North Bergen uses $2.4 million in ARP funds for ambulance and broadband network

The federal money has largely been used by the township for sewer improvements up until this point

North Bergen has authorized the expenditure of approximately $2,400,000 of its remaining American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. The North Bergen Board of Commissioners has voted to adopt two ordinances pertaining to the ARP funds.

The first ordinance expends $143,805 for an additional ambulance “necessary to provide emergency medical service and treatment, related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other medical conditions,” according to the ordinance.

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The second ordinance expends $2,250,000 for a broadband and fiber optic network infrastructure improvement project. This ordinance marks the largest expenditure of North Bergen’s ARP funds.

The board unanimously adopted ordinances at its May 11 meeting. Following the adoption of the ordinances, Chief Financial Officer Robert Pittfield provided additional details to the Hudson Reporter.

“It’s broadband for internet use, to increase the internet speed for the citizens, businesses, and government offices here in North Bergen,” Pittfield said.

Most expenditures aimed at sewer improvements

This expenditure of $2,400,000 is on top of the roughly $815,000 the township has already spent of its approximately $17,800,000 in ARP funds. The first time the township spent its federal funds was at the end of last year. And until now, the focus was on sewer renovations.

In December of 2021, the board voted to adopt and ordinance allocating $550,000 in ARP funds for sewer infrastructure upgrades. The 57th and Kennedy Boulevard Project entailed bypass piping required along with deep trench excavation of approximately 15 feet below grade in order to replace 120 linear feet of sewer piping, backfill compaction, and area restoration.

The second time was more recently, in April. The board voted to adopt an ordinance appropriating $265,000 of the ARP funds for sewer infrastructure and drainage improvements at 71st Street. The sewer improvements include the replacement of 106 feet of corrugated metal pipe and new reinforced concrete pipe, and all work and costs necessary.

The improvements to the sewer infrastructure in the area aim to reduce combined sewer overflows and flooding, among other storm water management improvements. The latest non-sewer-related expenditures are just another part of what the township plans to do with the rest of its ARP funds throughout the year.

“We’re trying to put an emphasis on sewer infrastructure projects,” Pittfield said. “That will be the main efforts behind those monies.”

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. 

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