Crime and parking
Town Council tackles a few issues at meeting
by Hannington Dia
Reporter Staff Writer
Feb 25, 2018 | 3644 views | 0 0 comments | 321 321 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Secaucus business owner Keith Scaglione speaks to the town council at their Feb. 13 meeting, regarding a planned ordinance to install a 15 minute parking space outside his auto shop on Paterson Plank Road. The council agreed to table the ordinance after he expressed some concerns.
Secaucus business owner Keith Scaglione speaks to the town council at their Feb. 13 meeting, regarding a planned ordinance to install a 15 minute parking space outside his auto shop on Paterson Plank Road. The council agreed to table the ordinance after he expressed some concerns.
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At the Tuesday, Feb. 13 Town Council meeting, Councilman John Gerbasio read a report from the town’s Police Committee, regarding their 2017 crime statistics.

“We’ve had more calls and responses,” Gerbasio said. “It certainly seems that our Police Department is doing an excellent job.”

According to the report, there were no reported murders in town last year, and two reported rapes. Of the 654 reported crimes in town last year, most of them were for theft, at 421. Assault was a distant second, at 152.

Auto theft was another distant third, with 33 reported for 2017.

The department had a grand total of 21,630 case numbers last year, per the report. That is up from 20,129 case numbers for 2016. The Secaucus Police Department also arrested fewer people in 2017, coming in at 802, compared to 853 for 2016.

“Criminal justice reform has obviously changed the way we do business, so there’s less warrants out there,” said Police Capt. Dennis Miller, regarding the changing number of arrests, after the meeting.

Following up on the numbers, the department is also debuting a new community outreach publication, Gerbasio said. The publication will educate citizens on how to protect themselves, their families, and property, among other things. The publication also features information from the Secaucus Volunteer Fire Department.

Copies will be available in public buildings around town. You can also call Town Hall at (201) 330-2000 for a copy.

Less time to park at meters

An ordinance the Secaucus mayor and Town Council adopted at their Feb. 13 meeting is intended to streamline parking for shoppers near the Plaza Center. The new ordinance reduces parking times at two parking meters near the center from 2.5 hours to 30 minutes to allow better customer access and turnover, according to the council.

At a previous meeting in January, the council had introduced an ordinance creating a new 15 minute parking space by the S&S Auto car repair shop on Paterson Plank Road. The space would allow for moving cars in and out of the shop sooner, according to the council. The ordinance also says the space would boost resident and public safety.

However, they ended up tabling a final vote on the January ordinance after S&S’s owner raised some concerns at the Feb. 13 hearing for the measure.

“I’m just not sure how the parking space is going to work,” said S&S President Keith Scaglione, to the council. “Is it a meter? I just feel it’s going to take more parking away, rather than helping.”

Mayor Michael Gonnelli confirmed to Scaglione that the space is not metered.

“If I have to put a car there overnight, is it going to get ticketed?” Scaglione asked.

Town Administrator Gary Jeffas responded that the 15 minute regulation would only be active from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

“We’re trying to do this to figure out a way to help you,” Gonnelli told Scaglione. “A lot of people have built up around you, and it doesn’t make it easy. We’re trying everything in our power.”

Gonnelli agreed to table the ordinance after Scaglione requested more time to look into whether or not the space will work for him. It will likely be up for a final vote again at the Feb. 27 or March 13 council meeting, Jeffas later said.

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“It certainly seems that our Police Department is doing an excellent job.” – John Gerbasio

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Easement for Route 3 bridge and slower speeds

The council also granted the New Jersey Department of Transportation a permanent easement for the Route 3 bridge on Paterson Plank Road near the town library. The easement is for construction, maintenance, and repair of utilities on the bridge. Work is expected to start later this year, according to Jeffas.

If you’re a chronic speeder on Seaview Drive, the council has its eyes on you. After the town’s traffic division performed a study, the council introduced an ordinance at the meeting, placing a 40-m.p.h. speed limit on Seaview from Meadowlands Parkway to South Road. A final hearing for the ordinance is set for March 13.

Tricky tray

Secaucus Middle School will hold their annual Tricky Tray March 9, from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is $10, and includes coffee, tea, and dessert, Gerbasio said. For more information, contact (201) 456-4669.

Hannington Dia can be reached at hd@hudsonreporter.com

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