Mayor Keith Kazmark held his latest Facebook Live Town Hall on the evening of Mar. 11, with many residents posting their comments and questions on a variety of topics. The Mayor provided updates on a number of items.
1) The Borough’s McBride Avenue streetscape project is ongoing, with the installation of lights coming for the stretch from Santangelo Funeral Home to Newby Avenue. Two additional project phases are being designed and have been funded – McBride Avenue from Newby Avenue to Brophy Lane, and the Little Falls border to about Hughes Place. Mayor Kazmark noted he is hoping developers along their stretch will kick in funding for streetscape work, and that that will be a condition of their Planning Board application. He said that the Woodland Park Range will be funding the streetscaping along their property.
2) Mayor Kazmark said that the education and visibility campaign against Passaic Valley Water Commission’s plans to drain the New Street and Great Notch Reservoirs and replace them with concrete tanks will be ramped up. He said that it will take tremendous public pressure to stop the plan as PVWC is already moving forward with replacing the Levine Reservoir in Paterson.
3) A long-time ongoing issue, Mayor Kazmark noted that the Borough continues to push Verizon to build out its FiOS network. He said Verizon has given them a “hollow answer” that the state is dictating where the company should expand. Currently, only residents from Meriline Avenue to the Little Falls border can subscribe to FiOS, a portion of Four Seasons at Great Notch, and the Westmount Village apartment complex.
4) The Borough will soon be making public its affordable housing plans, something Mayor Kazmark said “no municipality in New Jersey really wants to deal with” but is mandated by the state. He stressed that potential plans for any new housing units have nothing to do with any social assistance programs. The Borough has removed the Kearfott property from its potential list of sites due to environmental concerns. Officials are looking at the Bank of New York site and its adjacent parking lot, a lot on Lackawanna Avenue, and within the Mountain Development complex off Squirrelwood Road as potential sites.
5) Regarding open space and parks, the Mayor announced that turf field plans for Frank Zaccaria Park are being designed and officials hope to break ground this fall. It will be a multi-use field that could not only host soccer but football and lacrosse as well. A grant application has also been submitted for upgrades at Diane Grimes Park on Mt. Pleasant Avenue, and officials may consider expanding the field there and installing turf in the future. Work will also be undertaken at Benjamin Cavalieri Park on Bergen Boulevard.
6) On the topic of school security, the Borough and Board of Education will be adding a third Special Class III police officer, which will enable each school to have its own. “For a wide variety of reasons on a day-to-day basis, it’s extremely helpful to have these officers in our schools,” the Mayor emphasized.