Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Village Has New Tack on Parking Deck

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Village Has New Tack on Parking Deck

Article excerpt

RIDGEWOOD -- The Village Council may introduce a bond ordinance Wednesday to fund a proposed municipal parking garage without using county money, despite recent approvals from the county.

The move is a sharp departure for the council, the majority of which agreed in January to ask the Bergen County Improvement Authority to bond for the garage's approximate $12.3 million cost. That vote came after the governing body could not get the required four-vote super-majority necessary to authorize the municipality to bond for the project on its own.

But the idea of locally bonding the costs of the proposed Hudson Street deck was put forward again on Feb. 21 by Mayor Paul Aronsohn in an email to some community members. It's seen as an attempt to assuage the unsatisfied council minority -- as well as residents who've started a petition drive to force the funding issue into a public referendum.

"Although I still believe that a partnership with the BCIA would be a good thing for Ridgewood, I want to give my council colleagues another chance to make this happen," Aronsohn said in the email.

The reintroduced ordinance will be for $11.5 million, a smaller number that reflects the garage's newly reduced size -- instead of 405 spaces, the garage would accommodate 325.

Some on the council initially favored the larger structure, but officials scaled back plans last month after vocal public opposition. Many residents said the building would be too large, protruding into Hudson Street and constricting local traffic.

Aronsohn said last Wednesday that he hopes the council will agree to support the smaller municipal bond.

"If that brings us together as a council and a community, so be it, let's do that," he said.

The BCIA approved an agreement to bond with the village on Feb. 4, and the Bergen County Freeholders unanimously introduced an ordinance Wednesday guaranteeing that bond. …

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