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First Meeting of February Brings Tough Questions from Residents

The South Amboy City Council Meeting — Photo by Joseph L. Kuchie

SOUTH AMBOY – The unusually warm winter weather brought a number of residents to South Amboy’s council meeting on February 1st to address issues that are currently affecting the town.

The Bachonski family, who are now the operating owners of The Station Eatery located at the South Amboy Train Station, raised concerns about the 15-minute parking signs that were placed in front of their business. The council had passed a ordinance in 2011 to add those signs to the area, but Cheryl Bachonski expressed her disapproval of the change.

“Nobody can come into our store or anywhere else in the area in 15 minutes if they have to park and walk to where they have to go,” Bachonski told the council. “You want to bring people into town, not push them away, especially on Broadway, and we are pushing them away.”

Parking ordinance #19-2011, which was approved at the council meeting on November 2nd, 2011, was met with some criticism from some of the town residents when it was passed. However, Council President Joseph Connors explained to Bachonski that they are just being tested and that if they do not benefit the businesses, they will be taken out of the area.

“The signs were placed there because of the people who would wait outside the train station and take up spots,” Connors said. “We tried them out for the first time and it just started, but if it’s not going to work then they will be removed.”

Connors also noted that there would be a business meeting on February 14th in which the 15-minute parking signs will be discussed. However, the Bachonski family believes something needs to be done as soon as possible before they lose more business.

“We would watch people try to come in and leave because they couldn’t find parking, or they would come in and say ‘sorry, I couldn’t find a spot’,” Jessica Bachonski said after the meeting. “They don’t have time to sit down and eat so they aren’t bothering to come in. It’s killing us.”

Tom Seig, from George Street, was concerned about the maintenance of the Little League fields and other sporting fields in the area. He was worried about the grass not being cut and some of the areas becoming worn down, but Business Administrator Camille Tooker confirmed that things are being worked on to get it done.

“We are in the process of putting the landscaping bid together and we have added quite a few things together to get them done properly,” Tooker said. “ We are well aware that we need to do more out there and we are addressing those issues.”

Seig, who will be running t-ball for South Amboy Little League this year, is hoping to rejuvenate the organization in town and get parents to sign their kids up to play. He noted that families have stopped coming down because of the conditions of the fields, but he is working to bring them back.

“We have some new blood down there and want to rejuvenate the area the best we can, and we also don’t want to lose the good fields we have now,” Seig said. “Little League used to be huge in South Amboy, so hopefully we can bring some people back.”

The next council meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 15th at 7 p.m.

By Joseph L. Kuchie

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