Officials have published the latest plans in a project that would link Teaneck’s Municipal Building with the long-vacant police headquarters, and move town workers from basement offices into new space.
The work, which must first be approved by the town council, is expected to cost around $3.1 million and could be finished by June 2014, according to Anthony Iovino, of Little Ferry-based Arcari & Iovino Architects. Iovino detailed the latest plan in a public meeting last week.
Residents have raised concerns including the project’s costs, amount of public meeting space and size of administrative offices.
Township resident Art Vatsky said the focus should be on improving the current municipal complex and building a new garage to protect public works crews while repairing vehicles.
Another resident, Howard Rose, said he wanted to see three options for the project at varying costs.
“I’m looking for economies at a time when times are difficult,” he said.
The township council has been mulling upgrades to the municipal complex for more than a year and was largely supportive of Iovino’s latest proposal.
“It’s a little bit embarrassing to have at the most prominent corners of your community an abandoned building on Municipal Green for 17 years,” said Councilman Elie Y. Katz. “Teaneck residents need this. With current interest rates, this is the least expensive time to do it.”
Councilwoman Lizette Parker echoed Katz’s comments, calling the vacant police station an embarrassment.
“We’re charged to make decisions that will move Teaneck into the future. Not just to look at what we would like in Teaneck right now,” Parker said.
A public meeting on the town’s debt management set for Tuesday night was expected to factor into the council’s final decision.
The full presentation is attached to this article. Some key elements of the proposal include:
- Building a link between the municipal building and vacant former police station at Teaneck Road and Cedar Lane.
- Addition of an elevator in the new link, which would become the lobby, with access to the former police station and current town hall.
- Move building, zoning and health department offices from the current town hall basement to the ground floor of the former police station.
- Offices for the township manager, a now unfilled deputy township manager, the manager’s executive assistant and other administrators would be moved to the second floor of the former police building.
- Add a municipal conference room that could be available to the public.
- Make the municipal building handicapped accessible.
- Include space for an emergency power generator.