Secaucus is hoping to turn a currently empty lot into new parkland, according to Town Administrator Gary Jeffas.
The town is currently developing land next to Acorn Park at the terminus of Farm Road, adding to the parkland in the area.
“We have a park on Farm Road that will abut it,” Jeffas told the Hudson Reporter. “So what it will basically do is double the size of the current park.”
The existing park contains a playground situated near the Hackensack River and the town’s river walk. The park is also along the Secaucus Greenway, a 1.6 mile walkway which starts on Millridge Road across from the baseball fields, heads into Mill Creek Point Park, continues south along the Hackensack River, passes Secaucus High School, Acorn and Trolley Parks and ends at the Extended Stay Hotel on Meadowlands Parkway.
Years in the making
Jeffas said the project had been in the works for a number of years.
The site used to be a commercial property, a tanning company that used to produce leather, before the town bought it for $100,000. The town also received a $300,000 grant from the county toward converting the lot into a park.
It was thought that the soil may be contaminated by tanning by-products from the previous owner. As a result, the land needed to be remediated.
“We had to clean up the site, do some contamination work from the prior owner,” Jeffas said. “It took longer than it expected just to get the site all ready”
Now that the remediation is complete, the town is planning to award a contract to construct the park. And the town was set to send out bids for the new park on March 2. However, town engineers came across an issue requiring additional work be performed and the bid was postponed.
Regardless, the plans are very much still in motion and the project was sent back out to bid. It’s not clear what the total cost of the park will be until bids come in and a contract is awarded.
“It’s going to cost more than that for us to build a park,” Jeffas said of the approximately $300,000. “So the town is going to fund the rest out of our budget.”
Bids are now due in for the project by March 16, when Jeffas said he would have a better idea of the total cost.
New park plans
The plans for the new park calls for a small surface parking lot with approximately 20 spaces that would serve it and the existing park.
“We’re going to put in a parking lot because there’s not one down there for the park,” Jeffas said.
A path will lead from the parking lot to a gazebo. Around it will be some benches.
Off of that gazebo is a path leading to two dog runs: will be small dog and large dog run. There will be a dual water fountain for both humans and dogs. Another path diverges from the gazebo that will lead to a gravel path along the Hackensack River.
“We have a design right now with two dog runs, one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs,” Jeffas said. “We’re going to have a gazebo proceeding with a path that leads right to our riverwalk.”
One portion of the park is yet to be finalized that is currently slated as a rain garden.
“We’re going to have some seating and some picnic area,” Jeffas said. “It’s going to be a passive park with the dog runs and all new plantings and trees on the perimeter.”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.