Council awards service contract to law firm
On Tuesday the Secaucus Town Council passed a resolution naming the law firm of Florio & Kenny, LLP as an additional tax counsel for an amount not to exceed $15,000 over the next year.
Florio & Kenny will provide tax counsel to the town that will supplement the work of lead tax counsel Zipp and Tannenbaum. The Town Council has already approved, at its Feb. 8 meeting, a professional service contract in the amount of $125,000 for Zipp and Tannenbaum. That contract was among 18 – totaling as much as $822,500 – that were approved by the governing body earlier this month.
Four town contracts – for public defender, public relations/grants writer, and two for medical and dental insurance brokers – have yet to be awarded. These contracts will be awarded within the next month.
Hartz donates 3,000-square-foot space for Secaucus Food Pantry
Local real estate developer and property management company Hartz Mountain Industries has donated a 3,000 square foot space at 210 Meadowlands Parkway to Secaucus for the town to use for its food pantry.
The company has agreed to allow the town to use the space – free of charge – for the next five years. Hartz will also pick up the tab for utilities at the new facility, according to Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli.
The space, which had previously been used for retail, will house the Secaucus Food Pantry, which is currently based at the top of a narrow staircase in the Secaucus Senior Center. The pantry provides food for needy residents.
According to Gonnelli, the last paying tenant to use the 3,000-square-foot space paid $6,000 per month in rent, or $72,000 annually. Since Hartz is letting Secaucus use the space free for five years, this amounts to an in-kind donation of more than $360,000 once utilities are added.
“This will give us the opportunity to expand our food pantry. It will allow us to help more people,” said Gonnelli. “Right now we don’t have room to take donations that we’d like to take because we have no place to put them. Given the economic times, the need is definitely there.”
Although food pantry volunteers and staffers have in the past claimed that the food pantry in Secaucus is underutilized, the mayor insisted, “People are using it…On behalf of the Town Council, I have to thank [Hartz President and Chief Operating Officer] Emanuel Stern for giving us this opportunity. I mentioned in passing that we needed a better site for our food pantry, and the next day I got a phone call from Hartz offering this to us.”
In addition to the food pantry, the town also plans to use a portion of the space to warehouse some of its municipal files and other records.
The building at 210 Meadowlands Parkway is also home to an urgent care medical facility and the apparel outlet A Real New York Bargain.
Prieto-backed ‘Sara’s Law’ passes in Assembly
A bill that would notify next-of-kin in the event someone is critically injured and unable to communicate with medical staff passed in the New Jersey Assembly last week.
The legislation, known as “Sara’s Law,” was co-sponsored by State Assemblyman and Secaucus resident Vincent Prieto.
Under the legislation, the state would create a registry through the Dept. of Motor Vehicles that would allow people to voluntarily create a list of people who should be contacted in the event of a major medical emergency. The next-of-kin list could be created by any holder of a New Jersey driver’s license or non-driver’s license, which many people use for identification.
The list would be kept electronically on a state database.
An earlier draft of the legislation passed in the Assembly last summer. An amended version was introduced to be consistent with the state Senate’s draft of the bill. It was the amended Assembly bill that passed last week.
The bill is named for Sayreville resident Sara Dubinin, who was injured in a 2007 car accident. Dubinin, who sustained major injuries and who was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash, died the day after her accident. It took hospital staff nearly two hours to notify her parents of her accident.
“Sometimes, in these emergency situations, every minute counts, and you want the family to be notified as quickly as possible,” Prieto said last week. “Someone may not have long to live. Critical hours spent trying to track down the next of kin is time lost that the family could be spending with their loved one in their last minutes of life.”
Love the oboe? The NJMC has a program for you
Join musician Ellen Katz Willner for an afternoon of familiar classical compositions that showcase the beauty of the oboe. Hosted by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m., Willner will be joined by a pianist and a violinist.
Adults and children over 10 only. Pre-registration is required.
Payment is $5 per person for nonmembers and $3 for members. Light refreshments will be served.
The event will take place at the Meadowlands Environment Center, Two DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst.
For more information, call (201) 460-8300 or go online at www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.