This ordinance was tabled on March 20 and then again on April 24, pending approval from the state Local Finance Board.
“We have received approval,” said Business Administrator Steve Gallo.
Because of the downturn in the economy, the city has been hit with a plethora of tax appeals, requiring it to borrow money to pay back homeowners who the tax courts have determined overpaid taxes.
These appeals have a significant impact on the municipal budget in that they not only reduce the amount the city collects in taxes, but also force the city to borrow to pay back taxpayers, and eventually the city must pay off the bonds out of municipal coffers.
Also on the agenda will be hearings on two ordinances that would grant five-year payment in lieu of taxes. One would approve tax exemptions for newly constructed multi-dwelling units. Citywide taxes would be phased in over a five-year period. The second ordinance would grant the same PILOT to a multi-unit dwelling at 1040 Kennedy Boulevard that is currently under construction.
The six-story apartment complex is slated for John F. Kennedy Boulevard and West 44th Street.
“In 2005 to 2006, the city designated a part of that area in need of redevelopment and adopted a redevelopment plan for the JFK and West 44th Street corner,” said City Planner John Fussa earlier this year.
The abandoned house boarded up on the 44th Street site has been demolished. There are plans to construct as many as 40 units on the site of what was a Sunoco gas station that operated on that site for nearly 50 years and was closed in the late 1990s.
Gallo said both PILOT programs are standard for the city which gives a tax break for redevelopment or improvement to existing homes.
“We’re simply expanding the program to new multi-unit construction.” – Steve Gallo
“We’re simply expanding the program to new multi-unit construction,” he said.
Also up for a public hearing is an amendment to a redevelopment plan for the parking lot of the 34th Street Station of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Station.
The city hopes to encourage NJ Transit to use parking lots near the station more productively, by constructing residential and retail buildings on top of a parking deck of some sort.
In 2006, the city designated the two underutilized parking lots near the 34th Street light rail station to be developed for more transit-oriented use akin to the Transit Village concept in other parts of the state near transportation hubs.
“These are parcels that are part of the station property itself,” Fussa said earlier this year. “It’s those parcels that are currently being used by NJ Transit for its surface commuter parking.”
When first proposed in 2006, the city had hoped for this site to be tied into a concept for residential development proposed for the nearby Military Ocean Terminal.
MOTBY was changed to a container port as a result of a sale of a portion of that property to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Changes in the economy also have many developers looking toward construction of units for rent rather than for sale. The city is seeking to redefine what kind of development might be proposed for the light rail station parking lot, possibly even a hotel that could service the cruise-port operations still underway on MOTBY.
In other business, the city council is expected acknowledge the reappointment of Agnes I. Rymer, Esq., Ava Mitchell Crew, and William Lawson to the Board of Education. In Bayonne, board members are appointed by the mayor, not elected. The term of office for all three would expire in May 2016.
The council is also expected to enter into an agreement with T&M ASSOCIATES, Middletown, N.J., for professional engineering services related to the reconstruction of LeFante Way in the amount of $229,500.
In regard to the blasting in the Kill Van Kull, expected to take place in June, the city council is expected to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to install seismographs in Mayor Dennis P. Collins Park to monitor the drilling and blasting of bedrock.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.