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Harrison Redevelopment Agency Fourth Cancellation Raises Questions

Apr 08, 2024
Harrison NJ Black Water Guyon Property

The Harrison Redevelopment Agency has canceled its meeting scheduled for Monday, April 8, 2024. This marks the fourth consecutive cancellation. The last time the agency convened was over two months ago, on February 12, 2024, raising concerns that the agency meetings are being canceled to shield Mayor James Fife, Chairman of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency, and Commissioners from being questioned on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Dioxin Laden Sludge and Debris plant proposed to be built in the Harrison Redevelopment Zone across the street from modern luxury apartment buildings

Harrison Redevelopment Zone South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. & Burlington St.

The cancellation streak has prompted a mix of reactions from the community, with some expressing frustration over the support of the Agency’s Chairman and Mayor of Harrison James Fife of an EPA plan to put toxic dioxin-laden Agent Orange sludge from the Passaic River at the PSE&G property located at South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd between the Harrison Path Station and the Jackson Street Bridge in Harrison NJ. The speculation is that the reason behind the repeated postponements is the avoidance of public outcry against the EPA plan.  Despite the lack of a formal explanation for the cancellations, the need for continuity remains a top priority among residents.

Mayor & Council Meeting

Proposed EPA Toxic Plant Across The Street From Steelworks & Vermella Harrison

In light of the recent cancellation, all eyes are now turned towards the upcoming Mayor & Council Meeting, which is slated for Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at the Harrison Town Hall. This meeting is highly anticipated as it presents an opportunity for the town's leadership to address the community's concerns and possibly shed light on why, on earth, Mayor James Fife and at least three Councilmembers are in favor of a Toxic Dioxin Laden Agent Orange Sludge Plan in the Town of Harrison.

Mark Your Calendar

The Iconic Urby Building: Harrison Redevelopment At Its Best

The Harrison Redevelopment Agency has scheduled its next meeting for Monday, April 22, 2024, which many hope will mark a return to regular order and the resumption of critical discussions on redevelopment including opposition to the Toxic Sludge plant and support for a Community Center, Path Drop off/ Pick Up Turn Around and Park in the PSE&G site.

April has other Harrison municipal bodies meeting, with the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at 6:30 p.m., and the Harrison Planning Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, 2024, with a Caucus at 5:45 p.m. followed by a 6:00 p.m. meeting. These meetings, like all town meetings, will include a public session allowing residents to voice their questions and concerns directly to their government representatives, providing a vital platform for transparency and public involvement in the town's governance.

As the community awaits the resumption of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency meetings, the importance of public engagement and oversight in the town's redevelopment projects has never been more apparent. With several key meetings on the horizon, residents are encouraged to participate and stay informed about the developments that shape their community.

Former Industrial Harrison: Are We Returning To This?

The Town of Harrison stands at a critical juncture does it continue its twenty-six-year and counting voyage to create a vibrant residential community in the Harrison Redevelopment Zone or does it go back to its prior legacy of having a toxic contaminated former Industrial Zone?  Mayor Fife’s support of EPA’s plan for a Toxic Sludge Plant in the Harrison Redevelopment Zone is a very strong affront to the progress made to date to make the later Mayor Raymond McDonough’s & then Council’s dream of reclaiming contaminated industrial property and turning it to an additional residential community that would help lower property taxes and free Harrison from State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs oversight.

The coming weeks and months will be pivotal in determining the direction of its redevelopment efforts and the role of public participation in shaping the town's future.

Are you going to attend the next Mayor & Council meeting?  Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at 5:45 p.m. Caucus and 6 p.m formal meeting. Our Democracy only works if we take turns participating in our government.

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