Powering City Hall during an emergency

Bayonne is purchasing an emergency generator for the building

The lights in City Hall will now stay on even during power outages.
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The lights in City Hall will now stay on even during power outages.

Bayonne’s City Hall is getting a new back-up generator. The move comes after a power outage caused the cancellation of a Bayonne City Council caucus meeting in June.

The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing the purchase of a Caterpillar emergency generator for the building. Law Director Jay Coffey read the resolution into the record at the September council meeting.

The resolution purchases the generator from Foley Power Systems in Piscataway for $623,493. This includes the installation and engineering services associated with the device.

Director of Public Works Tom Cotter said the generator would be installed in front of City Hall. Former city employee and resident Gail Godesky took issue with that placement.

“It’s looking more like an industrial site out there than a City Hall,” Godesky said. “Isn’t there another place you can put it?”

Cotter said the other suggested spot was on the backside of City Hall, which would have been next to the houses that were there. Because of that, the front of the building was chosen.

“This spot is where it doesn’t affect any of the residents that would be around,” Cotter said.

In case of emergency

Godesky questioned why the city needed a generator of that size: “Why do we need such a large generator when half the employees aren’t even in the building?”

Cotter declined to comment on personnel, but defended the need for an emergency generator.

“We need the generator because if City Hall cannot operate during an emergency, we’re shut down,” Cotter said.

Other locations not located directly at City Hall were too expensive. This was the most cost efficient.

“We looked at other spots,” Cotter said. “The way the building is constructed, where our electrical panel is, this was the least expensive location.”

Noise not a factor

Responding to City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski’s question about the generator’s run time, Cotter said it has to be ran occasionally. Ashe-Nadrowski said she lives near a similar generator on 5th Street and wanted to make sure this generator wouldn’t be running all time and causing a lot of noise.

“We have to run it periodically just to make sure,” Cotter said. “Once a month it should run for twenty minutes. There’s a whole process that we have to go through.”

When it does run, it comes with a noise suppression system, according to Cotter. In terms of appearance, the generator itself only comes in yellow or white, but the city is looking into ways to camouflage it.

“We’re looking at other options as far as wrapping it or trying to put fake brick around it so it looks like a brick structure or part of the building,” Cotter said. “We’re looking into options like that, but first we have to get the permission for the generator.”

Third Ward City Councilman Gary La Pelusa offered his services to help landscape the area around the generator to make it attractive.

Losing trees?

In response to Godesky questions about a recently cut down tree in front of City Hall, Cotter said it was not going in that location. The generator will be located further back, closer to the fire department.

“It’s unfortunate we lost some trees, but that has nothing to do where that generator is going,” Cotter said.

Other dying trees around City Hall may be removed, Cotter said. Meanwhile, some foliage was cleared from in front of City Hall to make way for a 9/11 memorial, which has yet to be installed.

The memorial will be made of granite. Two granite pillars will stand in front of City Hall, representative of the Twin Towers. A piece of metal from one of the buildings will also be part of the memorial.

While a ceremony dedicating the memorial was supposed to take place on September 11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary of the attacks, it was postponed due to a delay in the shipment of materials.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.