CORRECTION: The NB BOE Owns Almost 5, Not 5.5 Acres On 64th Street, But Braddock Park Pre-School Trailers Are Illegal

North Bergen resident Robert Walden sent the following press release, with some corrected information from prior releases, to Hudson TV concerning the ongoing dispute over pre-school trailers being placed in North Hudson Braddock Park for more than twenty years.  Walden maintains the trailers are illegally situated in the park and violate environmental and educational regulations.  His concerns have been communicated with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection officials and officials with the New Jersey Education Department, as well as numerous elected officials at the County, Municipal and State levels:

 

For 23 years North Bergen-Hudson County NJ have been out-of-compliance with environmental and educational regulations after North Bergen illegally situated its multi-trailer preschool in Hudson County’s Braddock Park in 2001.
North Bergen is still using these trailers despite multiple NB promises to remove its preschool from Braddock Park and multiple directives from NJ DEP to remove it from Braddock Park.
North Bergen’s latest plan to achieve compliance was to remove most of the preschoolers from Braddock Park and place them in elementary schools, but NB claims it still needs the Braddock Park location for a few preschoolers who will not fit into elementary schools, despite North Bergen’s previous assurances to DEP, DOE and the public that they would.
Now North Bergen is going to further undermine its plan, by discontinuing its lease, at the end of June, on its Robert Fulton/”Polk Street” Elementary School.
This school has 8 or 9 elementary school classrooms – removing them from the district means the other NB elementary schools will not be able to house as many preschoolers as planned, further justifying NB’s FALSE claim that it needs to have a school in Braddock Park.
What is going on here is a disgrace to the public and to NJ DEP and DOE, who have abdicated the rule of law.
It is an environmental and educational injustice.
This Polk Street School is crucial to enabling North Bergen’s realignment plan, which was DESIGNED to achieve compliance with State environmental and educational regulations.
NJ DEP is not supposed to grant diversions of protected park lands when there are alternative locations available for, as in this case, a school.
This is not the first time NB purposely sabotaged its own plan to relocate its preschool outside Braddock Park – more information about that is below.
NJ DEP and NJ DOE should do their jobs and tell NB that its 2018 Long Range Facilities Plan is doable and should be implemented, avoiding this much unwanted diversion of Braddock Park.
The first step is to insist that NB continue its lease of the Polk Street Elem. School and then there will be enough room in the elementary schools for ALL the preschoolers.
If NB doesn’t agree, then it is NJ DEP’s duty to tell NB that the NB BOE owns 5.5 acres on 64th Street/Meadowview Avenue and another .57 acre is for sale adjacent to it – that’s enough room for a small (or even the entire) preschool.
Take the NB BOE to court if necessary.
Otherwise, NJ DEP and NJ DOE should be held accountable for assisting North Bergen-Hudson County’s violations of multiple State regulations.

Sincerely,
Robert Walden
North Bergen, NJ 07047

 

 

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