Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration is borrowing $9.5 million for emergency sewer repairs, purchase of police and public works vehicles, ventilation systems for fire houses, park improvements, and technology upgrades.
Sayegh’s business administrator Kathleen Long presented five borrowing measures to the City Council last Tuesday:
- $4 million for emergency sewer repairs
- $2.9 million for police vehicles, technology improvements, and license plate reader cameras; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and flooring improvements at the Southside and Hillcrest firehouses; and purchase of a rack truck and a high water vehicle for the Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
- $1.29 million for traffic lights, signals, and signs; four Ford F-350 single cab trucks, four Ford F-450 crew cab trucks, two snow trucks, a front-end loader, and a Toro master mower
- $1 million to repair the tennis courts at Westside Park and Eastside Park
- $315,000 for flooring improvements for administrative offices, computer hardware and software.
Members of the City Council appeared to support Sayegh’s latest borrowing plan.
Council president Maritza Davila suggested using a portion of the $315,000 to improve the bathrooms at City Hall.
Councilman Luis Velez suggested using some of the same funds to fix the parking lots at the Board of Health and behind City Hall. Both are badly pockmarked, he said.
“If they fall in any of those parking lots it’s going to be more liability for us,” said Velez. He twisted his ankle at the City Hall parking lot, he said.
Multiple people have injured themselves at the Board of Health parking lot. Most recently, a woman fell and had to be taken the hospital via an ambulance.
Velez also wondered whether the $4 million will be paid via the sewer utility. Finance director Javier Silva said the debt service will be paid by sewer ratepayers.
Councilman Al Abdelaziz suggested getting the Board of Education involved in repairs to parks that are used by schools. He suggested getting the school district to pitch in for repairs at Westside Park, which is used by John F. Kennedy High School for physical education.
Abdelaziz said $1 million is unlikely to be enough to repair the tennis courts at both big parks. Business administrator Kathleen Long said the city also applied for Passaic County grant funding for the Eastside Park repairs.
The City Council will initially consider whether to approve Sayegh’s latest borrowing measures on Tuesday night.