Funding for improvements to West New York parks passes

New town officials also appointed

After finalizing the funding for improvements to West New York's recreational fields, the Board of Commissioners expanded the ranks in town hall.
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After finalizing the funding for improvements to West New York's recreational fields, the Board of Commissioners expanded the ranks in town hall.

At the most recent Board of Commissioners meeting in West New York, officials adopted ordinances to approve funding for the rehabilitation of Centennial Field, Patricia McEldowney Field, and Miller Stadium.

New drainage systems and turf surfaces will be installed at Miller Stadium, which will allow the recreation department to use the field for football, baseball, and soccer games. Centennial Field will receive similar treatment with a new turf surface and draining improvements.

Patricia McEldowney Field will be completely refurbished, and will also be equipped with a CCTV system for the police department to monitor the area.

The improvements will cost more than $4 million altogether. Town officials have issued more than $600,000 in bonds to finance the project.

So far, the town has secured about $1.5 million in state and county grants to offset the costs and is pursuing more grants in this year’s funding cycle. The park improvements will come without a tax increase for residents, according to West New York spokesman Phil Swibinski.

These parks were on the agenda prior to the election of the current administration, but were initially voted down in January after then-Mayor Felix Roque and then-Commissioner Susan Colacurcio abstained from voting. The measure required four votes to pass.

Colacurcio said she had to abstain due to a conflict of interest as an employee of the town’s Board of Education. Roque said that he was not ready to allocate the bonds and grant funding, citing concerns that residents would feel too great an impact on their property taxes.

After the motion was killed, dozens of residents engaged in a colorful round of public comments, citing concerns that the fields were languishing due to drainage problems. Those who supported renovating the fields said that the longer the town delayed, the greater the costs.

Expanding the ranks

Officials passed a resolution supporting the town’s participation in the Sustainable Jersey Municipal Certification Program, awarded to towns that take significant action toward conserving resources, and enacting environmentally sustainable programs.

Civic associations and the state government evaluate who qualifies based on towns conducting a wide variety of local assessments, outreach, education, and health programs. With that resolution, the town also approved creating a Green Team Advisory Committee.

William Bringas, currently the town’s Office of Emergency Management coordinator, was appointed coordinator of the town’s Right to Know program, which requires public and private employers to provide information on hazardous workplace substances.

Ruben Rivera, Hector Hernandez, and Jonathan Castaneda were appointed to the West New York Planning Board. Rivera is also commissioner of the town’s housing authority.

Castaneda was also appointed the town administrator last month and was elected as a trustee in the West New York Board of Education in 2018.

Michael Calderara was appointed to the West New York Zoning Board of Adjustments. Ronald Theobald was appointed as an alternate member of the zoning board.

William R. Renner was appointed to the West New York Parking Authority.

The Board of Commissioners renewed a public relations contract with Vision Media, a Secaucus-based marketing firm. Vision Media was contracted by the town in 2018, and was also employed by the “New Beginnings West New York” electoral slate, consisting of all five sitting officials during the heated May 14 election season.

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