North Bergen spends $270,000 in ARP funds on more sewer upgrades

So far, over $3 million in American Rescue Plan money has been spent by the township

North Bergen has spent more of its American Rescue Plan (ARP) money on sewer improvements. Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners voted to adopt an ordinance that would do so at a special meeting on August 17.

The ordinance spends $270,000 in ARP funds to address sewer infrastructure and drainage improvements on 75th Street between Broadway and Hudson Avenue. According to the ordinance, the improvements include but are not limited to the replacement of approximately 110 feet of undersized and damaged pipe with new 48 inch HDPE pipe, and the installation of two six-foot diameter manholes, and all work and costs necessary.

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Sacco noted that Township Administrator Janet Castro and the administration have been working on addressing this for a while.

“This is one of several areas in town that are in dire need of improvements,” Casto said. This area was one of them and was very high on our priority list.”

During the public hearing, resident Hailey Benson thanked the township for starting the improvement process on the antiquated sewer system, since “it gets really dangerous sometimes.” The board then voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance.

Other ARP expenditures so far

This appears to be the fourth instance of North Bergen seeking to spend its ARP funds throughout 2021 and 2022. 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 such 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 “for internet use, to increase the internet speed for the citizens, businesses, and government offices.”

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.

Sewer improvements take priority

In December of 2021, the board voted to adopt and ordinance allocating $550,000 in ARP funds for sewer infrastructure upgrades. The 57th Street 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 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.

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

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