HACKENSACK, NJ -- At this Tuesday's Hackensack Council meeting, the Mayor and Council approved several measures which will affect public safety, downtown redevelopment, and quality of life issues. 

First, the Council voted to approve a contract for the purchase of five new vehicles for the city’s police department.

The Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility vehicles will cost $136,900 and brings the total number of Hackensack patrol cars to 31.

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“The protection and safety of our residents is paramount to this council,” said Mayor John Labrosse. “Our police department is an integral part in making that happen and the addition of these vehicles will assist them in fulfilling those responsibilities.”

Police Director Gerard Marinelli said he expects the new vehicles to arrive in late fall. 

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Council also approved a resolution authorizing a Redevelopment Agreement with 22 Sussex St. (Lot 22). Located within the 2012 Downtown Rehabilitation Area, the Mayor and Council determined in November 2017 that the spot qualified as an “area in need of redevelopment” without condemnation.  

The current land use for the property includes a surface parking lot as well as a one-story building that has been vacant for several years. Vacant since 2013, the building was previously the location of the Social Security Administration.

Among the objectives of the city’s Redevelopment Plan are:

1. Promote increased quality of life for all residents

2. Promote the development of a mid to high density mixed use project 

3. Support existing businesses and property owners while creating new construction and permanent jobs in the city

4. Generate new tax ratable and revenue from the sale of the property to support additional revitalization activities 

5. Implementation architectural, neighborhood and sustainable design standards that promote high quality development

Permitted land uses for the land, according to the Redevelopment Plan, include residential, commercial or retail. 

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An “Abandoned Properties” code was renamed “Abandoned and Nuisance Properties” which gives the governing body the ability to declare building unfit for habitation or occupancy or use due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities, lack of ventilation or other factors. 

The ordinance lists reasons for said buildings to be declared as unfit, including: buildings serving as temporary refuge for derelicts and vagrants, becoming attractive nuisances to children, diminish property values, make it more difficult for neighboring property owners to secure insurance, and discourage neighborhood stability and revitalization. 

According to the ordinance, the Construction Official is designated as the public officer authorized to investigate building conditions in the city, examine witnesses and receive evidence, enter upon premised for the purpose of making examinations, appoint and fix duties of officers, agent and employees as he sees necessary, and to delegate any of his functions and powers to officers and agents as he may designate.