Teaneck Council Weighs Grant Uses, Tower Sale, and Budgets

In a recent Teaneck Town Council meeting, discussions on the township’s financial strategies and budget considerations took center stage, covering subjects from the potential sale of a cell phone tower to allocating grant money. The council considered using grant funds to mitigate town debt or support future projects and discussed the sale of a cell phone tower as a means to address projected budget increases. The repair of the Votey Park bridge was also deliberated, with grant applications seen as a potential funding source for the bridge that requires significant repairs.

The sale of the cell phone tower was a particular focus, as the council weighed the immediate financial benefit of approximately $2 million against the long-term implications of lost rental income. The potential for technology changes diminishing the tower’s value in the future was also a concern. The council discussed the possibility of including multiple options in the request for proposal for the tower, from selling the land and tower to exploring a rental agreement. A motion was made to schedule a closed session to discuss potential litigation related to another tower in town.

Furthermore, the council engaged in a discussion on using grant money, which included deliberation on the merits of using it to reduce the town’s debt or to supplement the capital budget for the next fiscal year. The mechanics of receiving grant money, its uses, and the impacts on the town’s finances were topics of conversation.

The meeting also delved into the 2024 capital improvement budget, with the council highlighting the need for thorough and accurate budget planning. The budget is set to support various municipal needs, including police and fire equipment, street and road projects, parks and playground improvements, and municipal building upgrades and repairs. The council underscored the importance of taking necessary time to ensure the budget is well-prepared.


Another aspect of the meeting was the budget presentation by the Department of Public Works. The director, Romeo, outlined proposed expenditures, with the budget reflecting increases in contract services by about $75,000, disposal costs, personal safety equipment, and streets and sewer supplies. The council discussed these increases, emphasizing the aging infrastructure and the necessity of preventive maintenance to avert emergency costs. The snow removal account was noted to remain flat, while the maintenance account showed minimal increase due to new equipment acquisition, which is expected to lower maintenance costs.

In a related budget discussion, the superintendent of recreation, Glenna Crockett, presented the township’s recreation budget for 2024, which includes increased funding for summer camp programs and holiday events. The additional funds for the summer camps are meant to enhance the offerings with trips and admissions, as well as specialty activities in science, technology, and the environment. The council members inquired about program enrollment trends, potential fee increases, and pool badge sales. They also considered capital items for recreation, such as renovations for park bathrooms, court renovations, and pool repairs.

The engineering account saw an increase of $48,520 or 15.37%, largely attributed to professional services. The in-house engineer explained their role, which spans reviewing residential plans, grant applications, and addressing infrastructure and drainage issues. Discussions ensued regarding the manager’s account increase due to higher fees for the grant writing consultant, the success of which was highlighted in recouping funds for disaster storm recovery.


Additionally, the council’s budget itself was reviewed, noting a decrease of $51,500 from the previous year, attributed to the transfer of website design costs to the IT department. The council budget covers expenses such as seminars, conferences, special projects, and discretionary funding.

Residents’ concerns and support were also addressed, including the importance of the Teaneck Library, the greenhouse, and the Garden Club, as well as the Senior Center and the Recreation Department’s programming. The council members responded to these concerns.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Michael Pagan
City Council Officials:
Danielle Gee, Elie Y. Katz, Denise Belcher, Hillary Goldberg, Karen Orgen, Mark J. Schwartz

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