In a recent Hackensack City Council meeting, significant discussions centered on the city’s approach to development, including concerns voiced by citizens over increasing property taxes, and major updates on various construction projects including the John Arull building renovation and Prospect Avenue pedestrian improvements.
The meeting saw a heated debate over the city’s development trajectory. A resident lamented the rising property taxes amidst extensive construction, asking, “My taxes went up, they didn’t go down. So where’s the benefit to the public?” In response, a council member pointed out that developers have financially contributed to over $40 million in infrastructural work, and without these contributions, taxes would soar even higher due to costs like a $33 million tax appeal bill and a $40 million sewer separation project. The member commented, “Money’s coming in, we just don’t give it all back to the citizens. We put it back into the city because the city’s been neglected for years.”
On the construction front, the John Arull building renovation was a focal point. The renovation’s progress sparked debates over the completion schedule, with concerns about the serial nature of the work. A member noted, “It’s a very serial looking schedule. There’s no reason for that.” Another issue raised was the mismatched electric specifications for the Vortiges pump station, suggesting the need for a transformer to remedy the voltage discrepancy.
Additionally, Prospect Avenue’s pedestrian safety enhancements drew attention. Plans for a high-intensity activated crosswalk signal at Atlantic Street are in the works. The meeting also addressed the Atlantic Street garage’s nearing completion and updates on the Main Street streetscape project.
Further discussions involved the City Park parking ordinance, ensuring parking for those using the park’s amenities, and the recent grant for the post-GIDA flood mitigation project.
Another notable subject was the issue surrounding 125 Willow. The property recently acquired a license as a Community Supported Living Arrangement, intending to house individuals in addiction recovery. The council is exploring legal avenues concerning this decision.
The meeting concluded with the Mayor, John Labrosse, and other council members recognizing community events, Chief Freeman’s retirement, and emphasizing initiatives such as the e-bike program and changing parking ordinances for parks.