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Plans for Proposed $3.1M Police Building Project Detailed

Council members signal support for project that would renovate former police station, move town workers.

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.

 

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shimon baum December 04, 2012 at 12:15 PM
“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. Please this is a town that just figured out last year that people actually recycle.
zizi December 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Township should lease out that building and generate some much needed funds. What is wrong with the current building that everyone is in now? Oh...... I forgot it is Teaneck.... they need to spend money so they can........
John Santaella December 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Is Art Vasky suggesting a garage in the middle of the Municipal complex or a garage in lieu of renovating the old Police station?
Art Vatsky December 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Zizi: Good question. Our Municipal building has not been well maintained by the Township for decades. Basement windows are framed by 4" x 4" wood columns as if to imply the building walls are/could collapse. The basement has not been proven unsafe or uncomfortable. It just has difficult access. Our employees in the town hall work an average of less than 33 hours a week thanks to the 4 day work week and more paid holidays than NJ state workers. I am glad the former police building (built in the 1950s) has been properly sealed but the really glaring municipal omission is a truck garage. You know all those big orange trucks we count on to serve us in good times and bad. They have been repaired outdoors for decades! The 1999 Council voted for a new garage. Councils since have been busy paying off ~$20 million on legal judgments for poor internal administration and for poor construction. That is why no one knows how much the new police station costs and why it took 15 years to get it right. Fix the Town Hall and build the truck garage. Those are necessary. The former police station renovation is, like extended town hall hours, optional for most Teaneck. Further, the Council wants to renovate the building without a modern Information Technology (IT) plan. Are we doomed to a new building/obsolescent processes outcome?
zizi December 04, 2012 at 05:29 PM
@shimon baum: This is a town that is mismanaged. They actually closed the municipal building and stopped all town business when the state announced "state of emergency". It seemed that there was nobody who can help residents...........
zizi December 04, 2012 at 05:57 PM
@Art Vatsky: I will have to disagree with you on that Art. Teaneck should look into outsourcing the upkeep of their vehicles to outside vendors. It would be very cost effective if the Township buys vehicles with maintenance contracts build into the price. Going with a single vendor for all the township needs can significantly bring down the price. This will eliminate the need to have people on staff to do what can be outsourced at a great discount and with better quality/quick turnaround. The town hall seems to be OK to me except maybe little things like windows and doors. They can be replaced at modest cost. The former police building should be leased out to the highest bidder who can be made responsible for upkeep as well. These are my suggestions that are all positive and will result in huge savings for the township now and later. I am expecting people who benefit from current policies to wake up and start attacking me now......
Tee Smyth December 04, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Will the new building insure that someone answers the phone during business hours? Speaking of business hours...will the new building mean that they will now maintain 'normal' business hours? Wouldn't that be quaint? A brand new building, with no employees in it because of the reduced work hours! AWESOME! Color me un-impressed. And, look at that......I agree with zizi. (Doh!) Let something that will generate revenue have at the old station.
zizi December 05, 2012 at 12:59 AM
@Tee Smyth: Thank you.
CHRIS FOX December 06, 2012 at 01:41 AM
3.1 M? Wow, that's a lot of cash, where's this money coming from? Taxpayers increase? Mmmmhhh, Im so glad I moved from this town,everything is going downhill, just like the redelevopment of Cedar Lane, how much did that cost? How many vacancies on that street? Teaneck needs to solve that issue, the current building is working perfectly fine, in this time it's apparent Teaneck is just coming up with ways to blow money, how is this gonna benefit the town?
zizi December 10, 2012 at 04:27 AM
There will be beneficiaries of this 3.1 heist...... I really hate Teaneck and the way this town spends tax money... fire the town administrator......

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