MOONACHIE — The new borough hall that is replacing the one ravished by Superstorm Sandy will be surrounded by parks on both sides once it is completed.
Memorial Park North will be built with a focus on beautification with flowers, a waterfall and a pergola, but also with an emphasis on green living and sustainability. Officials are seeking an Open Space Grant from Bergen County for $22,294. The town would match the grant with the total cost of the park being $44,588.
Grant writer from Millennium Strategies, Susan Scavone, noted that the borough’s 2015 Open Space Grant was used to create Memorial Park South, located on the south side of the new borough hall site. Memorial Park North will be located on the north side of the borough hall site.
“It would be nice to have a park on both sides of the municipal building,” Mayor Dennis Vaccaro said, adding Memorial Park North is just north of where the 9/11 Memorial used to be. “That piece of property was purchased seven or eight years ago through Open Space and we wanted to keep it that way.”
Plans include installing a pergola on a stone dust pad, surrounded by a rose garden. The park will also focus on green living and sustainability with the addition of a retention basin, rain barrels and shade trees. The trees will also provide a degree of storm water management because they will absorb the water, Scarvone said. The rain barrel will collect rainwater from the rooftop gutter and will be used to help water planted areas.
Scavone told the council the new park would be a nice area for residents to sit for lunch or wait for the bus and will be a more private and shaded area. The trees along Moonachie Road would also soften the look of the new, two-story municipal building, according to Vaccaro.
Many of the existing trees will remain, while some will be relocated within the park, and additional trees will be planted, Vaccaro said. The plans include a waterfall, which will be installed at a later date, according to Scavone. ADA accessible pebbled walkways will connect to existing walkways throughout the park.
Maintenance of the park would fall to the public works department. Two rain barrels will be located in the park and the barrels will have netting on top with a small opening, which would prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the barrel.
If approved by the county, construction of the park is estimated begin in September 2017 and to be completed by June 2018. The borough should hear back by May 2017 on the grant.
The mayor and council unanimously approved to file an Open Space Grant to create the .25 acre park during a public hearing on Nov. 22.