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Ridgewood Officials Take First Step To Bonding $11.5M For Parking Garage

Downtown Ridgewood
Downtown Ridgewood Photo Credit: Facebook

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Ridgewood's Mayor and Council on Wednesday night unanimously approved the introduction of a proposed $11.5 million bond ordinance for the construction of the Hudson Street parking garage.

"I'm saying 'Yes' to this with the understanding that we move forward with a design change," Councilwoman Susan Knudsen said.

A March 23 public hearing was scheduled, followed by a final vote on the ordinance.

At the same time Wednesday night, the governing body rejected the introduction of an ordinance to rescind the previous leasing agreement with the Bergen County Improvement Authority by a 3-2 vote.

Mayor Paul Aronosohn, Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli and Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck voted no; Knudsen and Councilman Michael Sedon voted yes.

“We need to stay on track with county financing if the council can’t come to an agreement," Hauck said.

Officials earlier this month approved allowing the BCIA to build the multi-level, 325-car Hudson Street deck and lease it back to the village.

This came after a proposed $12.3 million bond ordinance to have the village handle the job itself failed to gain the necessary votes.

Ridgewood voters who opposed having the BCIA own and operate the facility obtained more than 1,300 signatures -- enough to put a binding referendum question on the ballot during the May 10 village elections.

“[We] just want Ridgewood to have full control and flexibility of the pricing structure, especially when it comes to resident and non­resident commuters using the garage,” petitioner Lorraine Reynolds told Daily Voice.

In response, Aronson on Wednesday pitched the $11.5 million bond ordinance for the construction and new renderings.

If the five-member council eventually produces the four votes necessary to approve the move, the village will bond the project on its own -- elminating the need for a referendum question.

If not, Aronsohn said, officials would have no choice but to pursue the already-approved deal with the BCIA.

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