Flood Mitigation Program is postponed

IRVINGTON, NJ — During a council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, Irvington City Council voted to postpone a vote on a $9,350,000 bond ordinance for Irvington’s share of a flood mitigation facilities project until Monday, Feb. 27. The mitigation program, as written in the ordinance, would provide funding to reduce the harm of a potential flood in Irvington Township.

Irvington residents Robert Sure and Eloise McDaniel both expressed their concerns at the council meeting, regarding both the postponed program and other issues.

“You are talking about $9 million for development of this project, but what is happening down at the Department of Public Works building here in Irvington?” asked Sure at the meeting. “The building is still falling down. Has anyone taken consideration on rebuilding that? It has been well over a year since that concern was raised to the council.”

“The first thing that I would like to ask is when are you going to have council meetings back at town hall?” McDaniel asked at the meeting.
She then targeted her ire at council’s handling of the flood program.
“Judicial, legislative and executive are the three branches of government. The two that are most important have the power to make laws and enforce them. The executive branch can enforce laws and carry out duties, and it seems that you are not capable or willing to do so for this flood program or other issues in the community.”

Councilwoman Jamillah Beasley attempted to address both of their concerns, particularly those of McDaniel.
“We take our jobs very seriously and we listen to all complaints,” Beasley said at the meeting. “We resolve all serious issues that arise in Irvington. If there is anything that you need or questions that you have, you can always call or email any of us in the council.”

The improvements, when they are authorized, according to the bond ordinance, are upgrades to the existing cogeneration facility to power an effluent pumping station two stormwater pumping stations and the sludge dewatering facility; the acquisition and installation of digester gas and natural gas piping to the new engines; construction of a new substation at the sludge dewatering facility; and the installation of medium voltage connections to the co-generational grid.

The rehabilitation of the existing Army Corps of Engineers stormwater pumping station would include the removal of existing equipment, modification of the existing pumping station structure, installation of three new stormwater pumps and discharge piping, replacement of two existing sluice gates, installation of two new sluice gates, modifications to the existing storm water piping influent to the pumping station, replacement of stormwater inlet gratings, installation of new seal water service to the pumping station, installation of new electrical power to the pumping station and site restoration.

This bond ordinance shall take effect 20 days after the first publication after the final adoption, which has not happened yet. The motion was made to adjourn the adoption of this ordinance on second reading until Monday, Feb. 27.