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Deputy Mayor Al Pucciarell urges sale of fleet services building


Deputy Mayor Al Pucciarell urges sale of fleet services building
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Record

Ridgewood’s fleet services building should be sold because it is outdated and inefficient, according to Deputy Mayor Al Pucciarelli.

Pucciarelli told the council that revenue generated from the sale of the 2-acre plot could fund construction of a new facility.

Ridgewood’s 50-plus vehicles are regularly serviced at the Chestnut Street building.

“It seems to me the building isn’t efficient for the number and wide variety of vehicles it services,” Pucciarelli said at Wednesday’s meeting, noting trusses in the ceiling restrict larger vehicles from being put on a lift.

The deputy mayor said ice builds up and falls from the roof, creating a hazard for workers. Furthermore, the lack of back-door bays constricts vehicle flow, he said.

“Maintenance is often being done outside the facility,” Pucciarelli said. “The building wasn’t designed for what we use it for.”

Pucciarelli said recent interest by developers in that part of town indicates that it may be the right time to sell. Two applications pending before the Planning Board seek variances to permit the redevelopment of a pair of properties on Chestnut Street for mixed-use housing.

The village could replace the “clumsy” building, he said, “with something that would be more efficient,” He said he has sites in mind for a new fleet facility.

19 thoughts on “Deputy Mayor Al Pucciarell urges sale of fleet services building

  1. I am sure deputy Mayor pucciarelli has sites in mind to build. Like land owned by his firms clients?

  2. Paving the way for the apartments to be built.

  3. Yep, go way back to the Village Garage … follow the relationships and connections … not too hard to do, this has been in the works for a long time.

  4. No. 1 calls it! Look way back and see what relationships exist around the purchase of the Village Garage and who is connected.

  5. So which one of his buddies wants to build section 8 housing on Chestnut street?

  6. This is related to Bernie Walsh’s Shade Tree policy. But, I did not know where to post it. So, I am doing it here…

    Last week, Mrs. Walsh said “the prevailing opinion is it’s a poor idea to continue to plant trees in the right of way. Tree roots often struggle to find energy and can rip up sidewalks and streets.” In her proposal new trees would only be planted on private property, not on the traditional right of way.

    Most people in town disagree with what she describes as the “prevailing opinion”. This shows how poorly this policy has been thought through and the typical “shoot first and ask questions later” policy that Councilwoman Walsh and her colleagues have been known for over the past few years….

    Have the REAC meetings that Mrs Walsh presides over been adhering to public meeting laws? I have never heard about advanced notice of a meeting and agenda, where the details of this policy were being hashed out.

    The first thing that Councilwoman Walsh should recognize is that the trees that have come down in recent storms are large “old growth” Oak and Maple trees and are NOT the types of trees that are planted as replacement shade trees today. So, the replacement trees and their root systems will never be as big as the 100+ year old trees that tend to come down in storms today.

    Secondly, damage to the Village streets from fallen trees is non-existent to minimal from year to year. It is the sidewalks that tend to be damaged when a tree is uprooted. But, the town does not maintain the sidewalks in residential areas. The homeowner does. In addition, planting a tree on the “inside of sidewalk” (on a homeowner’s lawn) is not going to prevent the roots from disrupting the sidewalk when a tree comes down, just because it was moved to the other side of the sidewalk.

    Thirdly, it makes sense not to allow planting near wires or infrastructure. But, that doesn’t mean that trees must be planted on a homeowner’s lawn. Furthermore, locating the tree on private property is not going to prevent the posibility of a tree from falling on a wire, just because it was moved from the right of way.

    This is an inappropriate transfer of responsibility and cost from the Village to the homeowner, which will forever change the appearance of some older neigborhoods in town. It will also force homeowners to choose between planting trees on their property, which could impact inground watering systems, electric fences, physical fences or other elements on their property, or have treeless exposure from the street. This is an over-reach by Village government.

