BLRA expected to seal Port Authority deal
A special meeting of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority has been called for July 29 that would put the final touches on an expected $238 million deal for the sale of portions of the former Military Ocean Terminal to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Last month, the Port Authority announced its intention to purchase the Landing, Loft and Point Districts – three of six development districts that make up the 432 acre site.
Off Track Wagering facility on hold
Following recommendations made by the New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission, Gov. Christopher Christie has postponed the proposed Bayonne OTW project until legislation can be passed that permits OTWs to function without live racing.
Last year, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the agency that operates the Meadowlands Racetrack, signed an agreement that will place an off-track wagering facility on a six-acre tract on Route 440 North in Bayonne, just off the East Fifth Street exit.
Two and a half years ago, the NJSEA opened its first OTW facility in a strip mall in Woodbridge, where $2 million is wagered weekly.
“I hope that the state will not take long to consider the issue of the off-track wagering facility that is proposed for Bayonne,” said Mayor Mark Smith. “The construction phase would create jobs for the building trades. Upon completion, the new facility would offer an attractive restaurant and party room in addition to the wagering operation. The result would be about 100 new, permanent jobs for the community. In these times of economic difficulty, the facility would provide much-needed employment for our residents.”
The Bayonne facility was expected to be larger and more upscale, and concept drawings depict a facility that is modeled after the better gambling facilities in Atlantic City, rather than the previously opened facilities around the state.
New Quick Chek to open
Quick Chek announced the grand opening of a new store in Bayonne on Tuesday, Aug. 17, located at 20-38 East 53rd Street. The new facility, according to a released issued by Quick Chek, has been constructed with innovative energy-saving methods designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Defined by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certified structures use less energy, water and natural resources; create less waste; and are more comfortable and healthy. The new store will feature lighting that uses 80 percent less wattage than traditional fluorescent lighting; low-flow plumbing fixtures that help reduce water consumption by more than 35 percent along with decreasing the amount of wastewater generated and low volatile organic compound (VOC) construction materials, which help provide maximum air quality. In addition, more than 80 percent of construction waste generated during the building of the Bayonne store was taken to a recycling facility, helping to reduce impact on landfills.
“Since our company’s inception, Quick Chek has remained an industry leader in the exploration and implementation of energy conservation methods, such as the use of energy management refrigeration systems and LED lighting packages,” noted Quick Chek Director of Engineering Rick Wisler. “We are proud to report overall energy use at our newest store is expected to be more than 15 percent lower than a typical building of similar size.”
New Syriac Catholic Bishop for Bayonne
On Saturday, July 31, at 2 p.m., His Beatitude Mar Ignatius Yousef III Younan, the Syriac Catholic Patriarch (who resides in Lebanon) along with His Grace, The Most Reverend Archbishop John J. Myers, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey will enthrone Mar Barnabas Yousif Habash as the second bishop of Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese in the United States in the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Saint Joseph located at 317 Avenue E. Bishop Habash will succeed Bishop Joseph Younan, who was elevated to the rank of Patriarch this past January 2009.
Legislation would increase public reporting for profit-making hospitals
A bill sponsored by Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairwoman Loretta Weinberg and Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham that would require privately-owned hospitals to report more financial information to the public was approved by the health committee yesterday by a vote of 7-0, with one abstention.
“With the high cost of health care, hospitals should give health care consumers a full accounting of where their health care dollars go,” said Cunningham. “Whether the facility in question is for-profit, not-for-profit or state funded, people seeking to get a better look at the finances of their hospital have a right to do so. This bill reaffirms those rights for for-profit facilities, which have historically not been held to the same tough reporting standards as other hospitals in the state.”
The bill, S-1468, would require that for-profit hospitals be subject to increased reporting requirements through their filings with the State Department of Health and Senior Services and through their local health departments of each municipality in which the hospital operates a facility. The bill would also require hospitals to post certain financial information on their Web site, including audited financial statements for the past three years; unaudited statements for the current year; a list of payments for goods or services, including leases and rentals; a list of all compensation, including salaries, benefits, bonuses and deferred compensation, paid to each board member and officer of the hospital; whether the owners of the hospital maintain a business entity outside the United States that does business with the hospital; a list of any properties for which the hospital has claimed a tax abatement; a description of major facility expansion projects at the hospital; and if the hospital had surplus revenues for the prior fiscal year, the total amount that would be used for debt retirement, facility expansion, or a reserve for operating contingencies.
Sires votes to fund education, summer jobs and border security
Rep. Albio Sires voted last week to fund pressing domestic needs, such as summer job programs for youth, education, and border security, as well as relief efforts abroad. The 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act, which the House of Representatives passed on July 1, would, among other measures, provide $10 billion for an Education Jobs Fund, $180 million for innovative technology energy loans, and grant over $600 million for other domestic needs in discretionary appropriations.
“This bill is a smart, flexible response to of our nation’s most immediate needs,” said Sires. “I am also pleased that this bill includes forward-looking measures to fund our future, like innovative technology energy loans.”
In addition, this spending measure would provide $83 million for unemployment assistance related to the Gulf oil spill and an oil spill relief emergency program. To prevent impending layoffs and increase access to college, this legislation provides emergency support to local school districts through the Education Jobs Fund and provides $4.95 billion for the Pell Grant Program. This bill also provides $701 for the president’s plan for increased enforcement along the southern border, $5.1 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, and $50 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
As part of the passage of the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act, the House of Representatives passed a budget enforcement resolution for fiscal year 2011. This resolution sets an overall limit on discretionary spending in next year's appropriations bills, sets the goal of returning the budget to primary balance by 2015, and reinforces the House’s commitment to pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) principles.