Sci-fi traffic lights and a firehouse design
Town Council also discusses police retirements
by Adriana Rambay Fernández
Reporter staff writer
Dec 18, 2011 | 1806 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NEW FIREFIGHTER – New firefighter Justin Restrepo is sworn in as a member of Washington Hook and Ladder. His mother Ingrid Schultze-Lagos holds the bible. Councilman James Clancy pictured in the background.
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Secaucus will get new “smart” traffic lights throughout town that will change signals according to traffic flow. The Town Council at its meeting on Dec. 13 approved a resolution to authorize an agreement with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) for the new adaptive signal system.

“It is science fiction type technology,” said Town Administrator David Drumeler. “All the traffic lights are going to talk to one another and they will know how many cars are [at] the light before and they will know how many people are at the intersection and whether we can keep that light green.”

The Meadowlands adaptive signal system will reduce roadway congestion, delays, travel time, fuel consumption, and airborne emissions, officials said.

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“All the traffic lights are going to talk to one another.” – Town Administrator David Drumeler

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The NJMC will construct, operate, and maintain a total of 128 signals across the Meadowlands region, which include Secaucus and Jersey City.

No more detour

Also at the Dec. 13 meeting, Councilman James Clancy announced that there is no longer a need for an expected detour for NJ Transit buses that make a U-turn at the end of Paterson Plank Road by the Trolley Park. The council had previously announced in November that construction planned by PSE&G underneath the Hackensack River and in that area might cause a detour in the Paterson Plank Road bus route. But the issue was resolved.

New police

At the meeting, one councilman said he expects new police recruits in the near future.

“We have had a number of retirements over the last year,” said Councilman Gary Jeffas. “The chief informed me tonight that there may be a couple of retirements into early next year. The council is hoping to get six new recruits into our training in January. We need an increase in manpower there.”

Firehouse designs

Councilman Clancy also reported that the preliminary designs for the Washington Hook and Ladder firehouse are now available. The renderings were on view at the council meeting.

“We are in the non-developing [design development] stages now,” said Clancy. “But hopefully it will get started in the next few months.”

Drumeler said that the next step is putting pen to paper and working with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing teams followed by the bid process, awarding a contract, and then construction. He said he anticipates construction may begin in the spring of 2012.

The council accepted a $100,000 donation from the Xchange developers for improvements to the firehouse in June. The donation is being used for “soft costs” such as engineering and construction management, according to previous comments by Drumeler.

The Washington Hook and Ladder property currently has one small and one large garage. The town acquired the land next to the firehouse in the late 2000s to eventually expand it. The firehouse will expand to include two additional large bays. The new additions will also include a training and community room upstairs as well as handicap accessible bathrooms. The project is estimated to cost $1.5 million and is scheduled to be completed within 12 to 18 months. The town has funding for about $1.25 million and will need to make up the difference.

The council also swore in new firefighter Justin Restrepo as a member of Washington Hook and Ladder.

Financial increases to contractual agreements

The council passed several financial resolutions that increased amounts to a number of existing contractual agreements. The town increased the contract with Krivit and Krivit, P.C. from $40,000 to $45,000. The firm writes federal grants for the town and worked on trying to acquire a fire boat for the town’s fire services. They also handled FEMA reimbursements. Councilwoman Susan Pirro reported that the town received over $80,000 in reimbursements from state and federal funds for OEM overtime performed during Hurricane Irene.

The town increased the contract with the town attorney Chasan, Leyner and Lamparello, PC by $60,000 for a total of $185,000.

The town increased the contract by $115,000 with Remington and Vernick Engineers. Of that total, $105,000 was for work specific to Shetik Field. The engineering group’s contract was previously amended from $140,000 to $350,000.

“When we start the year off we budget for basic engineering services, for basic town engineering exclusive of big projects,” explained Drumeler. “A large chunk of [the increase] was for the design administration and contract administration [for Shetik Field]…All of this money was accounted in the bond ordinance we had done prior to the construction of the field.”

The town also increased the existing contract of $1.2 million with The LandTek Group Inc. by $87,531 for rock removal, a revised stormwater management system, intermediate field striping, and rock drilling to install a light pole.

“Most of [the increase] was from field issues we encountered. The side of the soccer field had too much bedrock,” said Drumeler. He said the LandTek Group had to drill deeper to appropriately set up a water drainage system.

Finishing a walkway

Councilman Clancy reported that the NJMC received a grant for $7,500 to complete a walkway section attached to the greenway in Mill Creek Point Park.

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