The deal was made official Wednesday, when the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance that authorized the sale of the property.
The land sale was made possible by state law, called the Local Land and Buildings Law, which allows a municipality to conduct a private sale to any political subdivision, agency, department, commission, board or corporate body within a municipality.
The North Bergen MUA is a private organization and separate from the local government, although the township's officials do oversee the operations of the agency.
According to township administrator Chris Pianese, the deal was made possible when the township realized that it still owned the land and was not part of the deal when the MUA was formed in the early 1980s.
"When we subdivided the land, we thought the land was MUA property and the land next to it where we park our vehicles was ours," Pianese said. "So when we discovered that the land where the Sewage Treatment Center is belonged to us, we just made a deal to sell it to the MUA."
As part of the deal, the township maintains the parcel of land that is used for a parking lot for township vehicles and will receive credits on the sewage bills until 2017.
In the coming years, the North Bergen MUA will join forces with the Jersey City Sewage Authority to combine services that will pump the sewage to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission treatment center in Newark. That move will make the current North Bergen treatment center obsolete.
New deal for businesses
In other news, the township approved three ordinances that enable the town to vacate portions of three streets, Marks Place, 21st Street and 80th Street, in order to make life easier for businesses that reside on those streets.
All three of the streets in question are in areas of the township that are undeveloped and by relieving itself of all responsibilities on the streets, the township no longer has to worry about the costs and upkeep of those areas. According to township attorney Herb Klitzner, the portion of 80th Street is owned by the Lubins Family, LLC and they made a formal request to the township to expand their business located at that location.
"That portion of 80th Street was never really a part of our street system and it led out to the Meadowlands," Klitzner said. "They have an application with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to expand, and then approached the town to vacate the street. We agreed. The three streets can never fully be utilized as streets; so therefore, they are no longer useful to the public."
Street, sidewalk improvements
The commissioners also introduced a $2.7 million bond ordinance in order to make improvements to most of the township's streets, like from 40th through 91st streets between Dell Avenue and Boulevard East and from 6th through 39th streets from Kennedy Boulevard and Liberty Avenue.
The improvements include reconstruction, resurfacing, widening and construction of curbs, sidewalks, catch basins and drainage facilities.
The ordinance also calls for slight improvements to several township-owned buildings.
In other news from a very busy meeting (the lone commissioners' meeting for the month of August), the commissioners approved a resolution that called for payment of $36,000 for the last few items of the new municipal pool complex, including a security camera, a new backwash tank pump and miscellaneous other items.
The commissioners passed a resolution that called for the repairs of two township residences after a truck crashed into the homes on 76th Street in May. If the damages were sufficient to cause a public hazard, the township has the right to make the improvements to the homes to the total of $10,000 and can recoup the funds via tax liens.
The township approved a bid of $127,000 to Joseph Sanzari, Inc. of Hackensack to make general improvements to Railroad Avenue.
A new traffic light was approved for the corner of 90th Street and Durham Avenue and a new fire hydrant has been approved for River Road near Bulls Ferry Road, where most of the township's new construction has been taking place.
Salaries, other news
The commissioners passed a resolution that will able the township to once again apply to the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Authority to receive UEZ assistance funds in the coming year.
The resolution had to be passed before the township's 2007-08 budget gets officially introduced sometime next month.
The commissioners also approved a resolution that will enable the township to apply for additional Public Archives and Records Infrastructure Support (PARIS) grants from the state.
Usually, a municipality can receive $50,000 from the state to upgrade its archive system, in terms of management, preservation and storage needs for township records.
The salary structure was established for the members and chairpersons of the township's resident boards and committees, such as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the Board of Adjustment, the Handicapped Parking Board, the Planning Board, the Rent Leveling Board, the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Condominium/Co-Op Protection Board and the Traffic Advisory Board.
The clerks for each board receive a stipend of $3,500 per year, while the chairperson receives $1,000 and each member receiving $750. Each special meeting that is called and attended by a member provides an additional stipend of $150 per meeting.
The Board of Commissioners appointed Mary Cranwell to the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Condo/Co-Op Protection Board and named Cynthia DePice as an alternate member.
Speeding cars a nuisance
In the public portion of the meeting, a resident of the northern portion of the township complained about the late-night speeding that takes place near her home on Kennedy Boulevard and 85th Street.
"The speed of the cars in that area is amazing," the resident said. "The music is loud coming out of the cars. It's like 2 in the morning and I can't sleep. I can't do anything. My mother is afraid to cross the street. It's frightening."
North Bergen Police Chief William Galvin was in attendance and he assured the woman that he would have his motorcycle patrol enforce laws in the area more stringently in the future.
"It's also disturbing the peace as well," Sacco said. "It's something we have to look into."
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org