Town introduces $3.5M public improvement ordinance
Winners of Christmas decoration contest earn $1,000 each
by Hannington Dia
Reporter Staff Writer
Feb 11, 2018 | 1912 views | 0 0 comments | 279 279 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The North Bergen Board of Commissioners honored the grand prize winners of the town’s annual Christmas home decoration contest, at their Feb. 7 meeting. From left to right: North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, Millie Vega, Jose Santos, and Modesta Santos.
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The North Bergen Board of Commissioners introduced a $3.5 million bond ordinance at their Feb. 7 meeting to authorize the town to acquire properties, make various public improvements, and replace equipment and vehicles. The ordinance also earmarks $1.2 million to reconstruct, renovate and rehabilitate the town’s existing public parks; $400,000 for replacing storm water sewers, and $897,000 for vehicles and a new ambulance.

The ordinance will also cover work including widening and resurfacing from 40th to 91st Streets between Dell Avenue and Boulevard East, and Sixth to 39th Streets between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Liberty Avenue.

Town Administrator Chris Pianese said things could change between the ordinance’s introduction and its final hearing on Feb. 21.

“We do one bond ordinance a year,” he said, after the commissioners’ meeting. “We call it our ‘Multi-Purpose Ordinance,’ because it’s capital items, which are outside the regular operating budget.”

‘Best Decorated’ homes

The commissioners also awarded $1,000 each to one local couple and another resident for the town’s annual “Best Christmas Home Decorated Contest.”

Home spotters traversed the town in December to select the three winners. They included Jose and Modesta Santos of 13th Street and Millie Vega of Grand Avenue. The third winner was not immediately available to collect the prize money.

Jose, a truck driver by trade, was at work when wife Modesta called to share the great news.

“She called me and I said, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it,’” Jose said, shortly before the meeting began.

“For years and years, he did the decorations,” Modesta added. “Everybody stopped in their cars by the house, to take a picture.”

Jose said that after his mother died in 2016, he temporarily stopped putting effort into his home’s Christmas decorations. But eventually, he regained the spirit to kick things up a notch last year.

The two say they plan on giving $200 each to their son and daughter, both of whom are college students.

“It’s amazing to see the holiday spirit in the town again,” said Vega, of how she felt about winning, before the meeting. “It was surprising. It’s nice to see extra money in your pocket.”

The winners also went home with commemorative plaques.

More parking spaces on the way

The commissioners adopted an ordinance to acquire two houses for sale, as well as a small property in order to expand an existing parking lot on Broadway and 73rd Street. It will cost the town $315,000, according to the ordinance.

“We saw the availability, we thought it was a great spot, since we had an existing parking lot there,” Pianese said. “It is a combination of three lots that will allow us to double the parking grid that’s there today.”

Pianese was not aware of the number of parking spaces the expansion would create, saying he would have to speak with town engineers to determine an answer.

Traffic island improvement

North Bergen officials also passed a resolution to enter into a shared services agreement with the county to acquire control and maintenance of a traffic island at 92nd Street and Kennedy Boulevard, located near the town’s border with Fairview. The town wishes to beautify and improve the property upon taking responsibility for it.

“That island contains overgrown trees, bushes, and we’re going to clean it up,” Pianese said. “Maybe put a brick wall around it, some lighting, and then landscape it and make it more attractive.” He estimates the work could begin by spring.

Hannington Dia can be reached at

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