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NEWS REPORT: USR Mayor and Council Meeting April 4, 2024

Clean Water Committee

Mayor Arman Fardanesh read an update on the various water issues facing our borough. First of all, he said that the borough has recently re-engaged the White Plains, NY, based law firm, Hodges, Walsh and Burke LLP, represented by Michael K. Burke, esq. to investigate as well as to pursue possible Clean Water Act Violations. In 2014, after a seven-year litigation, Mr. Burke had won for our borough a $900,000 settlement award from Rockland County Sewer District I for repeated sewer overflows near the borough’s border with New York.  These sewer overflows have continued from 2010 to 2024, and are definite violations of the Clean Water Act. Many of these sewage spills continue to occur as a result of large storms causing raw sewage to migrate to the Saddle River and flow downstream. The borough is continuing its investigations into recent and current spills and other water issues.

Fire Department Replacement Pumper

The council amended a prior approval to purchase a custom rescue pumper from Spartan Fire, LLC, Campbell Supply Company and Sourcewell changing the delivery date from June 9, 2025 to October 1, 2025 with penalties for days late.

Arbor Day – Friday, April 26, 2024
Mayor Arman Fardanesh announced that Friday, April 26, 2024, is National Arbor Day. He said that the borough would be planting trees in honor of Arbor Day, and he encouraged borough residents to plant trees on their properties. As the Arbor Day Foundation at states on its website, “From backyards to tropical rainforests, trees around the world are hard at work providing the necessities of life. Trees clean our air and water, provide habitat for wildlife, connect communities, and support our health and well-being.”

Public Comments

Citizen Susan Fecht addressed the mayor and council regarding the large amount of felled trees clogging the Saddle River caused by recent storms and lack of dredging of our section of the river since the 1970s.  The river’s debris buildup has caused the banks of the river to break down allowing water flow to widen and spread overtaking residents’ backyards.  The mayor stated that he is meeting with Saddle River’s Mayor asserting that it would be best for Upper Saddle River to dredge our section of the Saddle River first and for the dredging to progress downstream to Saddle River, Ho-Ho-Kus, and so on. 

Eric Friis commented on the $900,000 awarded to Upper Saddle River Boro by Rockland County’s Sewer District I stating that this award occurred years ago and that most of the money went to the law firm. 

Borough Reports

Borough reports were submitted by the police and fire departments, the department of public works and the construction code official. 


The mayor and all council persons were present at the meeting.