Park and road improvements
Commissioners adopt $3.5M bond for improvements
Mar 04, 2018 | 2657 views | 0 0 comments | 240 240 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New senior and recreational buses are coming for North Bergen residents after the town’s Board of Commissioners adopted a $3.5 million bond ordinance at their Feb. 21 meeting.
New senior and recreational buses are coming for North Bergen residents after the town’s Board of Commissioners adopted a $3.5 million bond ordinance at their Feb. 21 meeting.
The North Bergen Board of Commissioners adopted a $3.5 million bond ordinance at their Feb. 21 meeting to pay for items including street and park improvements, new township vehicles, and a new dispatch system for police.

Street work

The ordinance budgets $50,000 toward reconstruction, resurfacing, widening, and construction for 40th to 91st Streets, between Dell Avenue and Boulevard East, and Sixth to 39th Streets, between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Liberty Avenue. Each year, the town’s DPW approaches officials with a list of streets that need work, according to Town Administrator Chris Pianese.

“It’s just an annual program that we go through,” Pianese said. The town applies for New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) grants to do the street work, and supplements the awards with the bond ordinance money, he said.

Another $400,000 in the ordinance will go towards construction, reconstruction, and improvement of the town's sanitary and storm water sewer system at the aforementioned streets.

Park improvements

Another $1.2 million in the ordinance will go toward reconstructing, renovating, and improving various township parks.

The ordinance also budgets $400,000 of that park money for renovation work at 38th Street Park to match a pending application from the town for $500,000 from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund. This is because the township estimates the total cost of work at that park to be $900,000.

Officials also budgeted $500,000 in the ordinance's park funds for work at the 64th Street Field. “We have a million dollars in [state] Green Acres funding,” Pianese said. “We're applying to CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) for $400,000.”

If the CDBG funds are approved, it would fully fund that project's total $1.9 million cost.

New township vehicles coming

The bond ordinance also budgets $170,000 for a new DPW salt spreader. It also budgets money to replace two antiquated township buses: a 24-passenger recreational bus, budgeted for $60,000; and a 32 passenger senior bus, budgeted for $125,000.

The town is budgeting another $130,000 for a new EMS ambulance through the ordinance, which it hopes to acquire by May, Pianese said.

“Based on the type of terrain being hills, we find that we constantly need to improve and upgrade our fleet and keep it as new as we can,” Pianese said.

Streamlined policing

The ordinance budgets $150,000 for a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system for the North Bergen Police Department.

The CAD system will concentrate police and ambulance calls in town, and keep permanent records of those calls under one computerized system, according to officials.

“Basically, it's a huge database, and it's connected to our phone system,” said North Bergen Police Department Deputy Chief Peter Fasilis, after the meeting. “It's the centralized management system for all our records.”

The CAD will feature computerized crime mapping. Currently, officers have to manually map out crime locations to pinpoint problem areas. The CAD will map calls automatically.

“So whenever a job comes in at a certain location, it automatically puts it onto the map,” Fasilis explained. “Say there's a lot of vandalism going on in one section of town. It'll start populating these little dots, and they'll have different colors and different symbols to indicate what kind of crimes are occurring in an area.”

Red spots indicate more crime and disorder in a given area, so officers can concentrate efforts there.

“In today's day and age, it's a tool that major cities can't do without,” Fasilis said.

The company that provides the town's current dispatch system—the Queues Enforth Development (QED)--is based in Massachusetts, but the company that provides the CAD system is based in New Jersey.

“Tech support is really expensive,” Fasilis said. “For training, we either have to go out there or bring people here, which costs money. You have to pay for room and board, travel expenses, and whatnot.”

Currently, the department has different systems for departments such as fingerprint data and property and evidence. That means if something is logged into one system, it does not communicate directly with other systems. The CAD concentrates all these different systems into one, easily accessible spot, Fasilis said.

Officers will also be able to access the CAD via mobile app in the field. Most police departments that have used the QED in New Jersey are transitioning to the CAD, according to Fasilis.

The department's transition to the CAD should start in April, according to Township Administrator Chris Pianese. The department hopes to have it operational by late August.

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