Posted September 20, 2000
This Special Edition of the Borough Newsletter is designed to give you an overview of the two plans being considered by the Mayor and Council for construction of a new Municipal Building. A formal and more detailed presentation will be made at two Community Forums scheduled for September 25th and 26th at 7:30 P.M. at the VFW in Hasbrouck Heights.
Following the devastating fire at the Municipal Building on December 10th, 1999 the Council and I have been working nonstop to reach what appeared at the time, to be a seemingly unattainable set of goals: first, to get your Borough Government back in operation, second, to continue the business of your government, third to focus on maximizing the insurance claim at the highest amount possible for the tax payers and fourth, to look at various sites, including the Hamilton Avenue site for rebuilding the Municipal Building.
Our tasks have been daunting, but I am pleased to report that we have succeeded in achieving the first three goals far beyond my expectations. Borough Government and its services were basically back on line shortly after the fire thanks to the dedication and pride of our borough employees including Fire, Police, Administration and DPW, but not with out constant attention to problems caused by the fire and constraints of our temporary quarters. As I previously announced, we have reached a very favorable insurance settlement in excess of $4,500,000.00 on the construction portion of the claim, a huge win for the taxpayers. I am extremely proud of the intensely hard work that has been done by all borough volunteers, departmental employees and the council to get where we are today.
When you read this overview of the plans, please keep in mind while we are trying to address our present needs, we must also look to the future needs of many generations to come. The plans that you will be reviewing are the end result of an exhaustive Site and Needs Study be the Mayor and Council with the advice of our professionals.
We have also included in this Newsletter, "Frequently Asked Questions" which addresses many of the questions raised around town.
We did a Needs Study for present and future and to rebuild the Municipal Building at ground zero (the Hamilton Avenue Site). It became readily apparent while we could demolish the building and rebuild it with an addition to the court yard, it would not even address our present needs not to mention our future needs and we had to look elsewhere. We then did a site selection study in which we looked at the old South Bergen Hospital site on Terrace Avenue which we cannot acquire by purchase or otherwise, the old Schenk Chevrolet building on Terrace Avenue which is too small and various other sites around our town. By far, the best location to meet both our present and future needs is the Boulevard between Madison and Central Avenues. We presented only Plan A to the residents of Madison and Central Avenues because it is larger than Plan B and has the most impact on that neighborhood. As a direct result of the input from the residents we modified Plan A which we believe addresses the concerns raised to us.
Of all Plans considered by the Mayor and Council the only other viable Plan is Plan B. Although it is a half a million dollars more expensive, and splits our borough services into Public Safety including the Court at Hamilton Avenue and Administration on the Boulevard, it is an entirely rational split. Plan B will address our present and future needs and has less of an impact on the surrounding neighborhoods of both Madison and Central Avenues and Hamilton Avenue.
Please review the enclosed information and make every effort to attend the two Community Forums scheduled for September 25th and 26th at 7:30 P.M. at the VFW in Hasbrouck Heights.
Thank you for your consideration.
Mayor William J. Torre