Bergen County community fights proposed location of DPW facility in residential area
Some residents of a Bergen County community say they are concerned about plans to move a Department of Public Works facility into an empty restaurant located in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
The location is a former Charlie Brown’s restaurant located near the border of the Township of Washington and Paramus. People in the area say that they are already not happy about the number of trucks, traffic and smells that are taking over the area.
“You hear the noises, the trucks, everything. I think it’s bad. And the stink,” says Melissa Salgado, of Paramus
But for some residents, the real stink follows how the Township of Washington does its business.
“I just feel like the whole way they went about it was a little sneaky,” says Jessica Salgado.
Residents say the town bought the property with the intent of making it a DPW, but then word got out.
“It literally made zero-to-no sense,” says Bill McAuliffe, of the Township of Washington.
With residents growing angry, the town backtracked and proposed another option - moving the police station there. Officials called extra meetings to try to calm residents.
“It was pretty evident in that meeting that it was almost to the point that the DPW was already voted on in their minds,” says Paul Imbarrato, who has lived in the township for about 30 years.
But the Township of Washington council president says that no decisions have been made.
“Options are still up in the air,” Council President Desserie Morgan says.
Mayor Peter Calamari says that the town has nothing to hide. But he would not agree to be interviewed on camera. Another council member heard some of News 12’s questions and cried “fake news.”
"If it's either a DPW or police department, then I would rather take a police department,” says Jessica Salgado.
"People are just saying listen this is not the right decision and please reconsider,” McAuliffe says.
A Montessori school thought it had a deal for the location and reportedly accused the town of strong-arming its way in.
Mayor Calamari had no comment on the school issue. For the town to pull out of the deal it would have to be done within a month.