News in brief …

KEARNY –

Motorists who use a busy, pothole-strewn roadway in the South Kearny area should be experiencing smoother driving soon.

The Hudson County Board of Freeholders announced recently their support in channeling $10 million in aid from the N.J. Department of Transportation for improvements to the roads accessing the town’s industrial section.

A county spokesman said the project will provide two 12-foot-wide lanes and a 12-foot-wide shoulder, eastbound and westbound, along Pennsylvania Ave./Fish House Road.

Also sidewalks will be installed along the easterly side of Central Ave. to about 250 feet east of the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave./Fish House Road.

“We are very pleased that this roadway is being renovated,” Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos said. “It is a heavily-used artery and a key access point for many businesses in South Kearny. The improvements will not only [upgrade] the surface conditions but also make the roadway safer.”

No mention was made of when the work would begin.

In an unrelated South Kearny development, the freeholders said they are once again taking steps to provide shelter for the homeless by contracting with Urban Renewal Corp. of Newark for $285,000 for the operation of a Warming Center on Hackensack Ave.

Up to 75 individuals will be able to spend the night during the winter months in a heated and safe space which is designed “as a place of last resort” if other emergency shelter beds and overflow slots throughout the county are filled, according to a county spokesman.

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BELLEVILLE –

Mayor Raymond Kimble, the Municipal Council, Township Manager Mauro Tucci, Knights of Columbus Council 835, Belleville PBA Local 28, Belleville FMBA Local 29 and FOA Local 229 sponsored a Street Dedication Ceremony on Nov. 3 honoring municipal public safety employees who have died in the line of duty.

Those employees so honored were: Michael Hanley, James T. Smith and Kenneth Santucci, all of the Belleville Police Department; and James Salmon, of the Belleville Fire Department.

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EAST NEWARK –

Mayor Joseph Smith and the Borough Council of East Newark voted Nov. 9 to accept the resignation of its licensed water operator Richard Ferraioli.

Ferraioli, who retired as Kearny’s water operator in March, continues to fill that position for the town of Harrison.His current W3 water distribution license is good through Sept. 30, 2017.

Ferraioli, a resident of Lyndhurst, has served in East Newark since Jan. 2008.

The borough governing body voted the same day to replace Ferraioli with Robert J. De Block, of Woodland Park, at annual salary of $10,000 with no benefits. 

His current water operator license runs through Sept. 30, 2017.

De Block’s LinkedIlists him as executive vice president of De Block Environmental Services LLC, water & wastewater specialists, licensed utility management operations and consulting and certified laboratory services, out of Woodland Park. He’s been associated with the firm since 2011.

He’s also president-elect of the N.J. Water Environment Association, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water environment. It claims a membership of 2,800 engineers, operators, scientists, other professionals and students.

From May 2000 to Dec. 2011, De Block was project manager of D2L Associates Inc., a foreign business corporation based in Cedar Grove.

He has the following state certifications: S4 – Wastewater Treatment License; C4 – Wastewater Collection System License; T2 – Water Treatment License; N2 – Industrial Wastewater Treatment License; and 40 Hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response) training by OSHA (U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration).

De Block has a master’s degree in environmental management from Montclair State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University.

In other business, the governing body voted to accept the resignation of Special Police Officer Juan Barroso Jr. who has accepted a similar job with Harrison.

And it approved an interlocal agreement with Paramus for a repair/maintenance shared service agreement for the borough’s fire vehicles.

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.