With the disbanding of the Maplewood First Aid Squad, announced last month, Maplewood has agreed to enter negotiations with the developer Avalon Bay to potentially use the squad’s former building on Boyden Avenue as a construction office.
The Township Committee voted 4-0 (with Committeeman Greg Lembrich absent) to initiate the discussions with Avalon Bay, which as Maplewood Urban Renewal LLC is constructing a 235-unit apartment complex at the former PSE&G site at the corner of Springfield Avenue and Boyden Avenue. The First Aid Squad building is located across the street at 129 Boyden Ave.
Mayor Vic DeLuca explained that with the First Aid Squad dissolved due to lack of funds, ownership of the building reverts back to the town. The township does not have the funds to repair and renovate the building at the time, DeLuca said, and Avalon Bay approached the township about leasing the building. As a condition of permitting their use, Avalon Bay would have to agree to complete repairs and upgrades to the building.
In addition, the TC voted to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the South Orange Rescue Squad to provide volunteer ambulance services in Maplewood, as both a back up and as a primary provider on days when they have a second ambulance on duty for dispatch.
The agreement with Avalon Bay would ensure that one garage bay would be reserved for the parking of a SORS ambulance.
Township counsel Roger Desiderio said the town would arrange to have the building or engineering departments determine a list of repairs and their cost. Deputy Mayor Nancy Adams asked that the town ensure it will be getting enough compensation from the developer “and not leave it to Avalon Bay to decide.”