BERGENFIELD, N.J. -- Municipal infrastructure improvements are looming large on the mind – and office whiteboard – of Borough Administrator Corey Gallo, but perhaps none more so than for the "Ghost Floor."
The Department of Public Works building has a new roof and municipal roads and parks have seen improvements since Gallo took the job earlier this year.
Next up: Borough Hall.
Gallo wants to overhaul the 1924 building's heating and cooling systems, replace its light teal interior trim with maroon — matching the outside shutters — and create a new second-floor conference room for municipal employees and civics groups.
"The best step to take was to start down at the bottom and rebuild the infrastructure," Gallo said.
That starts with the "Ghost Floor."
More than half a century ago, the spooky expanse provided offices for the professional Bergen County marching band, the “Garfield Cadets.” The band was named after the town where the “Holy Name Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps” was formed, in 1934.
The band — now known simply as "The Cadets — moved to Allentown, P.A. in 2003.
The "Ghost Floor" has lay dormant far longer. Over the decades, a disorganized mass of superfluous storage has been strewn through its dark halls.
Gallo says that will eventually change: Plans to make the "Ghost Floor" into working office space are still in the preliminary phase.
The process will begin in the basement, which will be cleaned and emptied to make room for new offices, Gallo said. Borough Hall's filing system will also be improved and re-established downstairs.
"A lot of the records are being kept on the third floor," he said. "In order to do this, we need to ensure the safekeeping of all borough records."
Once the basement is sealed and structurally sound, the cabinet system and files will be moved there and renovations will begin upstairs, he said.
“These are things that have long been neglected,” Gallo said. “Progress -- that's my main objective.”
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