    The fact that we already plant smaller trees that do not grow as tall and have smaller root systems than we did decades ago is enough to address this issue. Councilwoman Walsh needs to do her homework and residents need to send her a loud and clear message that her proposal is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

    1. Bizarre post. Why not just go to a meeting and ask her. She hasn’t been hiding anything and it’s been in the paper a million times. This really was a tactic to divert attention from Big Al.

  7. Nice way to try to take the spot light off of BIG AL. The development king

  8. this is a scam. my ass that place is not safe. come on. yes the place is old. the building was built around 1925 or so. yes at times you will see trucks being worked on out side . because it’s a fast repair, like a flat tire or a light bulb. but the building is safe. yes it could use a paint job and new windows. we all would like to know how much is the building worth. and are you really going to build a new place. don’t think so . and if you did ware would you build , ????????. and what about the other two dept’s that are next door and up top. I think think they should knock down that building and rebuild it. that sounds good. what about the trucks, the fuel tank,s. the salt building, all I know is my services better not go down. we all moved into the village not just for the school, it’s the service too. I don’t know about this.

  9. Can we make it another soccer field?

  10. There has been talk about that building decades ago, when times were much better(financially) .One problem with the structure is it is a “bow string truss ” roof which due to design are prone to collapse in a fire.( the hackensack fatal fire was an example) Why undertake that project now? There is also the issue of soil reclamation that building has been there so long the soil underneath is probably polluted. Is now the time to taks this on.

  11. The Tiger report recommended outsourcing the entire department to other town’s facilities that are already under contract to perform repair work on Ridgewood vehicles for less than it costs for Ridgewood to perform the work. Why would we want to sell this outdated inefficient facility, just to build a new inefficient facility?

    Before we go with Big Al’s suggestion to sell the current facility and build a new facility on another site, we should investigate whether it makes more economic sense to simply outsource the work as needed, instead of carrying the department’s full time salaries, in addition to long-term pension and health benefit obligations.

    In addition, I imagine the site may require some remediation, which could make it difficult to sell.

  12. I would like to know where BIG AL will find a village owned property that would support a new garage?

  13. Let’s knock down all the houses in town and replace them with apartment buildings.

  14. Agreed. Paramus has a far more capable facility. Enhance the contract we already have with them and/or find other facilities that are interested in providing us with a competitive proposal for the contract. It will save $millions for Ridgewood over the next 5-10 years.

  15. The garage farmed out a garbage truck brake job to paramus and they didn’t change the slacks, Our guys ended up doing it over.

    1. My guess is that you don’t have all the facts. The Village has been very satisfied with the quality of work from Paramus Garage. In fact, I have heard numerous stories about how long it takes for the Ridgewood Garage to complete very simple jobs. Ridgewood vehicles have been taken to other facilities to have things like oil changes done in a matter of hours, after the Ridgewood Garage said the work would take days.

      This is a simple matter of economics. If Ridgewood’s Garage employees are more responsive and perform the necessary work at the lowest total cost, the facility should be kept. However, if Paramus or another town’s garage facility is more responsive and can perform the necessary work at a lower cost (fully burdened labor and OH, including accurate pension and benefit obligations must be used in this comparison), the Ridgewood Garage should be shut down and outsourced to those facilities.

      This does not take into consideration the additional revenue that could be generated if the Village enters into a long term lease arrangement for a higher use development on the site that could benefit the community.

      I expect that it will be extremely difficult for the Ridgewood Garage to demonstrate that they are more cost efficient than other alternatives. This is not a complicated analysis to perform. So, the Village Council should get the data and make the information available to the public for discussion and a decision.

  16. I had all the facts at the time a mechanic showed me the truck in question because he was working on it. Again

  17. I remember the last a study was done on the garage, the town got three proposals to privatize the gargage the cheapest proposal was a 150,000, dollars higher than the total fleet services budget. This was during the 90’s since then the garage has been chopped through attrition and layoff and had a truck mechanic out for a year with a serious back injury, and there is no more mechanics helper position. So you have a senior mechanic changing tires and fixin flats. One of the mechs is on active reserve in the military so if he’s gone and some one is injured you are down to 1 man to work on everything. That can be why work doesn’t get out. The expensive lift is in the truck garage not the old building with the cockeyed roof.

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