Recycling matters
Heated discussion between Mayor Sacco and liquor store owner
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Jul 08, 2012 | 1505 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MEETING – The Board of Commissioners commenced with the resolutions that were on the agenda.
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Two recycling ordinances were adopted by the North Bergen Board of Commissioners at their June 27 meeting.

The first ordinance replaces a 1996 ordinance forcing certain materials to be separated for recycling. The new version adds to the list of materials that must be separated. They are now: newspapers, corrugated cardboard, junk mail, general papers, aluminum and tin cans, glass and plastic containers, motor oil, antifreeze, tires, automobile and household batteries, and appliances.

The second ordinance establishes recycling requirements for materials generated from construction, renovation, or demolition projects.

Resident Janice Zorovich commented that she’s seen two uncovered trucks carrying construction debris from a recycling company on Dell Avenue, and said she was afraid construction debris pulverized by them could make local residents sick. She suggested the township order an environmental impact study.

“I’m really concerned and upset about the people down there [residents that live closest to the company],” said Janice, a former resident who now lives in Florida. “They had the doors open and the dust was billowing out.”

She said firefighters have gone to the facility and have been exposed to asbestos and that is costing the taxpayers money.

Phil Swibinski, town spokesperson, said after the meeting, “The fact is that North Bergen has been very tough in dealing with [the company].The township has fined the company over $50,000 for fire safety violations in the past few years. However, these asbestos allegations appear to be completely unfounded.”

Swibinski said the state Department of Environmental Protection inspects the facility monthly and has found no evidence of asbestos. He said the ordinance that Zorovich had an issue with has nothing to do with the company, and that it’s simply an update of the township’s pre-existing recycling ordinance that complies with new county recycling regulations.

Sacco and store owner spar

Tonnelle Wine and Liquors owner Larry Wainstein asked the commissioners to read aloud the ordinance referring to construction debris.

Wainstein is one of several people who have been protesting a proposed new liquor store for Tonnelle Avenue.

Instead of reading the ordinance, Mayor Nicholas Sacco suggested that Wainstein do his homework.

Wainstein also asked current Police Chief William Galvin if he received a payout of $500,000 for sick and vacation time, to which he responded, “Not that I know of. I’d really like to look at my bank book to see if it’s there.”

Wainstein asked about town expenditures and attempted to hand in an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to the city clerk. The document was denied because it was handed in during the meeting and not to the city clerk during business hours.

When the conversation between Wainstein and Sacco became heated, one of the police officers assigned to the meeting was about to come to Sacco’s aid. Chief Galvin told one of the officers on duty for the meeting only to do that upon the mayor’s request or when called upon.

Sacco questioned whether Wainstein lived in North Bergen, saying he’s only aware of him being a liquor store owner.

Wainstein shot back at him, “You failed the people of North Bergen.”

Redevelopment

An ordinance was introduced establishing a redevelopment plan and designating the Board of Commissioners as the redevelopment entity for a block of River Road.

That means that they can revise the zoning guidelines for that area, then find a developer who meets those guidelines and will revitalize the area.

“It focuses on an area of River Road farther north on the west side across from Palisade General Hospital [basically 76th to 78th Street],” said Township Administrator Chris Pianese. “This area includes property owned by LWH LLC already approved for 290 units of residential. The redevelopment plan limits use of an adjacent lot [2.3 acres] to public park or open space and designates another adjacent property a retail use. The retail component has a maximum height of 60 feet.”

Other affairs

Target donated $1,000 for a National Night Out celebration on Aug. 7. The event is designed to organize the community against crime and let potential criminals know that citizens are unified.

A resolution was passed to obtain a grant from the state Department of Community Affairs for approximately $20,000 for a special recreation program for disabled individuals ages 16 through 70 that would be called the “Special Young People of North Bergen - Evening Adult Program.”

A resolution was passed hiring Dolan & Dean Consulting Engineers, LLP of Martinsville at a maximum rate of $10,000 from July 1 to Dec. 31 for traffic engineering services to be performed at intersections and roadways throughout North Bergen.

A resolution was passed to provide North Bergen funding from the New Jersey Summer Food Service Program in the amount of $48,328.

Mayor Sacco stepped out early to attend a meeting with the Board of Education. He is also an assistant superintendent of schools.

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