The bond ordinance in question called for providing the acquisition of the board of education’s special services department building, located at 5602 John F. Kennedy Boulevard East, for $1.3 million and $1,235,000 will come from bonds or notes.
West New York BOE Trustee Matthew Cheng was the first resident to inquire about what the town had planned for the BOE annex and Municipal Administrator Jamie Cryan said they plan on developing “a world class library.”
“The mayor has talked about this on multiple occasions of how the children of West New York deserve a world class library. So that’s the goal for the Amvets building,” explained Cryan.
As their dialogue continued, Cheng pointed out that the BOE purchased the building from the town back in 1998, while Revenue and Finance Commissioner Sue Colacurcio said that there were no covenants in place with previous building owners (it also used to be an Amvets location).
Cheng also inquired if the proposal had been sent to the state yet.
“Yea, where we are right now, this bond ordinance allows us to get our financing in order to potentially make the purchase. So there’s no agreements or signed contracts or anything like that. This is just the starting process,” Cryan answered.
Fellow BOE Trustee Ron Scheurle and resident Danny Parrales, both frequent critics of the Mayor Felix Roque administration, cited safety concerns with the location.
“You have skateboards, you have bikes, you have everything that could zip across that street and a child could be killed. And is that is something I don’t want you to have on your record,” Scheurle stated.
Parrales cited the freak bus accident on Boulevard East that killed 8-month old baby Angelie Parades back in July 2013, which occurred in the immediate area of the property in question, as an obvious example of why the area isn’t safe.
Another town resident, Kevin Livermore, said a copy of the property’s deed indicated 5602 JFK Boulevard East was currently owned by the town.
“I basically had a title company do a search on the building, and according to that, it’s only owned by the Town of West New York. So I guess my question is: if we already own it, why do we have to take out a loan of $1.3 million to buy it back from ourselves,” he asked.
“Well, we wouldn’t take out a loan and buy something from ourselves, that wouldn’t be possible,” began Cryan.
“Again, we’d only have to close if we own it,” interrupted Livermore.
“And it’s not something that we would consider,” added Cryan, further stating that deeds filed with county and state government are not always updated in a timely fashion.
The board of commissioners unanimously approved the measure by a vote of 5-0.