Super Bowl and more
Council meeting addresses Winter Blast event; home heat issues, gives praise
by Art Schwartz
Reporter staff writer
Feb 02, 2014 | 3742 views | 0 0 comments | 150 150 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HAVING A BLAST – The Secaucus Town Council discusses the upcoming Winter Blast.
HAVING A BLAST – The Secaucus Town Council discusses the upcoming Winter Blast.

Winter Blast, a Super Bowl-themed festival in Secaucus, was among the main topics discussed at the Town Council meeting on Jan. 28. The council members discussed not only plans for the event — at that point only days away, taking place from Thursday, Jan. 30 to Saturday, Feb. 1 — but also the wrapup afterwards.

Mayor Michael Gonnelli warned that “not only for this event but for anything that happens to our town [during Super Bowl week], we have zero tolerance. We’re not going to put up with any nonsense, anything to do with any kind of public nuisance.”

To handle the increased traffic, the Secaucus police have increased patrols. “New Jersey Transit has been notified, they’ll be issuing summonses,” said Gonnelli. “The sheriff’s department will be helping us out throughout the community. We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure nothing gets out of control.”

“We are having a special session of our municipal court on Monday, Feb. 3 at 9:30 a.m.,” said Councilman Gary Jeffas. “That’s a specific session for any traffic violations or things like that from anybody out of town, so we can handle those issues before they go back.”
“We’re not going to put up with any nonsense.” –Mayor Gonnelli
Councilman Robert Costantino reported that the county provided a $5,000 grant toward the Winter Blast, “to be used to offset the cost of the New Jersey Hall of Fame,” he said, referring to the mobile museum scheduled to be on site for the event. “And also to offset the cost of having the Lombardi Trophy here. This offset is obviously going to increase the profit going to charities that are going to benefit from the event.”

“The town did not spend one penny on this event,” said Mayor Gonnelli. “Not one cent. We have garbage cleanup, the police, it’s all in the budget.” Costs for the event were covered by a variety of sources, including sponsors and vendors.

Councilman Jeffas also pointed out the availability of a smart phone app called ‘safe-nj’ that can be downloaded and used to report suspicious activity. The app enables citizens to instantly report to the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, 24 hours a day. The report goes directly to Counter Terrorism Watch personnel.

Public servants appreciated

Following the recent snowstorms, Mayor Gonnelli praised the work of the DPW. “They worked under some really tough conditions. When you work with temperatures as low as they were, it’s very, very hard to do their job, so our hats off to each and every one of them,” he said.

Councilman James Clancy had similar words of praise for the local firefighters. Recently the Fire Department was called to fight a difficult basement fire on Fourth Street that displaced five people. A few hours later the Fire Department was called to Union City to assist in battling a pair of fires, spending 12 hours in Union City.

“The fire on Fourth Street took place when the temperatures were in the teens,” said Mayor Gonnelli. “Fighting that kind of fire creates a lot of difficulties, a lot of hazards for our firefighters and they do a fantastic job.”

“Plus most of them were up 30 hours,” added Councilman William McKeever, pointing out that many of the firemen were snowplowing the night before.

McKeever also invited residents to attend the Secaucus Fire Department Exempt Ladies’ Auxiliary Valentine’s Breakfast on Sunday, Feb. 9 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Also of note

Councilman Clancy provided important information from PSE&G regarding issues related to the cold and ice. “They’re concerned about residents who may not have heat for one reason or another,” he said. “If you do lose electricity, especially when we get icy conditions, you can call 800-436-PSEG.”

On a more celebratory note, McKeever reported that the New York Yankees are looking for World War II veterans who participated in D-Day. “There’s a game on June 5, the Yankees vs. Oakland As, they’re going to bring out the the D-Day vets and honor them on the field to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of D-Day. So if anybody knows of a World War II vet who participated in D-Day, have him contact Mayor Gonnelli or myself and we’ll try and get him a reservation,” he said.

Art Schwartz may be reached at

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