Two major Kearny infrastructure projects are scheduled to begin; PD also buys 6 license plate readers

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A license plate reader on a police radio-controlled car Photo courtesy of the Denver Police Department

At its October 25 meeting, the city government awarded Hackensack-based ConQuest Construction Inc. a $5.34 million contract for the first phase of a lead water pipe replacement and road improvement project.

Under a government mandate, Kearny has 10 years to complete the phasing out of lead and/or galvanized steel pipes that supply local customers with drinking water.

City Manager Stephen Marks said ConQuest submitted the lowest of seven bids, ranging to a high of about $11.3 million.

Neglia Engineering, the city’s Lyndhurst-based consulting engineers, will receive $514,500 to manage the project.

According to Marks, Phase 1 will appeal to between 600 and 700 water customers spread over a radius of up to 19 blocks. There will be no cost to individual homeowners for the new service lines, he said.

The city is funding the project partly through bonds and partly through its annual allocation of municipal aid from the state Department of Transportation, which totals $440,000 for the year, Marks said. The work is expected to be completed by next spring to allow time for the newly paved roadway to be calmed.

Information on which roads to dig in preparation for installing new water lines was provided to PSE&G “about six months ago,” Marks said, hoping to avoid the possibility of the utility digging the same roads to install new ones lay gas lines.

The other infrastructure contract is the Hackensack Avenue Streetscape project, which, as stated in the city’s RFP specifications, “includes, among other things, full-depth street reconstruction for street realignment, milling and paving, drainage and utility construction, and green infrastructure, but not limited to improvements, curbways, sidewalks, bike lanes and street features,” by Truck Rts. 1&9 to the south end of the avenue.

Hackensack Avenue leads to Kearny Point, part of the reclaimed Hackensack River waterfront, and bills itself as an “ideal work environment” in a “flex building” that currently leases space to more than 200 companies, from gyms to office space to to cat shelters.

Marks said the project will be implemented as a “public-private partnership,” with the US Department of Commerce providing $3 million and the NJ Department of Transportation providing $1.4 million. And Hugo Neu Corp., which owns Kearny Point, made a contribution in kind by hiring a design engineer to create design plans for the project.

The governing body voted in favor of a contract with Concrete Construction Corp. of Hackensack for $3.99 million to complete the road landscaping work. It was the lowest of six offers the city had received.

Neglia receives $208,400 for site supervision.

Work will begin in the spring, Marks said.

In the meantime, the city continues to deliberate on two development proposals for two lots on its east side.

ANO (Atlantic North Ocean General Trading), LLC is proposing to sell its property at 21 Sanford Ave. to Red 21, LLC for office and storage space. The land is within the Sanford Avenue redevelopment area and the city government is considering escalating the proposal to the Zoning Board for a possible deviation.

In another matter, Race Shop LLC, which owns John Hay Ave. 24-28 in the Schuyler Avenue redevelopment area, will use a recently renovated and air-conditioned on-site facility “to park high-end luxury automobiles including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Aston Martin owned by a small group of private automobile collectors,” according to attorney Gary Bennett, representing Race Shop LLC.

Race Shop plans to “sell and transfer occasionally” some of these luxury vehicles, “by appointment only,” Bennett told the mayor and council.

Although car dealerships are not a permitted use within the redevelopment area, Bennett argues that the proposed use is “a specialty boutique dealership” rather than a conventional auto dealership, and has therefore suggested that the city consider a change or exemption from the redevelopment plan to file an application with the zoning authority “to target a unique type of business.”

Elsewhere, the governing body authorized the KPD to apply to the NJ Department of Law & Public Safety for $87,588 in fiscal 2021 American Rescue Plan coronavirus funds to purchase six automated license plate readers.




Ron Leir | For the observer




Ron Leir has been a newspaper man since the late 1960’s and began his career at The Jersey Journal after working as a summer reporter while in college. He became a full-time writer in February 1972, working primarily as a general-duty reporter in everything but sports, including a three-year stint as deputy editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc.

He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and joined The Observer shortly thereafter.

He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having most recently worked with Kearny-based WHATCo. and plays softball on Sundays in Central Park, New York



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