Upper Saddle River Council Approves $1.2M Bond for Tech Upgrades Amidst Concerns Over Water Supply

In a recent meeting of the Upper Saddle River Borough Council, a $1.2 million bond for technology upgrades was approved, as residents raised concerns about the borough’s water supply. The meeting, held both in-person and on Zoom, was overseen by Borough Administrator Preusch.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved the introduction of Ordinance #03-23, a bond ordinance that will fund various public improvements, including an extensive overhaul of the borough’s information technology and telecommunications equipment. The proposed improvements will cost $1,200,000, financed through bonds and a down payment.

Residents, however, raised questions about the spending plan. Mark Bernhardt of Carlough Road asked about funding for the sports complex at One Lake Street and how it would affect taxpayers. Officials informed him that the average taxpayer could expect to see a $42 annual increase in taxes. Some funding for the project has been procured through grants.

Meanwhile, Eric Friis of Sparrowbush Road questioned the cost of the technology items included in the bond ordinance. He was informed that the cost of the technology upgrades was approximately $92,000.

In other council business, Police Officer Colin Gurney was promoted to sergeant. The promotion motion was offered by Council Member Drennan and seconded by Council Member Masi, leading to a unanimous approval. The Oath of Allegiance to Sergeant Gurney was then read by Mayor Fardanesh.

Furthermore, two proclamations were read by Mayor Fardanesh to the public. Arbor Day was declared to be observed on April 28, 2023, while April was declared Distracted Driver Awareness Month.

Under new business, the council approved a series of consent agenda items, including the appointment of Ryan Jennings as a part-time police dispatcher and the authorization of a property tax cancellation for an exempt veteran.

However, water-related issues dominated the public comments section. Frank Sonnenberg of Barnfield Court raised concerns about recent sewage spills and asked how residents are being informed about such events. He also questioned the impact of the Mikvah on Hillside on the borough’s water supply. The council assured him that the Borough Engineer, the DEP, and DEC were informed about the issue, and the Borough has retained Special Counsel to monitor the situation legally.

Ellen Greenberg of Plymouth Drive also expressed her concerns about the borough’s water supply, though her full statement was not provided in the minutes.

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.
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