EDC Minutes 2-17-10 Print E-mail

MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Minutes of February 17, 2010

8:00AM

ROLL CALL

Ron Cain, Jr. - present                      Margaret Miller – Sanders - absent

Everett Vreeland - present                    Kevin Seidel, Alt. #2 - present

Ron Soussa - present                            Deane Driscoll - present

Jennifer Horowitz - absent                    Alexander Kachmar - present 

Arnold Schancupp – alt #1 - absent    

 

Liaisons:

Township Committee: Jim Sandham – present & Deb Nielson

Township Officials:       Linda White, Land Use Administrator  

                       

OLD BUSINESS

Website Development

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 spring.

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 accomplished.

Tax Incentives

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.

NEW BUSINESS

New Development 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.

Absenteeism – 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. 

MINUTES

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.

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. White

 
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 March 2010 )
 
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