Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration is borrowing $10.54 million to fund park improvements, sewer, library, and road repairs.
Sayegh administration officials submitted five bond measures to the City Council for approval earlier in the month. Council members held a special meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the measures.
Below is a break down of the $10.54 million borrowing measures:
- $2 million will fund repairs at Bauerle Fieldhouse, Lou Costello Park, and Putnam Oval; purchase of crew cabs, a scissor lift platform truck, a snow truck, a sewer truck, and two SUVs; and traffic signal and signage improvements.
- $833,942 will be used to make improvements at the children’s department, community center at Danforth Memorial Library. Funds will also be used to replace the roof and walls at the historic library. The state has awarded $750,00 to Paterson in grant to repair the library, which requires a match. Retaining wall at the South Paterson library will also be improved with the funds. Portions of the money will be used to improve the interior and exterior of the White House at Eastside Park, improve flooring at the Paterson Museum, improve flooring and furnishing at the clerk’s and council offices. Funds will also be used to purchase computer hardware and software.
- $2.3 million will fund the purchase of non-passenger vehicles, gears and equipment, ambulance improvements, and improvements to the Recuperation and Care Unit (RAC Unit) for the fire department. Funds will also be used to repair the restroom at the Northside Firehouse; and buy various cameras and tools for the motor pool and a tool locker for police.
- $4 million for sewer repairs.
- $1.33 million for road repairs.
Sayegh’s plan to borrow money to repair Lou Costello Park was opposed by some council members. He had said the park would be renovated using grant funds. His business administrator Kathleen Long on Tuesday night said some of the open space funds the city was anticipating did not materialize.
“Lou Costello Park is homeless infested,” said councilman Alex Mendez. Council members said Sayegh should clean up the park and address homelessness in the area before spending money to give it a face-lift.
“This is the center of the city,” said councilman Luis Velez. He said the Lou Costello Park has to be rehabilitated. “This park is going to be a playground for kids from School 2.”
Councilwoman Maritza Davila favored borrowing to match the grant for the library repairs.
“Our libraries are in dire need,” said Davila.
Sayegh’s latest borrowings will push Paterson’s outstanding debt to $129.36 million. Paterson spent $16.7 million paying down debt in the fiscal 2020 budget.
The $4 million measure for sewer repairs was tabled by the council to its February 23rd meeting. Others were approved for first reading.
Council members have public hearings and final votes on the measures scheduled for March 23rd.
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