and the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

In addition, the township is in negotiations to acquire parking in a corner lot near the facility. If all works out, the lot will have space for up to 25 cars, at least as much as at the main branch.

Budget passed

In other business, the commissioners amended and adopted the $82.2 million 2013 municipal budget.

“The overall increase with school, county, and local, is 4 percent,” said Pianese. That translates into about $290 per year for the average homeowner, on a house with an average assessed value of $140,000.

About half of the increase was attributable to the impact of successful tax appeals, he said.

At the meeting, the commissioners also passed an ordinance to sell a property at 1112 14th, known as the “14th Street Nutrition Center.” The center had become underutilized in recent years, according to Sacco. The township property will be sold at public auction.

There were no speakers in the public portion of the meeting.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at joepass@hudsonreporter.com.

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