Harrington Park Council Greenlights $5M Bond Sale Amid Resident Concerns Over Water Drainage

The Harrington Park Borough Council, in a recent meeting, embarked on a slew of decisions revolving around bond issuance, budget matters, and local concerns, prioritizing the approval of a $5,060,000 General Improvement Bonds issuance.

The council validated and adopted a resolution, pledging the full faith and credit of the borough for the punctual payment of the bonds’ principal and interest. The bond issuance, scheduled for May 2, 2023, would be serviced semi-annually with the first payment due on November 15, 2023. Payments will come from ad valorem taxes levied on all taxable property within the borough, and the bonds will not be subject to redemption prior to maturity.

The sale of the bonds, however, was not the only topic of interest during the gathering. Residents of Eckerson Road voiced concerns about ongoing water drainage issues and potential flooding, blaming inadequate response from the Borough Engineer and poor maintenance of the area’s pipe system. The council recognized the problem and proposed a plan to investigate the state of the pipes using cameras, pending resident permissions due to property disruption.

Similarly, complaints about noise pollution and the speed of CSX trains passing through the borough were raised. The high speed, close to watershed lands that provide water to over 800,000 residents, was considered a potential risk, particularly in light of a recent wildfire in New York sparked by a CSX train. The council has, in response, considered scheduling a meeting with CSX through Congressman Gottheimer’s Office to address these concerns.

The Borough Council also approved a resolution authorizing an Interlocal Agreement between Harrington Park and the Borough of Old Tappan for Mechanical Services. Additionally, it introduced the 2023 municipal budget, increasing deferred school taxes for local district school taxes, and initiated the process to combine certain bond ordinances.

Alongside these measures, the council also entertained several community initiatives. One such initiative involved the application for a 2023 Bergen County Trust Fund Municipal Program grant for park development at Highland Field. If approved, the grant would fund the replacement of backstops, dugouts, batting cages, and park benches within the playground area.

Financial reports reflected a favorable Moody rating for the borough, enabling access to good interest rates for bonds. However, a concern was raised about the municipal budget increase standing at $156.00, almost double the $75.00 increase of the last decade.

On a cultural note, the council discussed the donation of the Novina sculpture to the Harrington Park Library, albeit with concerns about its maintenance and aesthetic compatibility.

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