The Weehawken Township Council has adopted an ordinance issuing bonds for various capital improvements, mainly for upgrades to the municipal pool in the waterfront recreation complex.
The council voted unanimously to adopt following a public hearing at its April 13 meeting.
Mayor Richard Turner said the approximately $2.8 million bond was intended to help fund planned improvements to the township’s municipal pool.
“This is all funding for the pool complex and some other improvements,” Turner said. “We will be getting reimbursed from various county and state grants.”
Pool complex improvements
At the March 23 council meeting, Turner had explained the bond ordinance further. He said that half of the bond will be covered by county and state grants, and millions of more are anticipated to help the project in the coming years.
“This is a bond ordinance required by state law,” Turner said. “It is basically for $2,800,000. $1,600,000 is from the state of New Jersey Green Acres funds. We expect over the next two or three years to apply Hudson County Open Space funds to this. It’s really not tax dollars… We will be adding, over the next two years, another $2,000,000.”
According to Turner, the bond will help finance improvements to the pool, ranging from retaining walls to the rip-rap on the shoreline.
“It is for various improvements,” Turner said. “The largest is around the pool complex. We have the retaining walls, the rip-rap that goes around the pool complex. Some of it has deteriorated so that has to be replaced, which is very expensive. Also, we have a clean up around the pool, and some various other improvements. But most of it is the rip-rap… They would bring in large boulders to shore up the shoreline.”
Some funds will also go toward the construction of the “bubble” over the pool. Previously, the township had bonded toward the “bubble” as well as to overhaul Weehawken Stadium among other improvements.
“That work will hopefully go out to bid,” Turner said of the aforementioned pool complex upgrades in the April 13 bond ordinance. “Some of it is also for the ‘bubble,’ the infamous ‘bubble’ that we want over our pool. Various parts come from various countries, and you can’t get them in these countries right now. So hopefully we’ll have it ready for September. And that will basically complete the pool and the water aspect of the park. “
Following that, the township will focus on the next aspect of the recreation complex: “Then we will move on to the ice skating.”
Library renovations incoming
Also at the March 23 meeting, the council adopted a $1.4 million bond ordinance for library renovations. Library Board Director Holly Pizzuta explained the intent behind the upgrades which aim to modernize many aspects of the facility.
“The library applied for the New Jersey State Library Construction Bond Act to replace our outdated HVAC system, repair or replace exterior windows, replace old light fixtures with energy efficient lighting, enhance the library electrical delivery system to accommodate more outlets, improve public workstations to meet greater technological needs, such as adding work station outlets and USB ports, and increase our Wi-Fi capacity,” Pizzuta said.
The project totals $1,428,000, according to Pizzuta. However, the township has received a grant from the state totaling $714,000, which the township has to match and will do so through this bond. Pizzuta explained the library was only renovated once in its decades-long history.
“In September of 1942, the library opened its doors and remained virtually unchanged until a renovation in 1997,” Pizzuta said. “This renovation and expansion was completed in 1999. The improvement to the building took place before people carried multiple devices with them. More and more people are coming to our library to use our Wi-Fi and need to plug in their devices. None of our rooms have sufficient outlets, causing people to stretch cords and create tripping habits. This project will help our library meet the demands of the 21st Century library users.”
“More important, you’ll have an HVAC system that works,” Turner quipped. He said though it is largely being reimbursed, the bond is essential in order to expend the grant funds which the township has already received.
Turner continued: “We’re very proud of our library. It’s one of our central operations we have in the township for all ages. “
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