Ridgewood May 13, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 3 Council nixes Walnut Street parking garage proposal by John Koster The Ridgewood Village Council has rejected a plan by John Saracino of the Onyx construction firm for a multi-tier parking garage at Walnut Street and Franklin Avenue. The plans were produced at the council’s request, but deemed too expensive. Mayor David Pfund and Councilwoman Anne Zusy supported the garage plan, which would have used $3 million already bonded by the village and $6.5 million from a developer to construct a garage to take some of the pressure off downtown commercial parking. Pfund said he liked the idea the Ridgewood taxpayers would not have to spend any more of their own money on the project. About $500,000 has been expended on detailed plans and other matters related to the long-awaited proposed construction. Deputy Mayor Keith Killion, however, said he did not think a monolithic building of that size was compatible with Ridgewood’s secondary shopping street, and Councilman Patrick Mancuso said the garage as planned was not the Ridgewood he knew. Councilman Paul Aronsohn has opposed the project consistently. The last move to construct a parking structure with storefronts on the ground floor – at no further cost to the taxpayers, developers said – were not considered a viable option due to the cost. Former Councilman Jacques Harlow, a retired engineer, spoke even before Saracino arrived to urge the council to go ahead with the project. He traced the long history of Ridgewood’s attempts to offer adequate The Ridgewood Japanese Association recently gave the village’s school district donations to support classical music, children’s music, and state-of-the art electronics. The association donated four bows for cellos at $35 each, two bows for violins at $25 each, $150 worth of orchestra supplies Japanese Association supports school district parking, pointing out that a 1999 study showed Ridgewood to be short 1,000 parking spaces. Harlow said that, since that time, things had gotten worse. Ridgewood already owns most of the land involved in the Walnut Street plan, but council members had said they felt uncomfortable with constructing a building that size in the present economic climate. for Ridgewood High School, $150 in music supplies for Somerville School, and seven hand drums at $16 each, and a 12-inch hand drum at $20 for Willard School. The group also donated four DVD players worth a total of $600, two camcorders worth $117 each, and a DVD player worth $150. J. KOSTER ���������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������� ������������������������� ����������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������ 1ST ANNUAL SPRING GALA PERFORMANCE ������������������������� Saturday May 30th, 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM ���������� At Berrie Center for the Arts, Ramapo College. ���������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������