In a recent work session held by the Ramsey Borough Council on October 11th, 2023, the spotlight was on concerns over the borough’s outdated traffic circulation and an ambitious initiative to replace a 70-year-old station house. The session, which saw several council members in attendance and Mayor Deirdre A. Dillon notably absent, was rife with discussions on various community-centric subjects.
Chance Parker of Ramsey voiced concerns during the public comments segment, drawing attention to the outdated nature of the borough’s traffic circulation and transportation elements. He stressed that the master plan’s two-decade-old data has resulted in unmet objectives from a 2006 document. Parker’s primary concern was the lack of crosswalks on South Central Avenue from Main Street, posing a significant safety risk for pedestrians. Drawing a comparison, he mentioned North Central from West Main Street, which enjoys the safety of seven crosswalks over a similar stretch. “This is about equal access, pedestrian safety, complete streets, proper planning, and a healthy community,” Parker passionately declared. He advocated for a robust collaboration between the council, the Ramsey planning board, and Bergen County to ensure pedestrian safety.
The Borough Administrator, Bruce Vozeh, responded to Parker’s traffic concerns, revealing the engagement of a traffic engineer to address issues in the master plan.
Furthermore, Vozeh discussed various resolutions, among them the appointment of William Kur as a civilian investigator, largely in response to rising firearm application background checks. Another highlight was the contract awarded to Blue Line Architecture for ADA-compliant bathroom renovations in the VFW building.
Subsequent to these traffic concerns, the Station House project emerged as a topic. The objective is to replace an outdated and deteriorating structure with a state-of-the-art facility. In collaboration with Neta Architects, the Fire Department, Rescue Squad, and several other agencies, the council aims to finalize the design of the new Station House. Seen as a significant long-term capital investment, this structure is envisioned to serve multiple generations. Neta Architects’ involvement, backed by a contract valued at $1,152,000, is slated to span over about two and a half years, culminating in the early parts of 2024 with the completion of the design and construction document phases.
Councilman Michael Gutwetter spoke about upcoming festive events. He mentioned the Halloween Boo Bash at the library, which promises Halloween-themed activities, and a Halloween parade and costume contest slated for October 28th. Meanwhile, a report from the VFW underscored their annual tradition of serving hot dogs at Finch Park and introduced plans for a Veterans Day event and a salute to Veterans lunch at the YMCA.
Councilwoman Judy Cusick brought up environmental concerns, particularly the borough’s recent acquisition of a grant to tackle the spotted lantern fly invasion. She emphasized the importance of the shade tree commission and its role in maintaining the borough’s green canopy.
The discussion also veered towards the “no knock registry.” Set to launch on October 16th, this initiative will allow residents to register online, ensuring they aren’t troubled by unwanted door-to-door peddlers.
As the meeting drew to a close, Councilwoman Cusick shared about an upcoming event where Ramsey resident Alex Neely aims to break the world record for knuckle push-ups on Veterans Day.