North Bergen eyes $270,000 in ARP funds for more sewer upgrades

The township has spent over $3 million in American Rescue Plan money thus far

North Bergen is planning to spend more of its American Rescue Plan (ARP) money on sewer improvements. Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance that would do so at a special meeting on July 20.

The ordinance would see $270,000 in ARP funds address sewer infrastructure and drainage improvements on 75th Street between Broadway and Hudson Avenue. This is what appears to be the fourth instance of North Bergen seeking to expend its ARP funds throughout 2021 and 2022.

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The ordinance will be up for a public hearing and vote at the next board meeting. Sacco and the Board of Commissioners will meet again on August 17 at 11 a.m. in the municipal chamber at Town Hall at 4233 Kennedy Boulevard. For more information, go to northbergen.org.

Other recent ARP expenditures

North Bergen recently authorized the expenditure of approximately $2,400,000 of its ARP money. The board adopted two ordinances pertaining to the ARP funds in May, the largest expenditure of said funds thus far.

The first ordinance expended $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. The second ordinance expended $2,250,000 for a broadband and fiber optic network infrastructure improvement project.

“It’s broadband for internet use, to increase the internet speed for the citizens, businesses, and government offices here in North Bergen,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Pittfield previously told the Hudson Reporter.

The 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 the focus has largely been on sewer renovations.

Township seeking sewer improvements

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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