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BREAKING: Renovation of Old Elks Club building could cost up to $3 million

Ridgewood Elks

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Village Council members were informed on Wednesday night that renovation (or new construction) of the old Elks Club building, which was purchased with the intent of consolidating the majority of Ridgewood Water’s employees into a single location, could cost as much as $3 million.  Options range from a simple interior renovation (tagged at $1.7 million), to the construction of a brand new, 4-story building (with an estimated cost of $3 million).  Two (2) other renovation/construction options were offered; each with a projected cost of $2.3 million.

Despite having been just handed a bombshell in the form of a multi-million dollar unanticipated and unbudgeted project, the Council members’ primary sticking point with all of the four (4) proposals seemed to be that none provided adequate off street parking for employees and customers of the Water Department.  On street parking in front of the facility is currently prohibited due to its proximity to a busy entrance/exit driveway for the King’s Shopping Center.

The Fly on the Wall believes that this project is now dead in the water because four (4) Village Council members would need to approve bonding the funds necessary to undertake any renovation/construction project.  And it is a well known fact that Councilman Jeffery Voigt and Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh were adamantly opposed to purchasing the Elks Club building to begin with.


So what will happen now?  The property was purchased with Water Department funds, not with taxpayer dollars.  Hmm.  What a mess.

41 thoughts on “BREAKING: Renovation of Old Elks Club building could cost up to $3 million

  1. I just saw Nancy Greene standing in front of that building salivating. Now I know why.

  2. A dream come true for the library.

  3. Mo’ parking!

  4. All part of the plan. Didn’t the Elks shutdown/purchase happen around the same time we were introduced to the library redo? Don’t let the VC majority fool you.

  5. Holy shit! Holy shit ! Oh. My god. Coo coo ! And today Isn’t there some kind of meeting regarding the lawsuit. Oh boy.

  6. Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh speaking during a July work session, “I’m concerned that upgrading the building could cost more than estimated.” NAILED IT!

  7. Nope no parking. Not even enough for the employees that will be in the building. They said there will only be 14 spaces. Everyone is expected to park on the street. And the total cost is $4M you forgot to add in the purchase price for the existing building.

  8. Another Ridgewood Water boondoggle of greed & incompetence driven by Knudsen and her cronies. All to help out the Ridgewood Police Department grab Ridgewood Water’s space at Village Hall. Guess who hired her two sons? This is pure abuse of Village taxpayer funds by Knudsen who is driving the Elk’s Club redevelopment agenda. How can you not call her out on this James? Its an abuse of taxpayers, our trust and is clearly poor governance.

  9. Why does the Village keep buying these properties like Schedler, Habernickle and now Elk’s? They should be sold. The Village is not in the property management business. They can’t even cut the grass at the properties they already have.

  10. The Village is about to lose a $13mn judgement in Appellate Court today by Wyckoff against Ridgewood Water. Approximately ~$2,600 per household. No mention of that Fly?

  11. towns on Crack..

    the thunder you hear is the moving trucks moving south as fast at their wheels can
    turn away from a broken town..

  12. The Council voted 3-2 (Knudsen, Sedon, and Hache) for Ridgewood Water – which the Village Council controls – to buy the Elk’s HQ for $1.1mn in 2018. Now they need a minimum of $1.7 million to redevelop it? Double that after all of the change orders in such municipal boondoggle scams. Golden toilets have nothing on the stench over this brewing Elk’s HQ abuse of Village taxpayers scandal. So all in Village taxpayers would be on the hook for at least $3 million for this building, all just so Knudsen can honor her promise to the Ridgewood Police Department to free up space for them in Village Hall by moving Ridgewood Water to the Elk’s HQ? Scam alert 🚨

  13. The building was purchased by Ridgewood Water using their revenues, not tax dollars. Renovations would be paid for from the same bucket; Water Department revenues, not tax dollars.

  14. Ridgewood water is owned by Ridgewood taxpayers. Same tax dollars. but your logic gave me a chuckle.

  15. Yes. The water utility is owned by the Village of Ridgewood, but no property tax dollars are used to fund their endeavors.

  16. I can just feel another $5,000 water bill coming with a note saying that I was inadvertently under-billed.

  17. Several of us asked months ago where the water department intended to park their trucks and other vehicles if they purchased that property. No answers of course. No parking of commercial vehicles on private property in Ridgewood and no parking after 2 am on any street in Ridgewood. Now these vehicles are going to be given a massive break in parking? Actually, as the first commentator said, “Nancy was salivating”. She has always wanted that space for her community center–complete with bar? Taking this over will negate her need for much of her dreamy expansion–no one in his/her right mind could come up with the “new” library with all its wasted space!

  18. Time to sell the water department.

  19. Where were Boyd or James grilling Knudsen on these basic questions like “where to park the trucks?” when the property was first purchased after Knudsen, Sedon and Hache voted in favour of buying the property for $1.1 million last year?

  20. You don’t buy a property with revenues, you buy it with funds remaining after you deduct costs like wages, benefits, utilities, debt service, etc from Ridgewood Water’s revenues. You must have been one of our three stalwart Council members who voted yes to buy it thinking the Ridgewood Water utility isn’t 100% owned by the Village. Whatever money they spend is Village money, you should understand at least that basic governance principle?!?!

