Upgrading the town
Commissioners pass ordinance to widen streets, fix parks; also honor painter
by Hannington Dia
Reporter Staff Writer
Feb 26, 2017 | 2608 views | 0 0 comments | 95 95 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Robert Sundholm poses with Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners after receiving a township proclamation for his ink paintings.
Robert Sundholm poses with Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners after receiving a township proclamation for his ink paintings.

The North Bergen Board of Commissioners has adopted an ordinance to issue a bond for $3.2 million in order to upgrade township equipment and infrastructure.

“This is our capital program that we do on an annual basis,” said Town Administrator Chris Pianese following the Feb. 22 meeting. “So you get your park improvements, your street improvements, your sewer improvements, vehicles, building improvements.”

The cost to rehabilitate various public parks is an estimated $700,000, according to the ordinance.

“I just highlighted to the commissioners some things I think that the public would like to know that are included in this ordinance,” Pianese said, “the main one being the replacement of the astro turf field at Bruins Stadium, our main football stadium. The goal is to get that installed prior to the upcoming football season.”

The ordinance will earmark $450, 000 for the reconstruction, resurfacing, widening, and construction of 40th to 91st Streets between Dell Avenue and Boulevard East, and Sixth to 39th Streets between Kennedy Boulevard and Liberty Avenue.

An estimated $525,000 will go to the construction, reconstruction, and improvement of the sanitary and storm water sewer system. This will involve replacing chambers, sewer lines, sewer pipes and sidewalk construction.

“Basically, anything with a five-year life or more is considered capital [improvements],” Pianese said.

The measure also allocates $722,000 in funding for new township vehicles.

“One, I’d like to note, is a new ambulance,” Pianese said. “What we try to do is buy an ambulance every other year to keep the fleet updated. We also noted that there are three four-by-four SUV vehicles budgeted for the Police Department. The transition seems to be going from four-door sedans that you would see police cars used in the past, to regular four-by-fours.”

Honoring Sundholm

The meeting began with a proclamation honoring Robert Sundholm, a longtime resident who’s gained national recognition for his ink paintings. Mayor Nicholas Sacco handed Sundholm – who worked as a janitor in Town Hall for 13 years, and whose paintings line the corridors – a plaque for his efforts.
“I want to thank the people that told me you’re going to make it one day.” – Robert Sundholm
The proclamation read, “Be it proclaimed that I, Nicholas Sacco, Mayor of The Township of North Bergen, and the entire Board of Commissioners, do hereby honor and pay tribute to Robert Sundholm and congratulate him for his success as an artist and the positive recognition he is bringing to North Bergen.”

“Everybody likes him in the building,” Sacco said of Sundholm. “He was friendly, outgoing. And then he began to paint. And he would drop off paintings. So my former secretary has about four paintings in her new house. No one knew the notoriety he would get, in a very positive way, as he told his life story, and people realized the great accomplishments that he had.”

“I want to thank the people that told me ‘You’re going to make it one day’,” an emotional Sundholm said. “I finally made it. Thank you.”

To read more about him, check out the cover story in last weekend’s North Bergen Reporter, or go to hudsonreporter.com.

The board also adopted a resolution authorizing construction of a bus stop at Bergen Turnpike and 37th Street. This comes after an approved resolution at the Jan. 11 meeting authorizing the stop’s addition. Previously, drivers stopped at the location as a “courtesy” in the past; it had no official sign. It is expected to get a permanent sign and shelter as a result.

Hannington Dia can be reached at hd@hudsonreporter.com

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