At the meeting, it was noted that a woman who owns property next to the No. 1 Volunteer Fire Department firehouse has passed away. The town voted to buy her property so they can expand the firehouse.
The council voted to purchase 267 County Ave. for $425,000.
They described the existing firehouse as "the crowded home of the Mean Machine and the Back Road Beast," and noted in the ordinance that "the purchase of this property may be the only opportunity to expand this firehouse which serves the entire town of Secaucus."
The property is also near the Lautenberg train station, the Fraternity Meadows residential development, and other south end developments.
Two ordinances about quality of life
Two resolutions were passed regarding town maintenance and the overall quality of life.
The first was a bond ordinance that will give $1,390,000 to various departments throughout the town. The money will go toward the acquisition of "real property," as well as a new town car, the replacement and addition of machinery throughout town buildings, replacing and maintaining signals and communication hardware throughout the community, and enhancing the town's information gathering technology.
"Real property" is a term used to define any property that is not personal movable property. While usually used to mean land, it does not necessarily have to be.
Lien on me
The other quality-of-life resolution that passed Tuesday night was an ordinance to alter the way in which the town handles property maintenance.
Currently, if a resident or town official believes that a property owner is not maintaining their property to the standards the town has for the "quality of life" in Secaucus, they are issued a fine. For instance, someone who lets a vacant lot become overgrown with weeds, or has a tree reaching onto a neighboring property, might have to pay a fine.
"Some people just want to pay the fine though and they'll never fix the problem," said town attorney Frank Leanza.
Now, the town has the ability to put a lien on the property.
With this new method, the town can ultimately make it impossible to sell their house until the problems have been fixed.
"We didn't have the teeth to [make them change]. Now we do," said Leanza.
The council also introduced an ordinance to create three additional bus stops. The new stops will be at along new County Road and Seaview Drive.
Homes climb high
During remarks of the citizens, resident Frank McCormick commented on the building of Centex homes.
"I've noticed that it's starting to get pretty high," said McCormick. "How high is it going to get?"
McCormick was referring to the work currently being done on Koelle Boulevard across from the town pool. Centex Homes will be building 43 town houses. The homes are scheduled to be completed by February 2008. Although no homes have gone up yet, McCormick worried that the land that was already being put up will block views for the residents and from the new recreation center.
"We didn't even have a say," lamented Mayor Dennis Elwell. The developer had purchased the land from the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.
Elwell then maintanied that Centex Homes had been threatening to sue the town since they felt the town was trying to stop them from building on the land.
State Assemblyman and town zoning officer Vincent Prieto said they aren't trying to stop construction, but are going through the zoning documents preceding the construction with a fine-tooth comb.