Borough Approved To Receive $1.6 Million Funding for Open Space: The Governing Body is pleased to announce that the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the Borough of Upper Saddle River’s application for $1,600,000.00 to pay for 80% of the acquisition cost for the nine acres purchased at One Lake Street. This is the largest grant award received by any municipality from the Bergen Open Space, Recreation, Farmland & Historic Preservation Trust Fund for their 2017 funding cycle. The nine acres will be used for future recreational/open space purposes.
The purchase of the nine acres was negotiated with Mack-Cali as a part of the April 2016 settlement agreement after the company filed suit against the Borough for discriminatory zoning practices in federal and state courts. The settlement allows for the construction of 186 luxury for-sale townhomes, a private clubhouse, and pool, plus 22 affordable units, rather than the possible 1,500 rental apartments with 10% low and moderate income units on 47.65 buildable acres.
As illustration, Montvale entered a settlement agreement on the Mercedes properties, (a total of 20.85 buildable acres) to allow two 4-story buildings with 308 rental units along with 20,000 feet of mixed-use retail/commercial use, 40,500 feet of office use, 11,500 feet of retail and underground parking for 368 vehicles plus parking for an additional 504 cars. In addition, there will be a 150 room hotel, a pharmacy, a bank and parking for another 298 vehicles. Another 185 rental units have been approved on the 7-acre Sony parking lot site. Mahwah has settled to allow 800 rental apartments near the Sheraton Crossroads.
The Governing Body thanks the entire team who worked to achieve the successful outcome of this funding initiative, with special recognition extended to Boswell Engineering and Borough Administrator Ted Preusch.
Eruv Update: The revised eruv route along streets in the northern part of Upper Saddle River has been completed. This route came about as a result of the Borough’s settlement with the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association (BREA) in April, 2018 and includes use of black plastic attachments (called “lechis”) on certain utility poles. The white PVC pipe lechis on certain utility poles along the temporary route, including on Old Stone Church Road and Weiss Roads, are in the process of being removed, completing the obligations of BREA in remaking the eruv.
The Borough’s settlement with BREA substantially reduces the size of the eruv originally proposed in Plaintiffs’ lawsuit. Unlike the settlements in Mahwah and Montvale, the USR eruv route changed substantially.
The original eruv route in USR designed by Plaintiffs essentially ran from the Mahwah border across Sparrowbush Road to Old Stone Church to Weiss Roads, cutting a line across the northernmost portion of the Borough containing almost 20% of the Borough, or about 640 acres and about 557 homes.
The USR settlement calls for a new eruv route that cuts as close to the New York border as possible from West Saddle River Road to near the Montvale border, cutting the amount of land within the USR eruv by more than 60% and the amount of acres to 253 and homes to 230. Every USR home still within the proposed new eruv route would have been part of the original route proposed by Plaintiffs.
On July 5, 2018, the Borough filed an Order to Show Cause asking U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vasquez to find the BREA in violation of the April 2018 agreement because they had failed to change the eruv route to streets close to the New York border within the time required by the Agreement and because the BREA had been shirking the Agreement’s notice requirements to police and had allowed their subcontractors to perform substandard work in installing 10 black metal poles on Borough right-of-way that were necessary to allow for the new eruv route.
The Court was receptive to the Borough’s arguments and ordered counsel and all involved in implementing the agreement to meet and move the project ahead. The meeting was held on July 12, 2018 at Borough Hall and the Borough received specific assurances from BREA that the work would begin almost immediately, all notice and safety requirements would be observed, and private property would be respected and if damaged, restored. All approvals have been received from utilities for the project and most permits received by BREA; the Borough has been assured by Verizon that it would expedite its permits. The Court told the Borough’s lawyers that if there were further issues, it would reopen the matter.
For more information, Questions and Answers and maps showing the eruv route, visit the following link to our Borough Web Page: https://www.usrtoday.org/2018/07/17/purpose-rockland-county-eruv/
Regrettably, anti-Semitic and other derogatory ethnic references continue to be found on social media sites that contain “Upper Saddle River” as part of the title. Such comments are not representative of our community. The Governing Body publicly condemns such discourse and encourages all residents to refrain from engaging in this type of dialogue. People may have different viewpoints, ethnic backgrounds or religions; however, hate only breeds hate. Such comments do nothing to help find solutions.
Apple Ridge Update: There have been continued concerns raised by residents regarding the remediation on the former Apple Ridge Golf Course site. The project is under the jurisdiction of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. It has also been overseen by the NJ Department of Agriculture, Bergen County Soil Conservation District and the Bergen County Health Department. All methodology, oversight, test results and final approvals of the remediation have been in accordance with the NJDEP recommendations and guidelines. The remediation process employed a method known as soil blending which reduces concentrations of targeted contaminants, in this case lead and arsenic, to meet residential direct contact standards. This is a widely used remediation method to protect public health and is in full accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations. At this time, the Borough has no reason to discount the work of the NJDEP.
