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New designs for paving, sewers, miscellaneous construction; general supervision and designs for P. W. A. and Emergency Relief projects revision of maps apportionments of assessments and taxes, checking sub-division maps, locations of sewers and house connections, inspection of connections to sewers, sidewalk construction, house numbering supervision of survey monuments.
Prior to 1931, the Engineering Department and the Public Works Department were closed allied, and the Engineer, or Superintendent of Public Works, whichever he may have been called at the time, conducted both the Public Works and also the Township Engineering Department. When there was an engineer in charge it seems that all new construction work, except designing of sanitary sewers and disposal plants, was handled by the Engineering Department. When there was a Superintendent of Public Works in charge, all the designing was done by consulting engineers on a percentage basis. With the advent of the Township Manager Form of Government, the two departments were separated, but under the direct supervision of the Township Manager, thereby eliminating a $6,000 salary.
As to the detailed work of the department we find the following:
A method of coordination between the Assessor, the Collector and the Engineering Department has been established, so that before any sub-division is approved, any apportionment fixed, or in fact any change whatsoever is made in the map, this change must be approved by both the Collector and the Assessor, and care is taken to see that the Assessor's and the Collector's records are changed to correspond. By careful attention to these details, it is possible to protect the Township against loss.
The Engineering Department has also furnished base maps and information to the Planning Consultant.
Still another function of this Department is the maintaining of up-to-date maps showing location of hydrants and the location of street lights and checking the monthly bills as they are rendered by the public utility companies against these maps.
The Engineering Department also orders and places street signs. During the past three years approximately 72 street signs have been placed, at an average cost of $8.50 per sign. Old signs and all posts have been repainted several times.
Numbering houses is also a function of the Engineering Department, and any property owner who has no house number or whose house number seems to be wrong, can, by communicating with this office, have a proper number assigned, thereby eliminating much misunderstanding. It may be interesting to know that the house numbers in Teaneck are founded on arbitrary base lines. The base line governing the north numbering is the Ridgefield Park boundary line, and the base line governing the east and west numbering is Teaneck Road. One number is allowed for each ten feet that a house is distant from its base line. For instance, a house on Carlton Terrace which is 2,440 feet west of Teaneck Road would be numbered 244, and a house which is situated on Longfellow Avenue 12,330 feet north of the Ridgefield Park base line would be numbered 1235. Therefore, if the house number is known an idea can always be obtained as to its approximate location in the Township.
State and County highway funds were procured in 1932 and 1933, and additional funds have been allotted to Teaneck for 1934. In 1932, Springfield Avenue-New Bridge Road was improved with a twenty foot Bituminous macadam pavement from the Bergenfield line to River Road, a distance of 2,357 feet. In 1933, funds were obtained for the paving with concrete of West Englewood Avenue from Windsor Road to River Road, a distance of 4,600 feet. For 1934, funds have been allotted for the construction of Sussex Road from Emerson Avenue northwardly. It seems from the limited funds available that the improvement will have to be of the same type as New Bridge Road.
In addition to this work, the County was induced to widen Cedar Lane to its full width from Garrison Avenue westward. The stipulation imposed by the County was that curbs would have to be placed by the property owners. The cooperation of these owners was obtained and the curb place at a moderate cost to them. The work was done in the Fall of 1931 and Spring of 1932, at a cost of about $60,000.
The cost of these improvements follows:
The Township Engineering Department made the plans for this work, gave lines and grades, computed quantities and exercised general inspection. On the West Englewood Avenue project, the State contributed the engineering cost.
Surveys have been made by the Department for widening of Teaneck Road and River Road. On Teaneck Road individual deeds were prepared and sent to the abutting owners in an attempt to procure the necessary land for widening.
In 1930 a modest amount of paving was done which, for the time being, completed the improvement work for the Township. When in the future Teaneck again embarks on an improvement program this Department will, of course, be enlarged. Because extensive construction work was stopped, it does not mean that there is not a great deal of detail work done and handled by the Engineering Department as indicated above.
Sidewalks and curbs are built in general by the property owner in compliance with the standard construction plans and specifications. During the past two years there have also been concrete streets and sanitary and storm-sewers laid by developers. For all of this work Township inspection is furnished, and a charge made therefor against the owner. Deposits are required for the opening of streets for any purpose whatsoever by private individuals or companies. The public utility companies operating in Teaneck have deposited bonds guaranteeing the adequate replacement of the street surface.
The number of permits of all kinds issued by the office, and the fees collected, have declined steadily during the past few years in accordance with the decline in building. The actual figures are:
A large portion of the time in the engineering office is spent in the revision of old maps and in the making of new ones. One such map shows the owner of each individual piece of property in the Township. This was made at the request of the Real Estate Board. The map, which is on linen, is kept in the ante-room of the Engineering Department, has seen much service, and is kept up-to-date.
Location of sewer laterals for builders is an incidental but important service of the Engineering Department. Constant revision of the assessment map, together with apportioning taxes and assessments, in cases where large plots are cut up into individual lots, are also important, for unless this work is carefully and clearly done, it may lead to serious confusion and resultant loss in the subsequent collection of Township liens, as has happened. To prevent further errors, the method of revision and subdivision has radically changed, both in the assigning of new lot and block numbers and in the keeping of records of changes made.
Teaneck Public Library
840 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel.: (201) 837-4171, Fax: (201) 837-0410