Will the new park be safe?

Sacco says alleged pollution at Riverfront Park has been abated

The shared Riverfront Park between Guttenberg and North Bergen came under fire by regular critics of the administration of Mayor Nicholas Sacco at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday. Critics questioned whether alleged environmental pollution at the site had been thoroughly cleaned up.
The charges came during a public hearing before adoption of an estimated $2.85 million bond ordinance for the park’s Phase II.
According to Business Administrator Christopher Pianese, the town does not foresee any debt arising from the project. The majority of the money will come from two New Jersey Green Acres Grants totaling $928,000, a New Jersey Green Acres Loan in the amount of $572,000, two Hudson County Open Space Grants in the amount of $1,011,146, and $338,853 in reimbursement funds.
The project includes renovation, rehabilitation and improvement of the waterfront park located on the Hudson River waterfront at 7608 River Road.
The issue of possible contamination was brought up by several who attended the meeting.
“Do you have knowledge that the area is contaminated?” asked Herb Shaw.

“You say anything that comes to your head, even though it’s far from reality.” – Sacco
Sacco responded by saying there was an environmental study conducted, and since work on the park is underway, therefore there was no contamination.
Local attorney Mario Blanch who often represents critics of the administration also alleged illegal dumping occurred near the site of the park. Although he provided no evidence.
Larry Wainstein also objected to the park because of “pollutants” that he claimed are located near the park.
“You don’t care about the contaminants and pollutants and you don’t care that the park is going to be located next to hazardous conditions,” said Wainstein.
Sacco called Wainstein’s allegations outrageous and quickly responded.
“You say anything that comes to your head, even though it’s far from reality,” said Sacco.

Other matters

Wainstein once again asked when the next nightly commissioners meeting will be scheduled, since most residents work and are unable to attend morning commissioners meetings.
“We all know that you’re holding day meetings purposely,” said Wainstein.
Once the meeting was adjourned, two members of the audience asked to have their five minutes to speak, which Sacco allowed.
One of the speakers, a Jersey City resident that visited the North Bergen Division of Motor Vehicles office, praised Sacco and his administration. “You guys run a tremendous town,” he said.
A resolution was passed authorizing the execution of a Developers Agreement with Teresharan Land Co. of NJ, LLC, to convert empty lots and a warehouse on 1435 51st Street to nine 2-family homes and a single 1-family home. The project has an estimated two year deadline.
The township will receive funding from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for Recycling Tonnage for this calendar year in the amount of $156,715. It will also receive funds from the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety for this fiscal year’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program in the amount of $2,112.
Lowest bidder Best Cleaning Building Service was awarded a contract for 12 months in the amount of $28,250. This will be to clean and maintain eight township buildings.
Bella Flor Kalpouzos was appointed the Registrar of Vital Statistics, taking the place of Sandra Ramirez.

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at vcruz@hudsonreporter.com

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