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The Sunday Record, January 2, 2000

Hasbrouck Heights faces difficult year
By Jean Rimbach, Staff Writrer

Hasbrouck Heights -- A plane crash and devastating municipal hall fire behind them, members of the borough’s governing body took the first step into a challenging new year Saturday by swearing in the mayor and a councilman to new terms of office.

Mayor William J. Torre, mayor since 1995, was sworn to another four-year term at the Euclid Masonic Lodge where the council has been meeting since fire destroyed its 50-year-old municipal building last month. The fire followed the deadly crash of a small plane in the back yard of a borough home.

Councilman Andrew Link III, who has been on the council since 1983, was sworn to a three-year term.

Councilman Justin A. DiPisa, a councilman since 1994, also was scheduled to be sworn in Saturday. But Torre said DiPisa’s mother took ill and he had to go out of state.

With Di Pisa absent and Councilman John Wassberg out of the country, Torre said the governing body postponed selecting a council president and vice president.

As for the new year, Torre said the municipal building and holding the line on taxes are priorities. Torre hopes that in 2000 the council will be able to come in with no tax increase, as it did in 1999.

"I’m hoping to get all our problems resolved with the building." said Torre. "Now we are basically waiting to hear from our insurance carrier and what they’ll do."

Borough services are spread out in temporary quarters. The Fire Department has been relocated to Kundert Volvo on Terrace Avenue, for example, and the Police Department is operating out of a trailer.

"It’s going to be a very difficult year," said Link who sees at least a year and a half of work ahead on a new facility. "We have the municipal building, we had the plane crash, we have departments all over the borough of Hasbrouck Heights."

[Photos] of January 1, 2000 Mayor and Council Meeting


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