Rep. Bill Pascrell, left, and Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh at the Boys & Girls Club in Paterson on August 27, 2018. Photo by the New Jersey Globe.


By Seth Grossman, June 17 2019 2:05 pm

PATERSON – On Monday, June 17th  Mayor Andre Sayegh and Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. unveiled demolition equipment leased by the City of Paterson with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City will use CDBG funds to make seven annual lease payments in the amount of $104,523 and non-federal funds to cover interest and other fees totaling $105,414. The equipment includes a Komatsu excavator, Mack Roll-off Truck, Mack Tractor, and Low Boy Trailer.

“This is a great day for the City of Paterson and we’re grateful to our friends at HUD for helping us find a way to cost-effectively demolish fire damaged buildings,” said Mayor Andre Sayegh. “I would also like to thank Congressman Pascrell, Senator Menendez, and Senator Booker for helping us ensure this project happened. Fire damaged properties have been a persistent problem in the city and procuring this equipment will help prevent new fires and demolish eye sores throughout the city.”

“We worked tirelessly to secure these federal grants to ensure the safety of our neighbors here in Paterson,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Fire damaged buildings cannot continue to threaten the well-being of Silk City residents and visitors. This federal grant will aid Mayor Sayegh’s administration in their efforts to safely and effectively demolish these buildings so that modern complexes can be constructed in their place. I want to commend Mayor Sayegh for his leadership on this issue, as well as Senators Booker and Menendez for working with me to secure these federal dollars for Paterson.”

Paterson previously hired outside companies to demolish hazardous structure. Having to go through the process of taking bids for services only delayed the demolitions. With the demolition equipment on-site, the Paterson Fire Department will take charge of the demolition process, and outside vendors will no longer be needed.

“As a former urban mayor, I recognize the sheer importance of federal investments in our communities to help create jobs, grow the economy, and develop safe and thriving neighborhoods where families can raise their children,” said Senator Menendez.  “I’m so glad that we were able to work together to find a solution that will allow Paterson to improve safety and address its fire damaged properties. I appreciate Mayor Sayegh’s commitment to the development and revitalization of Paterson and I will continue fighting for federal investments to ensure New Jersey communities can provide opportunities for their residents.”

“As a former mayor, I know first-hand the importance of this CDBG program, and I’m pleased that these federal dollars are being invested back into New Jersey to improve and strengthen the City of Paterson,” Senator Booker said. “This project will have a long-lasting impact on the safety and well-being of Paterson.”

“In 25 years of firefighting and now as the chief I’ve witnessed literally thousands of fires” says Fire Chief Brian McDermott. “During that time, many began in rundown vacant and abandoned properties. More often than not these fires are of great intensity and extend to nearby occupied structures thereby not only impacting a vacant building but displacing hardworking people out of homes and in the process destroying their valuable possessions. The time is now for an aggressive approach to mitigate the hazards that these building pose so prominently throughout the city.”

The Director of Economic Development, Michael Powell says, “This will be a cost saving initiative and is going to be a vital way for us to address both vacant and abandoned property challenges.”

The City Council approved the use of HUD money for the leasing of construction demolition equipment on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Paterson will obtain a 7-year lease for the machinery and at the end of the lease will acquire the equipment.

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