The remediation on the 112 acre golf course in Mahwah and Upper Saddle River was completed on December 22, 2017. Based on the results of over 700 post-remedial soil samples collected across the site and analyzed in accordance with NJ Dept of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulations and protocols, the soils across the entire site meet the most stringent Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standards for the contaminants of concern – arsenic and lead due to the site’s prior use as an apple orchard in which these were used routinely as pesticides. In addition, during the remediation, EcolSciences Inc, a licensed environmental management and regulatory compliance firm, conducted daily dust monitoring activities at the site. Over the course of 40 consecutive weeks of monitoring, only one marginal exceedance of the United States Environmental Protection Agency National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 0.150 mg/m3 was identified on August 29, 2017, and the exceedance was due to machinery idling in the immediate vicinity of the monitoring equipment and not a result of dust emissions related to the site.
However, the Governing Body, in response to concerns raised despite frequent reassurances from the state, county and review of test results by our Borough engineers and LSRPs, has brought the matter to Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Governor Murphy’s office. All documentation and history have been provided to them. The Borough does not have the authority to overrule the state agency. We thank both Congressman Gottheimer and the Governor for their assistance in this matter in advance.
We have requested that they work with the Borough to:
- Review the methodology, test results and final approval of the remediation to assure us that the NJDEP has done its oversight correctly.
- Assess whether there is anything in addition that should be done
- If so, help us get that accomplished
- If everything is again concluded as having been done correctly, help reassure residents
Columbia University Private Well Water Study: The Borough recently received notice of a study being conducted by Columbia University and the NJDEP. This state-wide study is currently taking place in several municipalities in our area. We have been advised the study has previously been conducted in Hunterdon, Bergen and other counties and will be expanded in the near future.
“The 2002 Private Well Testing Act” (NJSA 58:12A-26 et seq.) mandates the testing of private wells at the time of the sale of a property. The test results are shared between the seller, buyer and NJDEP but are otherwise confidential. Accordingly, the Borough receives no record of these results. Without a resale, it is possible that homeowners may not test their wells on a regular basis. It is generally recommended that private wells are tested on an annual basis.
These entities have identified regional patterns of naturally occurring contaminants within drinking water based on several decades of confidential private well test results. The primary stated reason for elevated levels of certain contaminants is geology.
While the Borough and the general public do not have access to private well test results, the state maintains a public database for all public wells on a website known as “NJDEP-Drinking Water Watch”. This database also demonstrates the same occurrences of contaminants within certain geologic formations in the state.
Public systems are required to identify and institute measures to treat these regulated contaminants but private wells are not held to the same regulatory standards. The NJDEP/Columbia study seeks to determine whether private wells within these areas should institute further measures to protect public health.
While there is also a potential for arsenic to impact aquifers from past industrial and agricultural uses, the study limits directly correlate with these known geologic formations and are in no way related to any recent or current development activity within the Borough.
The Borough supports this and many other worthwhile health initiatives to protect its residents.
Those USR homes included in the study will receive a letter directly from Columbia University offering free well testing with instructions. Participation is up to the homeowner. The Borough has been told that the results will similarly remain confidential.
Information on well water testing, unrelated to this study, can be found on the Borough’s website under the Board of Health at https://www.usrtoday.org/well-water-testing-info/. You can also learn more on the NJ DEP’s website at https://www.state.nj.us/dep/watersupply/pw_pwta.html.
The Borough is neither administering nor coordinating this study. It is being administered by Columbia University. Because of the confidentiality, there has been no notice of when homeowners may receive the information or which homes will or will not be included.
Smart Meters To Be Installed by O and R: The NJ Board of Public Utilities approved Rockland Electric’s plan to install Smart Meters in their NJ service area. Smart meter installations began in Rockland County during the summer of 2017. Work will continue through 2020 in Orange County, Sullivan County, as well as their New Jersey service territory adding approximately 400,000 devices. For information on Smart Meters, please visit the O and R website at https://www.oru.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/smart-meter-installation. The Environmental Defense Fund, a National Big Green, worked with the NJBPU to bring this technology to NJ. Please read more at http://www.easternenvironmental.org/smart-meters-and-ami-unanimously-approved-by-nj-board-of-public-utilities/
O and R states they will mail a postcard to customers about three months before they come to your neighborhood, and a letter 45 days before installations begin. If the meter is outside, you don’t need to do anything. If you need to be home to allow access to the meter, they’ll let you know how to make an appointment. If you would like more information on opting out, please call 1-877-434-4100 or visit https://www.oru.com/-/media/files/oru/documents/our-energy-projects/smart-meter-opt-out-app.pdf. There is an opt-out form specific for NJ customers.
9/11 Memorial Ceremony: On Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm, the Upper Saddle River Fire Dept will be hosting a memorial service and candlelight vigil. The service will take place at the 9/11 memorial in front of the firehouse. All residents are invited to attend.
