With Mayor Joseph Accardi recusing himself from the discussion due to having his property damaged by ‘Superstorm Sandy’ – as one of the first orders of business for 2013 – Roselle Park’s Council voted to extended their waiving of permit fees for Sandy-related repairs until Thursday, February 7th.
“I’ve been getting calls from some of the residents that they’ve been going to the Construction Office with the permits and as of today they’re saying, because it was a 60 day extension, that they’re expired and now they’re looking for payment,” Council-At-large Carl Hokanson stated as the discussions began.
Originally having storm-related fees waived during a 60-day window which expired on December 29, 2012, Council-At-Large Hokanson related to his fellow members of the dais that some residents were in talks with their insurance companies or adjustors for the repairs to be done on their properties and they were not able to determine the work done until after the deadline passed. “The problem is that people came down, gotten the packet but when they finally got the contractors, they are considering today the fee application.”
First Ward Councilman Andrew Casais added to the conversation, “I actually wasn’t at the meeting when council decided on this but could we just extend it for ‘Sandy’ victims instead of extending it another 30 days because I have a feeling that we might run into this problem 30 days from now?”
Fifth Ward Councilman Michael Yakubov offered another example where a resident in his ward was experiencing a similar situation where they did not have homeowner’s insurance and are currently in an appeal process with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) due to the low estimate they gave to recover damages.
Councilman Miranda, who was acting mayor for the discussion, recommended, “Why don’t we just do this. We’ll extend it 30 days but they have to go in an apply for the permit.”
“Mayor Miranda,” added Third Ward Councilwoman Tanya Torres, “May I suggest that if people don’t know yet the level of work they’re going to have, at least come in and discuss with the Building Department at least on what’s going on . . . if they can’t apply at that moment and then we can extend it.”
As the discussion ended, a vote was taken and the governing body voted unanimously for the February 7, 2013 extension. Residents with questions or concerns should contact the Construction Department at (908) 245-2721 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.