The city of Hackensack will continue to work with users of an unnamed stretch of road west of Countryside Co-op to figure out how to make much-needed repairs.

At the June 3 council meeting, two Co-op representatives described the road’s condition as “disastrous,” making it difficult for large trucks to make deliveries.

The road is owned by the Co-op (one-third), and Fritz Templin, owner of an adjacent real estate office (two-thirds). Templin has refused to contribute toward road repairs since the real estate office access is off Hwy. 371. The Co-op has indicated it would contribute.

The city has no ownership of the road, although it has maintained it for many years in order to access city utilities. But maintenance does not make the city responsible for road repairs and also raises the question — should the city spend taxpayer dollars to fix a road it doesn’t own?

A year or two back, the city solicited bids to find out what it would cost to fix the road, Maintenance Supervisor Dana Stanko recalled. A contractor would have to dig out deep muck, put in a firm base and then a gravel surface. A good, firm gravel road would be sufficient for truck traffic, Stanko said. At the time, bid estimates were around $6,500-$7,000. Pavement, however, would cost around $20,000, making it prohibitive, no matter who pays for it.

“We want to help the Co-op, but we don’t know if the city can do this right now,” Councilor Jim Schneider explained. He will look for other sources of funding to fix the road, and the city will stay in contact with Countryside Co-op.

The city will also continue to work with real estate agent Dan Pflugshaupt and developer Bob Johnson related to the Oak Hills Addition and Red Oak Drive, off Cemetery Road at the south end of town, where the first house will soon be built.

After the question of a developer’s agreement was raised at the April council meeting, city clerk Jody Knapp dug into files from 2004-2005 but found nothing. A developer’s agreement spells out what a developer needs to do in order to build homes, including road width, lot layouts with well and septic placement, runoff issues, street lighting and more.

Since nothing was recorded at the time, either in council minutes or elsewhere, Councilor Bill Kennedy suggested starting over with a check list of what needs to be in place, then have it reviewed by city engineer Les Mateffy and city staff.

“It’s pretty much a done deal because [the addition] has been there all these years,” Schneider assured Pflugshaupt and Johnson. “It just didn’t get recorded in the minutes. We need to get the paperwork in order.”

The city will consult with Mateffy and  city attorney Ted Lundrigan to be sure the agreement meets state codes.

Stanko reported a major sewer backup occurred recently at a city residence, describing in vivid terms a large paper clog at the city main that caused sewage to back up into the residence’s basement. Knapp said the city’s insurance should cover situations like this.

Public rest rooms at city park are still not open. Work was supposed to be done by May 1 but was delayed by chilly temperatures. It may take another week before a toilet is replaced and ceramic tile are laid. A Porta-John has been rented for the interim.

The new electronic speed sign near Sacred Heart Church on Highway 371 has arrived and will be wired and operating in the next few day, in time for summer traffic.  

The city truck, however, is not in running order, so Stanko has been using his own truck. Schneider reminded Stanko to add this to a growing list of projects and equipment that need to be replaced in the near future.

The council approved closures of First Street and Murray Avenue July 9 during Sweetheart Days so an area in front of the Municipal Bar and across from the American Legion Club can be cordoned off and where beer sold at the Bar or Club can be consumed. This conforms to the city’s alcohol policy regarding “beer gardens” for special events.

It approved a final bill of $7,500 from Northern Harbors for the sea wall/pier project at city park, to be paid when funds become available.


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