LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Township Council is looking towards improving parking in the downtown area with the passing of a bond ordinance.

At the June 12 council meeting, council members approved an appropriated sum of $225,000 for the possible intent to acquire the property located at 60 Stanley St. The cost would go towards improving parking availability in the central business district. House number 60 is the third house on the one-way road off Stevens Avenue.

Stanley Street is one block off Main Street and runs along the side of School No. 1

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According to Mayor James Damiano, the township has currently acquired the bond amount currently, which would be available in the event the council decides to purchase that property.

"It's there in case that's what the council decides," Damiano explained. "The property on Stanley Street may be acquired and so we would make more space available for parking."

Local resident Arnold Korotkin, during the public comment portion of the meeting, stated that he felt the public was not given sufficient notification of the council's intentions.

"If there is a plan - no one is aware of it. It's not available as a public document," he said. "Furthermore, I was disheartened to hear there was no requirement at this point in time to notify residents of Stanley Street regarding an intention to acquire property at 60 Stanley Street for a possible future parking lot. Ironically, the 60 Stanley Street property is currently on the market."

Joseph Wenzel, township council attorney, said that the passing of the ordinance was only to secure funding for a bond, in the event it would be used to acquire the property. 

"This ordinance does not authorize the purchase of any property in particular but authorizes the issuance of a bond," Wenzel added.

Korotkin stated that if there is a plan in place to acquire the property, no one is aware of it.

"I urge the council to vote no with respect to the purchase of the property," Korotkin noted.

Anthony Sgobba, council president, assured Korotkin that there would be a hearing once the council would move towards acquiring the property.

"We're not doing anything under the cuff here," Sgobba said to Korotkin. Damiano also added that residents would be notified prior to the public hearing about the council's intentions for the property.

Council members also introduced an ordinance in order to create more official parking availability in the parking lot betwen the Little Falls Civic Center and the former Little Falls Police Department building. The department was previously housed there prior to moving to its current location at 225 Main St.

"An engineer have would look at the space to maximize parking," Damiano said. "It's already being used for parking but not officially because there are no parking lines on the lot and people are parking either too far apart or too close together. There are no markings on the lot's ground. There also are no specifics as to what would be done with the old police station there as of yet."

Damiano added that more details from about plans for the lots would be discussed at the next council meeting.