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Bergen County Real Estate News

Bergen county news with an emphasis on aspects affecting real estate, residency and community issues.

July 2011 – week 1 Issue

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Transportation to improve for Teaneck residents
The small Bergen County town of Bogota
Bergen LEADS examines local education
Fort Lee plans to change plans
Edgewater School adds a third floor

New bridge to improve Transportation for Teaneck residents

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has now received approval from the Teaneck Council to replace the Route 4 Bridge that is found over Windsor Road and Palisade Avenue. This bridge is reportedly over 70 years old, and is noted to be at the end of its useful life span. Once the repair work is undertaken, the new bridge would be 20 feet wider than the current bridge, making it 99 feet wide. Along with the two lanes that go east and three lanes that go west, the new bridge would also have shoulders. Construction of the new bridge would cost approximately $38 million, and the funds for this project would come from the state department. Work on this project will begin some time in 2014 and would help ease traffic congestion for residents of Teaneck and neighboring Bergen County towns. While this bridge is being repaired, the Council also sought the replacement-work for an 80 year old bridge along Route 4 at the Garrison Avenue. Officials also suggested that an addition of $4 to $5 million may help to complete work on that portion also. The bridge is currently very narrow and poses a threat to the quality of life of people.

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The small Bergen County town of Bogota

Stretching over for less than a square mile, Bogota, Bergen County is an excellent location for those who want a home in a tight-knit community. Described by its residents to be cozy and comfortable, this town has everything in it within walking distance. Residents can thus easily walk down to the nearby mall and can easily walk their children to school. The region does not need any school buses and education from K – 12 is available within the borough itself. Another advantage of living and studying in the small town is that children can opt to be in any team they want as there is little competition and good availability of seats. As the community is small, most people know each other and parents know who their children are hanging out with. Besides good education, the town also offers decent shopping with a good commercial area located on the Main Street. For those planning to buy a home in the town, a range of Victorian, colonials and capes are on the market. With a median home price ranging at $273,000 the market has approximately 15 homes on the current selling market. Those seeking for luxury homes in Bergen County with six bedrooms or more can opt for places in the $549,000 range also.

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Bergen LEADS examines local education

As serious issues of high home prices, unemployment rates and a balanced education system crop up, residents of Bergen County are seeking ways to mitigate the problems that they face. In this regard, Bergen LEADS, a civic leadership program under the nonprofit Volunteer Center of Bergen County, conducted a forum to examine the future of the Bergen County education system. At the recent forum conducted on June 14, 2011, participants discussed on the importance of maintaining high quality local education while not compromising on affordability. Participants also underlined that an important challenge facing the community was the presence of 70 distinct municipalities and 73 school districts. These divisions in turn lead to higher property taxes in New Jersey. Over 60% of this amount goes towards local education costs with over $13000 being spent per pupil inBergen County schools. Team presenters suggested that the time was right to boost online learning programs so as to cut down building maintenance, supply, administrative and other costs of schools. Operational since 2008, this year too the Bergen LEADS program spent a year examining a particular policy or social problem from varied angles.

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Fort Lee plans to change plans

As per the State law, master plans of municipalities need to be reviewed routinely, and following this guideline, the borough of Fort Lee is considering some adjustments. After the last review was conducted in 2004, another review was concluded recently after which officials proposed certain changes. The plans were reviewed by the Fort Lee Planning Board assisted by a Planning Consultant. Reports derived from this have been forwarded to the governing body for review and action. A few of the concerns that remain same as 2004 are: the protection of single and double family homes through zoning ordinances, improvement of downtown areas, promotion of commercial activity, parking spaces and maintenance of open space and views. The changes in the master plan thus recommend means to serve the above concerns. A change in zoning for the corner of Main Street and Lemoine Avenue is being recommended so the area can be used as a park. Rules for standard driveway width and exact basement areas are also being suggested.

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Edgewater School adds a third floor

The George Washington School of Edgewater, Bergen County will soon be getting a third floor, after the 2010 census data indicated the need for one. The Board of Education had initially planned the extension for next year, but pre-poned the decision, after relevant data and a discussion with experts indicated so. Experts stated that a weak economic environment was helping to bring in bids and keep prices well within estimated limits. With low borrowing/ construction costs, high growth rate of the educational department and funding currently available, the board decided to add the third floor sooner. The teachers and students would also benefit from the new construction as it would add seven large classrooms, four smaller group instruction classrooms and additional space with adjustable dividers. These additions will help to bring the class size to an average of 20 students per class, thus improving the quality of education. The additional floor will also be able to house 100 more students, thus increasing the number of students to approximately 700 students. The design for the third floor had already received the approval of the Board in May. Construction will soon begin and the project is expected to complete by September 2012.

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