To save taxpayers money, River Edge DPW Superintendent John Lynch has proposed creating a satellite location for his office during times of emergency. He suggested utilizing the former DPW yard at the end of Grove Street.
Currently when the borough is hit with immense rain or snow, 100's of manpower hours and 1000's of dollars are lost when Lynch and his crew must remove all of their equipment from the and relocate the trucks to the building. His office is then located out of the Public Safety building but during Hurricane Irene the building was without power for days.
"In our preparation for Irene my office was relocated to the second floor at the Public Safety building," Lynch said. "That turned out to be a disaster. All of my calls were sent through the tax department which practically shut down their department. I couldn't use a computer because of the police security checks. And then there are the problems with the generator and electricity."
According to Lynch, so far this year he and his department have had to relocate six times and have been flooded out twice.
"I'm proposing putting five cargo trailers on Grove Street to store the season equipment and one construction trailer for emergency use only so that I can have phones, computer and radios set up to use," Lynch said.
The cargo trailers which the DPW already own measure 8-feet by 20-feet and are painted flat back. The construction trailer would be approximately 8-feet by 32-feet for the largest size and cost the borough between $5,500 to $8,500 to purchase.
"I would still need to store the trucks at the Legion building," Lynch said. "If this is approved I want to work with the homeowners in the area to install berms and arborvities. I don't want to be a bad neighbor and just want to save the town money. The floods are killing us and they keep coming one after another."
But Democrat Councilman Sandy Moscaritolo suggested the borough look into repairing the uninhabitable American Legion building so that could be used as a satellite location for the DPW. The Legion building has severe mold and water damage issues and could cost upwards of $1.5 million to repair.
Republican Councilman Alphonse Bartelloni questioned if the borough could upgrade the phone and computer lines to the spare room at the Public Safety building.
"It might be worth exploring the cost for a new data line outside of the police for you," Bartelloni said. "I still think it's a good idea to move the trailers up and include landscaping to make the area look nicer."
No decision was made Monday night regarding Lynch's proposal