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South Orange Rescue Squad Could Move to New Building by Next June

Amy Kiste Nyberg

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 • 12:44am

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The South Orange Rescue Squad could move into a new building on Second Street by June 2014, according to a timeline presented at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

The village’s redevelopment attorney, Joseph Baumann, reviewed plans for the $1.1 million, two-story building funded by developer Jonathan Rose Cos. as part of an agreement to build an apartment complex at Valley and Third streets that would include retail space and a parking garage with 255 spaces for public parking.

Baumann said he is comfortable with the estimate for construction costs. “It’s not an expensive building,” he said, noting that the first floor is essentially a garage that would house three to four ambulances. “The consensus is $1.1 million is a good number.”

The concept plan calls for a second story that includes a public meeting room that could double as emergency shelter space, according to Baumann. The rest of the space would be accommodations for rescue squad personnel, including a kitchen, common area and bedrooms for those on overnight shifts.

The trustees approved a resolution designating Third & Valley Urban Renewal as the developer of the property and an ordinance for the financial agreement with the developer. Both passed on a 5-1 vote, with Trustee Michael Goldberg voting no on the resolution and ordinance.

According to Baumann, construction is slated to begin in June 2014, with the parking garage completed by July 2015 and apartment building completed by April 2016. “The expectation is that we’ll beat most of those dates,” he said.

The trustees also received an update on the renovation of Village Hall from construction manager Mitchell Fritz of Jay Shapiro & Associates. Village offices would be relocated to leased office space in August, and renovation could begin in late December after asbestos abatement is completed, according to Fritz.

“This is a snapshot of where the project … stands today,” Fritz told trustees. Plans call for completion of renovations by August 2015 at an estimated cost of $6.5 million. Goldberg noted that this cost does not include moving costs, storage or furnishings.

In other action:

  • heard a report from the Community Coalition on Race. Representatives outlined plans for a forum on May 15 to solicit feedback on the CCR. In addition, the CCR is shooting a video in May to serve as a virtual tour of South Orange and Maplewood and is launching a Civic Institute that would encourage people to volunteer by providing leadership and communication training.
     
  • approved a bond ordinance for $1.83 million that would fund road repairs and upgrading police communication equipment.
     
  • introduced an ordinance to limit parking to one side of Western Drive.

 

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