City Council – 10/17/2007 Preview
10/17/07 City Council Preview:
A busy agenda ahead for the Hoboken City council, which still has not received a budget proposal from Mayor David Roberts. The lack of a budget could hold up several of the items on the agenda for tonight’s meeting, including borrowing millions of dollars for road and parking utility improvements.
Read more after the jump.
Public Hearings: The Bonding is Back
The first “Second Reading, Public Hearing and Final Vote” of the night is on appropriating $2 million for bonding for road improvements. That will be followed by the hearing and vote on borrowing $2.2 million to fix up parking utility facilities. Critics say this is a form of unnecessary “back door borrowing” because the Parking Utility consistently runs at an annual surplus of $3 to 4 million, which Mayor David Roberts raids to fill his annual structural budget deficit.
The 3rd hearing concerns the bonding to cover the anticipated costs of Pier C. Now that the Roberts administration has finally supplied all of the supporting documentation and has corrected the dollar figures in the ordinance, this is likely to pass easily.
Raise the Cost of Living Allowance?
An ordinance to authorize the city to “exceed the municipal budget cost of living allowance” beyond the state mandated 2.5% will also be subject to a public hearing and final vote. The Mayor wants to spend $2,156,308.00 more than the state would normally allow. Without a budget, it may be hard for the council to swallow. 2nd ward councilwoman Beth Mason voted against it on first reading. Peter Cunningham of the 5th and Terry Castellano of the 1st abstained.
Pedicab Moratorium May Continue
A public hearing and final vote will also be taken to continue the moratorium on pedicabs for another six months.
What’s up with Applied?
Applied is looking to repay a special mortgage loan for affordable housing at the Hudson Square North complex on Hudson Street. This has set off speculation that Applied is looking to close its accounts on the property so it can sell Hudson Square, or convert the existing affordable housing units there to market rate rentals.
Applied wants to pay the city back for a $2 million dollar Urban Development Action Grant loan it secured for the affordable rentals. The resolution says the city will receive $2,650,000.00 in exchange for closing out the loan.
New Ordinances: More Parking Meters!
The Parking Utility is trying to take more residential street parking away. This time they want meters installed on the west side of Monroe Street from Seventh to Eighth, and on the South side of Eighth Street from Monroe to Jackson. There would be a two hour time limit at 25 cents per 15 minutes between 8am and 6pm.
Two more Handicap Spaces will be also up for “First Reading”, one at Fifth and Bloomfield and another north of Eighth and Washington.
Holy Tax Abatements Batman!
The administration wants the council to approve a 25 year tax exemption for a 217 market rate residential/commercial project at 1000 Jefferson Street. The agreement includes an annual Payment In Lieu Of Taxes of $842,430 for the developer, which would not have to pay taxes to the Hoboken School District or Hudson County. This is believed to be another Tarragon/Ursa five-over-one building in the Northwest Redevelopment Area.
Red Light/Stop Sign Cameras
The last ordinance being introduced would change the city code to establish an automated red light and stop sign photographic system. The agenda says the ordinance “will be available at the meeting” which probably means it could end up being referred to committee.
The City Council meets at 7pm tonight at City Hall, up the front steps and to the left. As always, a public comment portion will follow at the end of the meeting for people to share their views on any subject for five minutes.