Editor's Notebook: July 11 Council Meeting
Borough officials swore in two probationary police officers, honored another, renewed contracts and passed an ordinance for additional road repairs at the July 11 meeting of the mayor and council.
The meeting began with a formal recognition of Midland Park Police Sgt. Noah Van Vliet for apprehending two suspects involved in an attempted armed robbery in Wyckoff on Dec. 28, 2012. At 11:20pm that night, the department received a call for aid from Wyckoff Police Department, responding to shots fired. Sgt. Van Vliet and other officers set up a perimeter on Cedar Hill Avenue, where he stopped a suspicious vehicle, and detained the actors involved in the crime.
Mayor Patrick “Bud” O’Hagan presented Sgt. Van Vliet with a plaque commemorating his heroics.
The mayor also swore in two probationary police officers. Officer Jason Tillson has completed the Police Academy and starts on Aug. 1, while Officer Matthew Lombardo is currently in the academy as of July 1. The starting salary for the new officers is $32,269.
Bridge & Road Work Updates
County workers are in the final phase of repairing the Lake Street Bridge, Borough Administrator Addie Hanna reported. “The county called to ask if it was alright with the borough if they use the same stone color they have used for the other bridges they have repaired in the county and we said, go ahead,” she said. “It is in the final stages of getting everything done. They are hoping to have it done by the end of August.”
Hanna expressed some doubts that the project would be completed by that time. “I’m not sure we can hold them to that, as last year they said the project would be done before Christmas,” she said, adding the traffic patterns were not set up as initially agreed upon. “They were to block off the annex parking lot and not the entrance on the main lot.”
Councilman Jack Considine noted he prefers the way traffic was rerouted by keeping access to the back lot from Lake Street, which allows shoppers points of entry on either side of the bridge project.
Council President Nancy Peet noted she appreciates the need for the bridge repair, as the bridge was originally built in the 1890s. “This has gone beyond the usual time frame,” she said.
“The Empire State Building took less time build,” added Robert Regan, borough attorney. The New York City Landmark was built in 13 months.
Former Mayor Ester Verheilig suggested the project delay was due to a change of ownership of the engineering firm, which stalled all projects during the transition.
Councilman Bernie Holst reported the summer roadwork is coming along nicely, with Greenwood Avenue finished.
The council also approved an ordinance for road improvements at Spruce Street and Highwood Avenue. The project will cost $185,000, which is funded in part through a $150,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation Municipal Aid Program. The additional $35,000 is from the capital improvement fund.
The council approved one-year extensions to contracts with the following companies:
- R&R Truck Maintanance on Greenwood Avenue, Midland Park, for repairs of DPW and Fire Department Vehicles
- Ken’s Auto Electric on Greenwood Avenue, Midland Park, for vehild electricals systems and equipment repairs
- Platinum Car Care Center, Goffle Road, Wyckoff, for Emergency Vehicle Repair
- Peter Englishman and Sons for 2013-14 Snow Plowing.
The existing contracts were awarded two years ago by public bids. The contracts were all two year contracts with an option to extend on a year-by-year basis for two years. Before renewing contracts, Hanna noted she checks with the DPW Supervisor and the department heads who work directly with the companies to ensure the borough is happy with the current service.
The borough will go back out to bid for all of the contracts again in 2014, with the exception of the Snow Plowing contract, which will be bid out next July.