Curbside White Goods: Thursday, September 6th. Please call 201-327-2196 x 221 to schedule this pickup at least three days in advance.
Household Hazardous Waste: Saturday, September 8th at Bergen County Campgaw Mountain Reservation, 200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah from 9am-3pm rain or shine. Free of charge for Bergen county residents, ID required. Visit www.bcua.org for additional information.
Bulky Trash Pickup: Friday, September 14th. Please don’t dispose of electronics curbside. Electronics are accepted at the Recycling Center on Saturdays from 8 am – noon behind Borough Hall.
Paper Shredding: The USR shredding event is scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd from 9am-1pm, rain or shine behind the Borough Hall. This event is free of charge for residents.
Flu Clinic: The annual Flu Clinic will be held on Monday, September 17, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Borough Hall, 376 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ. Regular vaccination is $40.99; High dose is $66.99. Bring proof of Medicare.
Adult Walk-In Health Clinic: Thursday, Sept. 27th from noon-1pm at Borough Hall. Services include a Health History Evaluation, Blood Pressure Measurement, Height and Weight, Individualized Counseling and Education, Referral and Follow-up and a Confidential Consultation with a Public Health Nurse. This is free of charge to adult USR residents on the 4th Thursday of each month through the Borough’s contract with the County of Bergen Health Department. For more information please call 201-327-2196.
USR Police Bike Rodeo, a Safe Bike Skills Riding Course: Saturday, September 29th at Bogert School from 10 -11:30 a.m. Learn proper helmet fitting, pre-ride safety, proper hand signals and bike handling safety. Kids must bring a helmet, bike with pumped tires and a permission slip signed by a parent/guardian. They must be able to ride independently. A limited number of helmets will be available. For more info, contact Kenny Osborne at email@example.com.
Fall Tennis Clinics: Registration is now being accepted for the 2018 fall tennis clinics. There will be one 5 – week session to be held at the Wickersham Tennis Courts, located in front of the Reynolds School. The clinics will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning on September 10th. The cost for the entire 5 week session is $95. Registration forms are available at Boro Hall or on the Boro website at www.USRtoday.org. For more information please call the USR Recreation Department at 201-327-3634 or email at USRRecreation@aol.com.
Town Wide Garage Sale: Due to the high level of interest last year, The Woman’s Club of Upper Saddle River is sponsoring the 2nd TOWN WIDE GARAGE SALE on Saturday, September 29th with a rain date of Sunday, September 30th. You host the sale at your home. We get your permit, do the advertising and provide buyers with a map indicating homes having sales. This year an added feature will be the ability to rent a table at the Fire House Parking lot for those with smaller items to sell. Details and an application form are on the Woman’s Club website, usrwomansclub.org.
We welcome all members and interested area women to our first meeting of the new club year on Tuesday, September 11th at 7pm at the USR Library.
The Upper Saddle River Historical Society: Attention, artists! On Sunday, September 23rd, the USR Historical Society and the USR Friends of the Library are partnering to host an Autumn Art Show on the grounds of the Hopper-Goetschius House Museum from 1 to 4 pm. Admission is free. It’s open to local artists who would like to exhibit – paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, pottery, silver work and wood carving. If you would like to participate, email Marica Lesznik at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mark your calendar to be sure to attend the show!
Hope to see the entire community at Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct 6th: Fun for all ages with live music, health and wellness activities, a biergarten provided by Defiant Brewing Company, vendor tables, a bounce house, tractor rides, PBA Obstacle Course, USREF Scarecrow Contest and food trucks at Lions Park. Our community and service organizations will offer activities and showcase their clubs. Admission is free for USR residents. Rain date of Sunday, October 7th. If you are interested in volunteering, taking a vendor booth or being a sponsor, please email@example.com.
Amanda’s Wellness Way Workshops at Oktoberfest: Amanda Pittman,a Girl Scout in Upper Saddle River Troop 5528, is focusing on kids and their ability to manage stress for her Gold Award project.
On October 6th she will be running a series of Wellness Workshops at Oktoberfest to benefit USR Cares at Lion’s Park. Kids and their parents will learn fun, healthy ways to manage stress – physical and nutritional wellness are wonderful stress relievers. Come prepared to participate in a workshop or two – try some proven techniques for reducing stress including yoga, simple breathing techniques, “shake it off” with some Zumba, kick it in a boot camp, make your own trail-mix, color mandalas – a relaxing art therapy, learn to plant so you can grow your own food at home and even play with some therapy dogs! A big thank you to Body Image Boutique, Shoprite, Lifetime Fitness, HealthBarn USA, Kathy Santo Dog Training and Etre who are all confirmed so far to run workshops. A schedule of the day’s activities will be posted closer to the event.
Joanne L. Minichetti – Mayor
Roger DeBerardine, Council President – firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven DiMartino – email@example.com
Jon Ditkoff – firstname.lastname@example.org
Vincent Durante – email@example.com
Joanne Florio – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Hafner – email@example.com