Little Station Needs A Fix

Trainstation.jpgThree years after the fire, and nearly a year since the NJ Transit selected a Little Falls developer for reconstruction of the Upper Mountain train station, the distressed site remains a mess. Soon after the announcement, expedient demolition of the fire-ravaged site cleared the area of unsightly rubble, leaving only the porte-cochere to anchor the station’s next reincarnation. Since then, not a new nail’s been hammered, there’s no sign of the new cafe-restaurant and commuters are still waiting under makeshift tents. How much longer will we be staring at ruins?
Dan Stessel at NJ Transit tells us NJT executed the lease agreement two weeks ago. “Next step is waiting for the construction drawings to come in for review and permitting. The developer anticipates possibly starting construction by the end of this year or early next year.”
When we quizzed town manager, Joe Hartnett, he was more forthcoming with the details:

My understanding is that to speed-up construction they are going to break it into two components: foundation construction and above-ground construction. The reason for this is that the State Historic Commission has agreed to delegate to the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission the review process to have a building of good historic representation. By splitting the work in two, the foundation can be under construction while the MHPC reviews the building plans. I understand that Notchwood wants to get moving ASAP so we’re hoping construction starts this summer.
As for the passage of time, the station situation has been a VERY complicated issue which involved a railroad, a leased station, numerous easement and access issues and technical issues, a private business, three levels of government, historic preservation agencies, seven different insurers and reinsurance companies, and too many lawyers representing all of these interests even to count. And the process was and is being managed by NJ Transit, the owner of the station, not by us. I believe Gerry Tobin has been doing a good job of keeping interested people informed via flyers, posters, etc. because we’ve received very few inquiries here over the past six months or so.
Finally, I discussed with NJT today complaints about the condition of the shelter and am also going up there personally to check on it.

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.

14 COMMENTS

  1. NJ Transit: “The developer anticipates possibly starting construction by the end of this year or early next year.”
    Joe Harnett: “I understand that Notchwood wants to get moving ASAP so we’re hoping construction starts this summer.”
    I’m glad to see everyone’s on the same page. I wonder if there’s a phone number listed yet so I can make a dinner reservation?

  2. Hopefully Hartnett won’t be around to see it completed.
    Dear Joe-
    Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya

  3. Joe Harnett, it is time this be a topic. I am sure not many of you are aware of this I find it distressing.

  4. not that I know of.
    He is the PAY ME THE MOSTEST Town Manager who gets a specially negotiated severance package (6 months of salary) voted in by the lame duck mayor and Town Council!!!!

  5. “Gerry Tobin has been doing a good job of keeping interested people informed via flyers, posters, etc. because we’ve received very few inquiries here over the past six months or so.”
    This is the first bit of news since the Montclair Times posted an article in Oct 2007 with a quote which said “The Nuzzo brothers intend for work on the station to begin before the end of 2007.”
    I am an interested person. I have not seen a flyer or a poster.

  6. Speaking of bloated pensions, how about that school superintendent from Keansburg who’ll be collecting over $700,000 when she retires? Irksome.

  7. I wonder if she showed up to meet with parents and about a potential danger in one of her schools?
    Our bearded wonder did not.
    I find that distressing.

  8. “I believe Gerry Tobin has been doing a good job of keeping interested people informed via flyers, posters, etc. because we’ve received very few inquiries here over the past six months or so.”
    Upon closer inspection, Harnett’s logic now makes perfect sense. Through means of simple deduction, Harnett has figured out that the reason there have been very few inquiries at the Municipal Building over the past six months can only be because Gerry Tobin must be keeping people informed via flyers, posters and etc.

  9. Isn’t that the tobin guy who didn’t get re-elected because the Thrive campaign kept saying what a waste he was and that he never did anything right?

  10. This is the Tobin guy who served the 1st Ward and township for eight years — not perfectly, but with a whole lot of intelligence, respect and civic-mindedness.

  11. Where were you when the Thrive campaign was bashing him? Didin’t he lose by like 25 votes?

Comments are closed.