A proposal to convert the former DPW yard on Grove Street into commuter parking could prove costly to River Edge as borough engineer Robert Costa presented four options to the Mayor and Council with plenty of bells and whistles.
The options, ranged from laying down gravel to macadam to environmental pavers, along with lighting, drainage, and a stairway up to Kinderkamack Road.
"I cam up with a list of budgetary items that you can decide what you do or don't want," Costa said. "I've included taking down the current retaining wall and replacing it with a new one, adding a stairway access up to Kinderkamack Road and options with ingresses and egresses on both Grove Street and Lincoln Avenue or just one."
Costa's plans were split between creating a commuter parking lot with 47 spaces or 47 spaces with pricing ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 to create each space.
He also estimated $60,000 for the retaining walls and another $50,000 for lighting the area.
"If the council is seriously entertaining this option, I would rather have metered hourly parking than commuter parking for a revenue source, but I don't know if it would get used," Councilman Alphonse Bartelloni said. "I think what we've been talking about and hence why we hired an appraiser, is to have a parking strucutre that is on grade and people won't have to use steps to access Kinderkamack Road."
River Edge is still waiting on a final assessment of the property before making any decision on whether to convert the lot into commuter parking or sell it to a developer.
Former borough attorney Sam Cereste suggested selling the lot in October to a developer after merging it into the commercial zone. The lot, is currently split between the commercial and residential zones. Another problem with the area is that it fronts onto Kinderkamack Road but drops 15 feet down in the rear towards Grove Street.
In October, Cereste estimated that the property could be sold for $500,000 to $600,000 but the final number would depend on the assessment. Once developed it could bring in an estimated $40,000 in taxes per year.