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Mayor Stack secures $9 million in DOT funding

First phase of Palisade Avenue improvements already underway

Mayor and Senator Brian Stack helped secure $9 million in funding for improvements on Palisade Avenue.

The Union City Board of Commissioners has provided an update on a project designed to improve safety on Palisade Avenue.

At the last commissioners meeting, Township Administrator Erin Knoedler shared correspondence the city received from Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.

The letter said the state Department of Transportation (DOT) will contribute a $9 million grant toward a renovation project on Palisade Avenue.

The money will come from the Local Aid Infrastructure Fund, set up to address local transportation safety concerns throughout the state.

Development is ongoing

Phase 1 of the project is currently underway on Paterson Plank Road up to 14th Street. So far, the Department of Transportation has granted $3 million for this phase.

Mayor Stack said that he secured the funding through negotiations with the governor, the Department of Transportation, and the state legislature. Funding arrangements for the second and third phases, which span Palisade Avenue through the intersections of 14th to 33rd street, are still proceeding.

Stack said, “I’m very proud to share this with the residents of Union City. We worked for several years to secure this funding, and we’re grateful to Governor Murphy, the Department of Transportation, and the legislature.”

The city aims to complete the restoration by the end of 2021.

Commissioner Lucio Fernandez said, “I want to commend Mayor Stack for bringing this gift to the city through his work as a senator. As a person who grew up in Union City, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Contracts renewed

Also in the meeting, the Board of commissioners renewed some contracts with private entities.

Reliance Insurance Group was awarded a contract as a health insurance broker for city employees. Beckerman and Company was awarded a contract for risk management for property and casualty insurance.

Community Housing and Planning Associates was awarded contracts to consult on Green Acres and Open Space funding applications, planning and zoning, and to serve as general counsel for Union City’s Community Development Agency.

ABC prosecutions

The Board of Commissioners also carried out some liquor license disciplinary proceedings.

ABC Violations Prosecutor Gregory Farmer issued a 7-day suspension to the owners of El Papaturro restaurant for allegedly failing to provide the city with the proper employee paperwork.

The city also issued a 14-day suspension to Strike it Rich bowling alley. “Charges say that there was a disturbance which caused police to show up prompted by a pool game that went sideways, and people fought,” Farmer said. “Police also found beer bottles open on tables after the required time when they need to be cleared.”

The Strike it Rich owners said that they did away with bottles in their service prior to their hearing. Officials granted their request to have their suspension pushed toward the end of the league season in March.

Mike Montemarano can be reached at mikem@hudsonreporter.com

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