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Tenafly News

Posted on: January 2, 2022

Mayor's State of the Borough Address

State of the Borough Message

 

January 2, 2022

 

 

Happy New Year everyone. 

 

Congratulations to reelected Council members Venu Menon and Doctor Julie O’Connor. Congratulations to Tenafly resident and former member of this Borough Council, Shama Haider on her election to the State Assembly. Congratulations to our newly elected State Senator Gordon Johnson.

 

As we move into 2022, let us take a moment to reflect on 2021 and the foundations we are continuing to build for the future of Tenafly. It was quite a year, and there are several highlights I would like to share.

 

I am incredibly pleased to report that Tenafly has a covid vaccination rate of over 92% of all adults over 18 years old.  

 

During the past year, the Tenafly Council and I helped to provide the opportunity to receive vaccines by reaching out and partnering with the Mayor and Council of Leonia. Together, we operated multiple vaccine clinic days, which provided covid vaccine and booster shots to residents of both of our communities. 

 

A special thank you to the Tenafly Volunteer Ambulance Corp which volunteered to be on-site to monitor all those receiving vaccines. 

 

Our Police and Fire Departments in 2021 continued to exemplify their professionalism in the face of road disruptions, major storms, flooding, and car accidents. We thank you for all the work you perform for our residents and community.

 

When storm Ida hit last year, dozens of Tenafly residents suffered storm water and flood damage to their homes, cars, and property. Four of the Boroughs roads suffered significant damage and the bridge on Bliss Avenue was destroyed. The roads have been repaired and we estimate that the Bliss Avenue bridge reconstruction will be completed by this coming September.

 

We were proactive and coordinated with FEMA to come to Tenafly to meet with residents to discuss storm damage recovery and financial support.

 

We would like to thank our Public Works team for all the work and effort they performed in cleaning our roads in the aftermath of the Ida storm damage. In conjunction with our Borough Engineer, we have been inspecting all of our storm water culverts and street bridges in order to identify any potential storm caused structural repairs that may be necessary.

 

At the Tenafly Nature Center, decades of plant overgrowth in Pfisters Pond was choking and potentially destroying the pond. We brought in professionals to perform a process called hydro-raking to successfully restore the pond. The result is absolutely beautiful, and I encourage everyone to make a visit. We also rebuilt and repaved the Nature Center Parking lot. 

 

We continue to applaud the Nature Center Trustees and the Executive Director, Debora Davidson, and her team for the excellent work they perform as stewards of this community treasure.

 

The Tenafly Senior Center has been an oasis over the past year and will continue to be so in 2022. Thank you to Michele Hausch and her staff for all the work they have been doing to provide a home away from home for our Seniors during a most trying time. We all applaud you.

 

Last year, we received half of the 1.4 million dollars designated to Tenafly from the American Rescue Act. We expect to receive the balance of the dollars this spring. The Council and I are discussing options for the use of the money that benefits Tenafly residents in the most direct way possible. 

 

In 2021 the Borough Council and I again focused tax dollars and energy on continuing our road improvement paving program throughout Tenafly and will continue to do so in 2022. 

 

Residents often ask how we decide which roads are chosen for paving each year. 

 

Our Borough Engineer completed a road paving study which graded the quality of our roads using measurements such as age, cracks, and pothole volume. We then take this data, establish a paving budget, and spread the work roughly equally in all neighborhoods on those road identified as most in need.

 

In 2021 we encouraged and coordinated with our local water supplier, SUEZ, to continue their improvements to supply pipes that deliver water to our homes. The SUEZ program has included replacing water mains and removing lead service lines in our streets. We look forward to these improvements continuing in 2022.

 

Many communities are experiencing an increase in car thefts. Together with Borough Council support, the Police Chief, and the County Prosecutors Office we are installing camera equipment and processes to assist in the protection of our community to help discourage potential car thefts and collect vital information in the event of a theft. Our immediate goal is to increase the tools available to assist our law enforcement professionals in carrying out their work protecting our residents.

 

In 2021 our Downtown Committee invested significant time and energy conducting public discussions and soliciting resident feedback to help identify important ideas for improving Tenafly’s downtown areas.

 

Some of the resident feedback priorities include improvements to traffic flow, safer walking paths, and increasing the quality of places to meet. Feedback focused on increasing Tenaflys business friendly attitude and working to removing barriers for businesses. Feedback also included that we should be proactively pursuing business interest in Tenafly.

 

The rejuvenation and evolution of our downtown areas reflects the changing nature of resident expectations and behaviors. I look forward to working with the Council to move the ideas of the Downtown Committee forward, into action this season.

 

The Council and I are looking forward to 2022. We have much work to do paving roads, improving the quality of our downtown, keeping our parks beautiful, and providing programs for our youth and seniors. 

 

As always, we will continue to focus on the priorities of the residents and taxpayers as our primary responsibility.

 

Thank you everyone and have a very happy and healthy New Year in 2022.

 

Mayor Mark Zinna

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