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Woodcliff Lake Borough Council Plans Park If Property Owner Cleans Up Site

The 2.3 acres of land occupied by Galaxy Gardens will eventually be a park.
The 2.3 acres of land occupied by Galaxy Gardens will eventually be a park. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — A recreational park will be constructed on Woodcliff Avenue if the current owners of Galaxy Gardens clean up the 2.3-acre property and sell it to the borough, officials said.

Based on the project’s Phase II results, it will take an estimated $1 million for the owners of Galaxy Gardens to remove carcinogens from the property, Council President Carlos Rendo said.

“The current land owners have to provide us with clean land,” Rendo said. “Nobody is going to purchase land that’s contaminated, and that’s where negotiations come in.”

The council this summer commissioned Trust for Public Land -- a national nonprofit for land conservancy -- to begin negotiations.

Project Manager Kathy Haake is in the early stages of negotiating the property sale and possible cleaning remedies, she said.

"I am talking to the land owner and hoping to convince him to do an open space sale," Haakes said. "We do have a grant writer who has submitted an application to Bergen County requesting funds for an open space purchase."

If the land is cleaned and the deal goes through, the borough will apply for the Bergen County Open Space Grant, which provides up to $3.6 million toward recreational development and historic preservation, Rendo said.

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