Rochelle Park Council Discusses Municipal Building Upgrades and Funding Concerns

In a recent Rochelle Park Town Council meeting, significant issues were discussed including the proposal for municipal building upgrades, concerns over the funding for Rochelle Park Pump Station, and the recruitment process for new police officers. The meeting also covered updates on community events, library programs and street maintenance, while providing a platform for residents to voice their concerns.

The meeting was highlighted by Mayor Jennifer Appice’s proposal to replace old and inefficient units in the municipal building. The move, projected to cost around $180,000, aims to improve energy efficiency. The council was divided over whether to bond the project or include it in the next year’s budget. Meanwhile, a looming deadline to secure grant funding for the project added a sense of urgency to the decision-making process. Despite concerns about the building’s roof condition, it was clarified that the units could be installed regardless.

Simultaneously, Councilwoman Linda Boniface raised questions about funding gaps in the Rochelle Park Pump Station project and the recruitment of new police officers. Mayor Appice confirmed that while discussions were ongoing about the pump station’s funding, no bond had been issued yet. Regarding the police force, she assured that the budget allocation for hiring officers was sufficient, a statement that seemed to surprise Councilwoman Boniface.

Another notable issue was the concerns raised about the negotiation process for the police contract. Some residents expressed worry over potential conflicts of interest in having an active law enforcement officer, Mr. Betti, negotiate with the police department. The council, however, affirmed that Mr. Betti’s experience in negotiating contracts ensured his impartiality.

Various committee reports were presented, with Councilman Perrin Mosca highlighting the success of the Training Car Program and the upcoming events such as the Bicycle Rodeo and the Coffee with a Cop event. Councilwoman Gail Artola encouraged residents to participate in the tree planting program to address stormwater management issues and enhance the town’s aesthetic appeal.

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