In a recent Ridgewood Council meeting, significant flooding issues, contractor discrepancies, and the implications of a new utility law dominated discussions. Additionally, there was a growing call for community harmony and the importance of maintaining decorum in council proceedings.
The aftermath of recent flooding events took center stage. Drone footage from the Ridgewood Police Department revealed extensive flooding in fields such as Maple Field and Veterans Field. The village sought consensus for repairs following a cleanup quote for Maple Field. Comparatively, while the flooding damage was significant, it wasn’t as severe as a storm from 2021. A debate on the insurance status of the fields ensued, with plans for further consultations in place. Alongside, concerns were raised about a footbridge near Stevens Field causing neighborhood flooding. Discussions pivoted towards reaching out to Stevens, an engineering school, for potential solutions.
Controversies swirled around contractor Peter Primavera. Accusations were made that Primavera provided incorrect documents and an erroneous EIN number to the village. Despite this, he was granted another contract, prompting a resident’s appeal to the council to terminate their relationship with him.
A recently passed law from July 2021 was another hot topic. This law requires all utilities within the state to be finalized by 2033. In the bid to uphold transparency, the council desired an unbiased plan. CDM Smith, with prior ties to the Newark Waters’ lead crisis, emerged as the recommended candidate for a contract worth $271,400.
Other infrastructure matters included the temporary use of property on Russell Avenue in Wyckoff due to a deteriorating pedestrian bridge, design deliberations of a pedestrian tunnel ramp at the Ridgewood train station, especially after recent floods, and concerns about the aging Village Hall which spurred proposals for emergency repairs.
Aesthetic concerns also cropped up, especially around the design and functionality of driveways. The council discussed potential restrictions on circular driveways for narrower plots, arising from issues related to tree felling and altered streetscape visuals.
Tree conservation in the village was unanimously considered vital, emphasizing that pledges for tree replanting after property developments need stronger enforcement.
Community members actively participated, voicing concerns ranging from the qualifications of experts the council consulted to possible racial undertones in discussions about village field access. The overarching sentiment was clear: more inclusive communication is essential, alongside the pressing need for community harmony.