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2/22/12 Caucus Meeting – Dir. of Public Works Frank Dann Details Problems: Decaying Equipment, Parks & Ball Fields, Roof Repairs,
Waterfront Lights & City Streets to Name a Few

Perth Amboy City Hall

Repairs are being made to the Roof and Cupola at Perth Amboy City Hall.—photo by Paul W. Wang

PERTH AMBOY – With the aid of a visual slide show, DPW Director Frank Dann was able to show the Council at all in attendance what was needed to improve conditions in the City. Mr. Dann said when he first came into Perth Amboy it was an emergency situation and he was not able to fully examine all of the inventory in his department.

Mr. Dann first came to the City in late December 2010 \Mr. Dann said, “Now that I have been here for a while I have been able along with my staff to do a full inventory of all of our equipment to see what could be salvaged and what needs to be replaced.”

He started off by staying, “Public Works needs software for tracking repair work.” The software would provide information such as who called and the date and time the call came in, who took the call, then nature of the call, what kind of repair was being made and where, how long it took to do the repairs, when it was repaired, when the work was finished, how much manpower was used to do the repair, materials used and the final cost of the repair. The estimated cost of the software would be approximately between $30,000 to $40,000. “Our department is the only one lacking this kind of tracking system.”

As far as the parks he started off with Washington Park on New Brunswick Ave. “Drainage is a very big problem especially after a very hard rain. The dirt goes into the playground and sometimes onto the sidewalk. If the fields are used on a Friday and Saturday after heavy rain, we sometimes have to work on weekends to repair the divots. Drains are needed underground to make this a permanent fix for this problem.” The estimated cost is approximately $147,000 which includes engineering.

For the Youth Complex Parking Lot (Located behind Wendy’s on Convery Blvd.) top course is needed on top of the pavement to cover up the mud holes. “This would remedy the problem for at least twenty years. We can talk to Woodbridge Township and the County to see which entitiy can supply this material at a cost-effective rate.”

The Department of Public Works Building (Located on Fayette St.) has a problem with the roof which needs to be replaced. In the slide show you could actually see plants coming in through the roof. Mr. Dann said after a heavy rain he has to watch where he walks. “When the water leaks from the roof you actually get brown stains on your clothing if the water hits you.”

Some of the vehicles that were shown in the slides included were a 1993 Chevy Blazer, a 1985 Stump Grinder (which is eligible for historical license plates), a 1993 Ford Mason Dump Truck and a 1996 Kenworth Tractor -Trailer with 163,825 miles on it. This particular piece of equipment had $15,000 of repairs in two years.

All of these vehicles have severe rust and oxidation. The Chevy Blazer is used by a lot of different departments. It is a 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle which is needed because it transports materials, equipment and people plus a hitch can be put on it. The Stump Grinder needs to have a wheel & bearing system replaced which would cost about $5000. “We only have one in stock and we use it to do tree jobs.”

The Kenworth Tractor -Trailer has severe oxidation caused by the contaminants from the landfill. Two Tractor-Trailers are used every day. “This equipment is essential to transfer garbage from the City to the landfill.”

The Waterfront Walkway Lighting: PSE&G will no longer replace the damaged lights. “We are looking at (8) twelve foot poles to replace the smaller lights which are constantly being vandalized.”

When examining the illustration of the proposed new lights Councilman Kenneth Gonzalez questioned if the bulbs hanging from the poles were exposed. Mr. Dann was not sure about that. Councilman Bill Petrick believed there might be a weather shield protecting the bulbs from exposure.

Councilman Fernando Gonzalez said he would like to see the community involved in the decision about what kind of lights should be placed on the Waterfront Walkway (which goes underneath the Raritan Yacht Club).

Business Administrator Greg Fehrenbach said that he and Mr. Dann talked about going to the homeowners about six months ago, and they both thought it was a good idea.

Mr. Dann went on to describe some of the worst deteriorating streets in the City. Some of the Streets mentioned for road paving and reconstruction included Market Street, Smith Street, Division Street, City Hall Circle, Fayette Street, Watson Avenue and Madison Ave.

Some of the work that he discussed included milling the surfaces, doing base repair, curb replacement where needed to make it handicap accessible. The estimated cost for some of these projects depending on the condition of the street would run approximately $34,750 (Madison Ave.) and $88,369 (for work on Market St.). Because of some roads being patched several times this caused severe water damage mentioning. Mr. Dann mentioned Division Street as an example of this.

A hotbox machine was to be delivered to begin repair work on some of the streets in Perth Amboy on 2/27/12.

City Hall: The work on the roof and cupola should be completed in about 2 weeks. When the work was first started it was discovered that there was more damage than originally thought.

Another problem that was discussed had to do with the disposal of solid and bulk waste. Mr. Dann explained that there is a log kept of people who come in and what they are bringing into the Department of Public Works to dispose of their bulk items.

According to the City Ordinance: when a call comes in for a curbside pick-up at a residence, there is a limit of four items that they can put out. “Unfortunately other people will throw their stuff onto the pile. We average 8 to 10 bulk curb pickups a day. There are certain neighborhoods that have excess dumping and we are monitoring them.”

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