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River Edge Foots $7K Bill for Residents Sidewalk Repairs

The borough will work with New Milford to pay for the repair and replacements of sidewalk slabs that were uprooted during Hurricane Sandy by borough-owned shade trees

In a one-time only move, River Edge will foot the approximately $7,000 bill to reset 38 sidewalk slabs and replace 26 that were damaged by borough shade trees that came down during Hurricane Sandy. 

The borough will take advantage of a reduced contractor's fee by entering into a shared service agreement with New Milford. According to River Edge Borough Administrator, by working together with New Milford, the borough will be charged $85 per reset slab and $142.50 for each new slab.

"I've been in favor all along of the town making these repairs," Councilman Alphonse Bartelloni said.

Following Hurricane Irene and prior storms, homeowners have been required to adhere to an ordinance that places the burden on homeowners to pay for the replacements or resets.

"Because this was a natural disaster, this puts us in an unique circumstance with borough shade trees causing the damage," Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo said. "I believe this is beneficial."

Former borough attorney Sam Cereste had stated that the governing body could approve a resolution allowing the one-time move rather than amend the current ordinance.

The council will approve the one-time resolution at its next meeting and will utilize funds from the Hurricane Sandy emergency appropriations budget line item.

Oradell, which has a similar ordinance requiring homeowners to cover sidewalk repair costs, will utilize a shared replacement program splitting the cost between homeowners and the borough.

"We have a sidewalk replacement program where we share 50 percent of the cost as borough trees caused the damage," Oradell Council President James Koth said.

Oradell is also waiting for a reimbursement from FEMA for debris removal so that the borough can then move forward with removing 30 tree stumps that displaced the sidewalk.

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Cristian Fuente January 27, 2013 at 05:04 PM
That's great for homeowners who have not repaired their sidewalks but for others, who were told by the town that sidewalk repairs are the responsibility of the homeowner and proceeded to repair them, what will be offered to them? Also, often times when a tree falls depending on the direction, it's more than the sidewalk that needs tone repured but also the curb -and that cost to repair is not mentioned.

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