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Exploring Inside the River Edge American Legion [VIDEO]

Patch editor Eamon Harbord recently toured the interior of the American Legion building

For years the Sgt. Walter Scott Brown American Legion has stood tall and proud on Continental Avenue - but over the past few years the building has changed from what it once was to bordering on something completely different in town.

Of the three floors inside, the basement has been hit the hardest having been ravaged by flooding when the sump pumps stopped working and plagued by . The flooring by the basement entrance has peeled up and water stains at least one foot high.

The first and second floors have faired somewhat better with some insullation falling down and chipped paint in the bathroom due to moisture damage. But the , which is at some point in the future, is not ADA compliant and may have lead paint and an underground oil tank on the property. 

The borough received an inconclusive  by Brinkerhoof Environmental Services for the  to determine if there is an underground oil tank on site along with any use of lead paint or asbestos inside the building. Brinkerhoof's research and their $2400 report resulted in finding no historical data to prove the existence of the three environmental concerns. 

The Dutch Colonial-style building is approximately between 80 to 90 years old. An estimate received by architect Peter Pulice put . Currently the borough is awaiting a report by borough engineer Robert Costa regarding demolition specifications for removing the American Legion and include the estimated costs for removing any lead paint and asbestos.

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Michael Barry September 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM
We, the taxpayer, bought this abortion for $300,000 + dollars when we had no business doing so and now it will cost between $300,000 ( way too low ) and 1.3 million (way to high) to renovate this moldy dump. How about the Democrats stop throwing good money after bad, for once, raze this old building and begin anew? This madcap, irresponsibe spending of tax payer money MUST STOP!
ggt September 07, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Michael: I belive it was 400K. And our elected officials at the time told us we got a bargain!!! Anyhow our current elected officials have rightly decided to tear the mess down. A costly mistake, but better than pouring more money into it.
NO TO TAX HIKE September 07, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Incredible. They paid $400k and had no plan for the use and just waited for it to be rotten? Can American Legion return some funds, out of goodwill, for the sake of poor/powerless constituents of RE. RE is (or was?) so helpless and hopeless, in terms of governance.
njdelta September 07, 2012 at 04:53 PM
We the tax payers of River Edge, should be provided a list of the people who received money for its "as is" purchase.
NO TO TAX HIKE September 07, 2012 at 05:02 PM
njdelta. I fully agree with you. It's really questionable if the deal was at arm's length. Which Inspector General's office is responsible for RE?
RE-SOHO September 08, 2012 at 05:08 PM
After viewing the video and knowing what the basement (bar area) looked like (member from 1996-2006), allow me to tell you the rest of the story. Prior to the town purchasing the property (which I totally agree was a waste of money) the bar was a fully functioning area. For those of you that visited the bar during the 4th of July Picinics will attest to that. The issue that the American Legion had to deal with throughout the years, is the same issue that a lot of us in River Edge have to deal with, that being water in the basement. The American Legion had I two maybe three sump pumps working all the time. That is what keep the water in check. BUT when the town took ownership of the property, the turned off the electricity there the basement flooding. Going unchecked, I believe caused the black mold to explode. The pictures depicted in the video, I believe does not depict the condition when the town took ownership of the building. The condition was caused by the TOWN Officials.
RE-SOHO September 08, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Secondly as to who got the money. Since the American Legion did not lose their charter, the trustees continue to control an distribute the funds recieved for veteran affairs. Such as the scholarships that they give out each year at Riverdell, and Boys State program. If the American Legion loses it's charter, membership goes below a certain level; the funds would go the the American Legion National Organization. Just as if St Peters, goes out of business, all the assets of the church would go to the Newark Archdiocese. Again, I am no longer associated with the Post, but this is the rest of the story.

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