Meter readers go WiFi
MUA will read usage remotely
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Mar 27, 2013 | 4786 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONEY FOR AN UPGRADE – Money for improvements Donald X. Ahern Veteran’s Memorial Stadium was passed by the City Council.
MONEY FOR AN UPGRADE – Money for improvements Donald X. Ahern Veteran’s Memorial Stadium was passed by the City Council.
City water users won’t have to worry about meter readers coming to the door every month, thanks to an agreement with United Water that would install automated meter reading infrastructure WiFi nodes on rooftops of various city-owned buildings for a period of up to 40 years.

Steve Gallo, who serves as business administrator for the city, as well as the executive director of the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority, said this means that meters will be read from the remote location. The MUA will be able to read water use without coming to residents. He said this way, they will be able to determine if there are water leaks and will be able to determine if there are other problems at residences.

“We will also have other uses for the WiFi,” he said, echoing some of the ideas that MUA had hoped to implement several years ago, but had been kept from doing largely from lack of finances. The recent sale of operations to a division of United Water and the investment in infrastructure has allowed a number of projects to proceed that were envisioned in the past.

Sandy cleanup contract increased

The City Council voted to increase the contract for Bayonne-based Control Industries LLC to handle the increased costs due to clean up after Hurricane Sandy increasing the maximum amount to $350,000 to accommodate what is called “extraordinary” debris removal after the storm.

Gallo said that the work concluded in late December and early January.

“They worked every day to clean up and their price was below what we would have paid elsewhere,” he said, noting also that the magnitude of the work was well beyond the scope envisioned when the contract was first approved. He said the city puts a contract in place at the beginning of each year to provide coverage for in case of an emergency came up.

“This firm was prequalified, pre-approved and at an agreed-on price,” Gallo said. “But no one foresaw the volume of materials that resulted from the storm or the variety of material that they would have to deal with.”

Gallo said that the city has applied for reimbursement from FEMA.

“Control did a great job,” said Councilman Ray Greaves.

City Clerk Robert Sloan, whose house was affected, said he truly appreciated the work.

LaPelusa replaced on MUA

Former Councilman Gary LaPelusa was replaced as a member of the MUA at the same meeting, when Dariucz Kuczynski was named to a five-year term starting on Feb. 1, 2013.

La Pelusa, however, was not informed of the change, although as a political opponent who ran against the Smith administration in 2010, he said he was not surprised.

“But it was nice of them to tell me,” he said, laughingly when approached for comment a few days after the meeting. He said he’d received no notice of the change. His five-year term did expire this year, but since he said he was considering a run to regain his 3rd Ward seat next year, he was not surprised at the move.

“We will also have other uses for the WiFi.” – Steve Gallo
First steps to Turnpike upgrade

Improvements to the Turnpike extension in Bayonne appear to be on track as the council approved a resolution allowing for engineers to do boring samples on city own property in the vicinity of the Avenue E and the Turnpike extension near 56th Street.

The Turnpike authority has developed plans for reconstruction of the interchange in order to relieve traffic congestion that ties up Avenue E and access to Route 440 during rush hour. This change will be even more necessary as expected improvements take place at nearby Global Terminals and sections of the former Military Ocean Terminal, both of which are expected to generate significant addition truck traffic – despite internal roadway changes and expected improvements to rail facilities there.

The city is making moves to allow fire department to control intersection crossing at route 440 from the former Military Ocean Terminal. An agreement with the state Department of transportation for the installation of optically controlled emergency preemption equipment at the intersection of Route 440 and Goldsborough Drive at a cost of $6,000. The DOT will reimburse the city 75 percent of the cost.

Councilman Joe Hurley said fire equipment exiting the former base often was delayed by the highway traffic at that intersection. The device will allow fire fighters to operate the light remotely from the fire truck so that response time can be improved. A switch on the truck will keep the light green so that vehicles can get through in case of an emergency.

The city council also awarded the contract for the purchase of a fire foam truck to Crimson Fire, Inc. for $680,878, which was paid for by a 2011 Port Security Grant.

The city council voted to approve an ordinance that would provide funding for various capital improvements to the Donald X. Ahern Veteran’s Memorial Stadium for $1.1 million. This money was generated through an agreement with Spectra Energy, which is currently installing a gas line through a portion of Bayonne. The funding would pay for a study of other needs and begin the process of revamping many of the aging facilities in the sports complex located near Bayonne High School.

City will share health office

Vincent Ravelli, well known for his work in Secaucus, and throughout Hudson County, will soon be working in Bayonne as well. The city has signed an agreement with the City of West New York for use of a health officer, for a fee of $35,000 per year.

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