North Bergen eyes state grant to supplement 46th Street Field renovations

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has made $4,600,000 available for the project

North Bergen is looking to secure state grant funding to help with the renovations planned for 46th Street Field.

At a November meeting, Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for the 46th Street Field Improvement Project.

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According to the resolution, the Department of Community Affairs has made $4,600,000 available to the township through the fiscal year 2023 Legislative Grant Program for the project. However, the township needs to apply for the funds before it can accept them.

As such, the resolution formally authorizes the Mayor and Clerk to submit a grant application for the funding. Upon receipt of the fully executed agreement with the Department of Community Affairs, the resolution authorizes the expenditure of the funds for the project pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

Previously, the township had applied for county money in 2021, and has been optimistic about receiving it since February of this year. In July, the board adopted an ordinance utilizing $500,000 Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund grant to help fund the improvements.

The park is currently home to a playground, a basketball court, a baseball field, and a pedestrian walkway surrounding the baseball field as well as other amenities.

For the park area, the township is looking to: put in new playground equipment; resurface the basketball courts and outfit them with new backboards and rims; install new sheltered park benches; create an expanded splash park; repave the pedestrian walkway; repave the parking lot and add new spaces; install a trench system for draining; renovate the restrooms and storage building; relocate the dog run; create a new regular seating area; install new fencing; repair the existing staircase; and install new in-ground trash receptacles throughout the park.

For the ball field area, North Bergen is seeking to: install synthetic turf for both baseball and softball that includes a synthetic shock absorption for safety; put in a drainage system; replace the light fixtures and fencing; install a press box, covered bleachers, an on-field ball pens and new dugouts.

When the ordinance to use the county grants funds was up for introduction in June and up for adoption in July, a group of residents spoke out at a number of meetings against some aspects of the planned improvements, such as the removal of mature native trees, the reorientation of the dog park, and the addition of a new parking lot over what is currently park space. However, after the commissioners stood their ground amid discussions with the residents over their proposed alternative plan in August, those in objection to the improvements abandoned their objections after September.

Now the project is moving forward with the township’s original plans, utilizing county and potentially state grant funding. Meanwhile, the Board of Commissioners also approved a resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application and a grant contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the Local Freight Impact Fund for the 83rd Street Improvement Project.

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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