TEANECK - The Teaneck town council has postponed a proposed ordinance that would require certain businesses to install emergency generators.
The ordinance would require the owners of convenience stores, gas stations and certain other businesses that provide what the council considers "necessary" services to use generators in the event of a significant storm and subsequent outage. The ordinance was proposed and eventually tabled at a council meeting Tuesday night. It will be revised and debated at a future council meeting before going for a vote.
Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin says the ordinance is an attempt to avoid the long lines and shortages that often follow natural disasters.
One gas station owner reportedly said it would cost anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 to have a specialized generator installed and ready to pump gasoline in the event of another emergency like Sandy. The wrong type or a cheaper generator could do more harm than good to his pumps, he said.
Sal Risalvato, of the New Jersey Gasoline Retailers Association, believes gas stations should be exempt from the new law. "The cost of doing a proper generator installation is just prohibitive," says Risalvato.
Risalvato says the real issue during Sandy was gasoline supply and delivery.
Hameeduddin also wants to require senior living centers to have generators. Heritage Point has plans to lease a generator if needed, and has already spent $40,000 on a docking station. Administrators say it would be a major financial burden if senior facilities are required to have full-time generators.
A bill being reviewed by the state Assembly would provide low- or even zero-interest loans to essential businesses to buy emergency generators.