Fire and water

Town commissioners’ meeting discusses pollution, recent blaze, safe driving

At the town commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday night, a resident expressed concerns about sites in North Bergen allegedly dumping sewage into the Hudson River.
Herbert Shaw of Liberty Avenue, who has run for various local political offices, expressed concern over a recent newspaper article claiming that outdated state sewer systems pour over 32 billion gallons of raw sewage into rivers. The article cited the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the claims. According to the article, the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority has 10 sites where sewage is flowing into waterways such as the Hackensack River.

The recent article said the MUA is dumping sewage into the river.
“[It] floats into oceans, and affects our beaches,” said Shaw. “It’s a pure problem.”
“We don’t even know what this [the reported problem] is actually,” said Sacco. “We’ll let you know [more details on] exactly what you just showed us [later].”

Pollution and parking

In another matter, town spokesman Phil Swibinski addressed the fire that occurred at the Eagle Recycling Plant at 4711 Dell Ave. two weeks ago.
“It’s a property that’s had some problems over the years,” said Swibinski. “Right now we’re currently awaiting a recommendation from a fire official. It’s a matter that we’re taking very seriously.”
The town also passed several resolutions to charge property owners for cleanup costs after they allegedly failed to lessen the accumulation of litter, debris, and other hazards on their premises. The Department of Public Works had to do the cleanups, and they averaged approximately $600 per property.
Mayor Nicholas Sacco and commissioners passed a resolution granting Cross River Fiber, LLC access to necessary public rights-of-way in order to install telecommunications facilities on existing utility poles or in underground conduit. The Iselin-based organization provides dark fiber optic infrastructure for commercial and carrier businesses, according to the company website.
An ordinance was also introduced to establish handicapped parking spaces for residents on 85th, 76th, 86th, 83rd, and 79th streets, as well as Liberty, First, and Columbia Avenues. If the ordinance is adopted, other people parking there will incur a minimum fine of $290 and up to 90 days of community service.

Driving safety

In an effort to increase driving safety, North Bergen announced their participation in several different programs.
Sacco issued a proclamation announcing that Oct. 10 will now be “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.” The town hopes that their participation in the nationwide program will help raise awareness about driving safety programs.
According to the proclamation, 556 fatalities were caused by traffic crashes in New Jersey during 2010, and are the leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 34. Sacco is calling for residents to put “lifesaving behaviors into practice to improve safety on the roadways in our community and throughout the state.” Such behaviors include buckling up, obeying posted speed limits, never driving while impaired, and using crosswalks when walking.
The town also received roughly $8,100 for their participation in the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund. The state program allows participating municipalities to fund overtime salaries for additional DWI patrols, checkpoints at peak violation periods, as well as breath-testing and blood-testing kits.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at

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