  21. What’s the outstanding on and off balance sheet debt of Ridgewood Water? Why do they carry so much debt if their profits are enough to pay $1.1 million for the Elk’s HQ?

  22. Who is the neophyte above saying the property was purchased and will be renovated with Ridgewood Water’s “revenues”? Ridgewood Water keeps increasing their total debt which Village taxpayers are ultimately liable for… were also liable for the judgements against Ridgewood Water for overcharging surrounding communities… just sell the utility!!!

  23. I think your a little late to the party on this one , the real question is where were you ?

  24. “Renovation of Old Elks Club building could cost up to $3 million”
    .
    so what’s that … about 3 golden toilets?
    .

  25. How is going be bonded if you need a vote of four? What do Ramon, Mayor Susan and Mike stand to gain from this? Stop the insanity. “Ridgewood, a village in turmoil”.

  26. Maybe Ramon or Mike can get some help from their friend Jimmy T at the county in exchange for getting rid of our dispatch center and going to the county.

  27. Talk about a shiting The fan. My god this is a scam if I ever heard of one. If they build a multi deck building on that site people in the future you will see a parking deck behind Village hall the plans are all made already. Time to sell or pay up.

  28. Anyone hear what happened today regarding the lawsuit of the water department. ?????

  29. The lawsuit is now scheduled to be heard by a 3 judge panel. No date set.

  30. We all have a question why does the water department have MG plates. They should not have MG plates it’s a separate utility company. Is the village of Ridgewood paying for vehicles registration and insurance. Or is the utility paying for those items. Time for more shit to hit The fan. When the village fleet service works on a water department vehicle are they charging the utilities. They should be. Anyone works for the water department is not a village employee. You are Utility employee.

  31. Yes the water utility Workers should be woryed about the law suit ! Not good. I would be looking for another job. Remember you workers can not bump into another department . Why well the civil service law department knows what is going on.( utilities)

  32. Hmmm, something smells really bad here. The Council approved a $1.6 million allocation last summer from Ridgewood Water’s capital fund (not their “revenues” as someone posted above) to buy and upgrade the building, with a goal of moving workers from two Ridgewood locations and one in Midland Park into one office. That purchase price of $1.1 million was $200K or 22% ABOVE the tax assessed value of the property, and the $500K proposed renovation budget at the time has now inflated to $3 million? For thirty Ridgewood Water employees. Are you telling us there isn’t plenty of available Class A and Class B office space throughout Bergen County? Why do we need to own the property? And what about the vacated space? How will it be used? What are the costs if they already have been inflated from the agreed upon $1.6mn last summer to $4.1mn including the purchase price & renovation work? Deputy Mayor Susan Knudsen said moving utility offices to the Elks “frees up” space in Village Hall…. the Fly wants to know, space for who? Why is Knudsen so focused on this? Could it be a quid pro quo with the Ridgewood Police Dept who stand to gain the freed up space after hiring her sons? Answers please.

  33. This is all a dirty scam. The village of Ridgewood always did whatever the hell they want to. Do you think they give two shits about anybody else. Especially the taxpayers please. The bottom line is all of the water department employees are utility employees ,not the village of Ridgewood. All those employees should be treated like a separate company. And can someone explain to us why is sanitation and recycling under the water department. Why is the director of water in charge of sanitation and recycling something is very wrong here. Unless recycling and sanitation workers are working with the water department.we are digging deeper . More dirt will come out. From what we have investigated sanitation and recycling workers do not help in anyway in daily operations at the water utility. They should have a separate director. No one from the Ridgewood water company should be involved in any day to day operations in Ridgewood Mr. Pauly from what we have investigated sanitation and recycling workers do not help in anyway in daily operations at the water utility. They should have a separate director. No one from the Ridgewood water company should be involved in any day to day operations in Ridgewood village situations. .

  34. They should build a Parking garage behind Village hall and the library. They really do need the extra parking. They can always utilize the village shuttle throughout the CBD.

  35. Very interesting isn’t it. It just gets better and better in this town. Village wall cannot control social media and it bothers them so bad. In the past they used to control the Ridgewood press the record, and on the little rag newspapers , just like the realtors control the schools the woman’s club. They were all in cahoots. Times have changed now all the shit comes out. Hey what can we say freedom of the press.

  36. Freedom of speech is here to stay. So if you don’t like it go to another website.

  37. We find it very funny that the village buys water from an outside delivery Distributor for all the offices in village hall. And yet at All other village buildings they do not. They Took out all water fountains from the buildings and never replace them. So now workers do not have a water to drink . Isn’t that interesting. They have to buy their own. But yet middle drawer they are providing fresh clean water it’s delivered. What’s up with that. That’s real fair. If you don’t believe us go check out Fleet service building on Chestnut Street.

  38. Are you kidding me

  39. Really why wouldn’t government buildings have water fountains. Is there something wrong with the plumbing “ This is the talk at the local Starbucks in the town. What is going on. American Council need to be informed.

  40. As a village resident close to 40 years . another aspect is why do we have supervision driving around with unmarked vehicles like they are under cover. We brought this to the attention of the village manager and nothing was ever done. The mayor and council are asleep at the wheel. All village vehicles should be numbered and probably lettered of witch department they are working for. No exceptions ! Wake up council.

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