PATERSON, NJ- The Paterson City Council will consider two revenue generating measures at a special meeting to be held on Thursday. The meeting, coinciding with the workshop meeting, has a published starting time of 8:00 p.m.
Sale of Lots to Paterson Parking Authority
Following extensive discussion that ended with the failure to win the council’s approval for the sale of 11 city-owned lots to the Paterson Parking Authority, the proposal will once again come before the body on Thursday.
While the appraisal and proposed sale price stands at $670,000, an increase of over $200,000 from the original appraisal, several council members offered their concerns that the city still wasn’t realizing the potential value of the lots that currently contain an income generating parking lot and draw an annual rent of $33,890.40 annually.
In casting the first vote in opposition to the plan, Councilman Michael Jackson expressed his disapproval of the “emergency budget balancing tactics” that he believes are too often brought before the council. “We can’t move Paterson forward if we keep doing the same business.”
Asking about the projected value of the lots once they are developed Jackson suggested that the sales price shouldn’t be based on what the lots currently contain, but rather on “what’s to come.”
Tony Perez, executive director of the Paterson Parking Authority, is expected to attend the meeting and present his agency’s plan for for the lots, an opportunity, Councilman Luis Velez said, will allow his colleagues to make a “more informed decision.”
Sewer Connection Fee
The council will also continue discussion on a proposal made by Mayor Jane Williams-Warren to institute a sewer connection fee on new construction. The measure, which according to the ordinance authorizing it, is to “promote the goal of each user bearing his or her fair share of the costs of the municipal sewer system,” is, according to Finance Director Marge Cherone, expected to generate $3 million a year in new revenue.
Presented the ordinance in May Councilman Bill McKoy, an auditor by trade, questioned the dollar amounts included in the draft saying that while he understood the need he wasn’t “sold on the analyses.”
When discussion on the proposal picked up again at the May 29 council meeting Business Administrator Nellie Pou and Douglas Triplett of O’Connor Davies, the accounting and auditing firm hired under the direction of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, acknowledged that the calculations were based on the number of connections the city was currently billing, not the number of units utilizing sewer services.
Seeking to minimize the impact on the “cost of doing business” in the city as a result of this new charge, Morris suggested that the rates be reconsidered utilizing the more accurate number of units. Pou agreed and is expected to present a revised analyses at the Thursday meeting.