MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
of February 17, 2010
Ron Cain, Jr. - present Margaret Miller – Sanders - absent
Everett Vreeland - present Kevin Seidel, Alt. #2 - present
Ron Soussa - present Deane Driscoll -
Horowitz - absent Alexander Kachmar - present
Arnold Schancupp – alt #1 - absent
Committee: Jim Sandham – present & Deb Nielson
Officials: Linda White, Land Use Administrator
Discussion continued on updating and renovating the EDC
continued. It was determined that
someone within the township would have to be the responsible party for
updating, it cannot be done by outside.
The cost of an outside vendor to set up a website for the EDC was $1,000
but whether or not this cost involved annual updates wasn’t confirmed.
Mr. Driscoll will call this vendor and review his price and
services. Again, the concept was to have
the EDC off of Land Use with its own website info, with links to the other
areas. The EDC also wanted to highlight
certain buildings that are vacant changing it regularly, and that the vacancy
list should be easily reached without having to locate where it is. It also has to be current. The info, although changed monthly in house,
has not been updated. The information on
the welcome letter, as well as the How Do guide although sent numerous times
isn’t on either, as well as all of our applications and forms.
Another idea offered was to have a link on front page of
‘what is happening’ in community and put the latest news on. Examples like ‘Milan demolition’ or new construction
projects started presented. Mr. Sandham
said he thought we should invite Mr. Bastone to the EDC meeting on this subject
and would discuss this with him. The EDC
would like to set a timeframe of having their website done no later than
Update: Pending BoA
& Planning Board applications
Mrs. White indicated that Quick Chek is on Board of
Adjustment agenda for March 1st.
Since it is a Board of Adjustment application, and a use is involved,
the EDC will not be involved in any meetings or recommendations.
Mrs. White indicated the Planning Board is heavily involved
in master plan updates, recently working on the Housing Element under the
Highlands Grant, which has a March deadline.
Although deadlines were extended on COAH submission, the township will
still file in March with Highlands.
Mr. Soussa indicated we should try and have a running list
of ‘new filings’ on the EDC agenda so that the committee knows what is coming
up and if interested, can work on assisting them. Mrs. White will see how this can be
Discussion continued into programs that may be able to be
developed to address bringing in and/or maintaining current ratables. Some examples presented: Van Schiak building on Rt. 202 is vacant, and
this is an area that the township is getting activity in. What could be done to see how we can get this
property owner to respond to his site which is vacant?
Mr. Kachmar indicated he did do some research on this
subject and distributed an ordinance adopted by Washington Township providing
for exception from or abatement of local property taxes for certain industrial
and/or commercial improvements in the township.
The concept is to allow renovation and rehab of existing structures by
encouraging construction of new commercial and industrial structure which would
promote economic revitalization and growth in this area and enhance our revenue
base. Time periods for abeyance of
paying full taxes in some areas was an incentive that allowed freezing of taxes
on renovations for a five year period, or period increases in full tax over a
five year period.
One of the other areas involved renovation of tenant spaces
within existing buildings, with staggering of taxes. The main building is taxed already but as
each vacant space is filled, taxes are increased by township. Examples of how it would work discussed. .
It was felt, though, that the township in order to pursue
this type of incentive would have to designate certain areas a blighted and/or
in redevelopment zone. The township
discussed this several times over the years, each time finding that it wasn’t
something they wished to pursue. Mr.
Sandham indicated that the township would need to discuss this with the
township attorney and township administrator.
He would further these discussions at this level and get back to EDC.
The subject of how ‘assessing’ is done and when do taxes
‘phase in’ resulted in the decision that it may be a good idea to invite our
tax assessor to one of our EDC meetings so the EDC has a better grasp on how to
achieve a successful program for community as to tax assessment and possible
abatement programs in future. Mr.
Sandham will discuss this also with Mr. Bastone.
Proposal – Whitehall Road
Mrs. White indicated that the proposed developer of a new
shopping and restaurant site on Whitehall
Road would like to present his plan to the EDC for
review and endorsement. Mrs. White will
schedule in immediate future.
Sign Ordinance –
Temporary Sign Ordinance
Mrs. White indicated we have been experiencing some problems
with window sign paintings and the temporary sign ordinance in the community. This temporary policy was a one year trial
policy developed between the Planning Board subcommittee and Chamber, with
input by many other agencies. This is
due to expire April 1st.
Input would be appreciated as to whether this appears to be helping, is
it creating more of a community nuisance, and whether or not we should be more
lax, eliminate it, or leave as is. Mrs.
White requested to send the sign policy out to all entities for their input and
review for comments on what they found over the past year.
Municipal Ordinance on Absent Members
Ms. Nielson reminded the EDC that the Township adopted the
policy that if there are three consecutive absent without approval as cause for
removal from a Board by the Township Committee.
The ordinance actually requires a committee to decide if the reason a
board member can’t make a meeting is a ‘valid’ excuse. Mrs. White indicated that she handles this by
making sure each member who calls in sick/work related is noted on
minutes/agenda as absent with explanation.
Adoption of EDC minutes of 1-20-10 – Eligible: Mr. Vreeland, Mr. Soussa, Mr. Cain, Mr.
Driscoll, Ms. Horowitz, Mr. Kachmar, Ms. Sanders, Mr. Schancupp
The minutes were adopted unanimously in a Motion made by Mr.
Driscoll, seconded by Mr. Soussa.
Linda M. White