Mayor's Round Table October Edition Talks with Township CFO Mike Marceau, Tour of DPW Yard with Joe Niosi, and more...

Mayor's Round Table October Edition

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Mayor's Round Table is a monthly show hosted by Dr. Donald DeFabio, who sits with Mayor Robert Woodruff to talk about current issues that affect the township.

Included in this episode, Mayor Bob Woodruff spoke with Township CFO Mike Marceau. as well as Dr. DeFabio's tour of DPW Yard with DPW director Joe Niosi, and Community Corner.

Woodruff interviews Township CFO Mike Marceau

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  • Marceau discussed his role as CFO, obligations and duties
  • Taxes -- how appeals and reimbursements are handled 
  • Tax levy 
  • Municipal building and the acquisition of the Hamilton property
    • Tax ramifications of the exchange of the properties and the building of the municipal complex
      • $31M price for whole project and sale of Hamilton property for $10M. Plan to use sale of Hamilton property to offset the debt which leaves $21M to repay
        • Amortizing debt over 27 years -- 7 years of short term debt and 20 years of long term debt -- the tax ramification would be $78 per year per household on average assessed property/land value of $370,000.  If you go over the life of project it comes to about $2,100, said Marceau.
    • Bonding -- Marceau walked through the process and said they would borrow in stages with the hope they would not have to borrow the entire amount with the anticipation of the sale of the Hamilton property.
  • PILOT -- 3 or 4 redevelopment projects with availability. When the money from the PILOT comes in -- that can go towards paying the debt. 
  • Fund Balance -- enables us to operate when not collecting taxes, said Marceau. (Taxes are collected four times a year.) We have seen substantial growth [in the fund balance], he said. "We are at $1.6M of surplus." Marceau would like to see $3M in surplus in a "perfect world."
  • Capital Projects
    • Road Projects 
      • 20 year plan from the engineering department.
      • 5 year plan, which originally started as a 6 year plan.
      • County grants -- the township received another $330,000 of grant money that will go back into the road program.
      • Township is layering the bonds.
  • Marceau's thoughts on Redevelopment -- financial standpoint it is a wonderful things, said Marceau. More ratables in town highly affects the taxes. Future of the town is very bright, he said.  
    • Building the fund balance
    • The PILOT payments could offset even more
    • And the new ratables
    • "Financially it is very healthy thing for us to get these ratables," said Marceau.
  • Contact Marceau or Tax Collector or Tax Assessor with questions. Marceau invites citizens to come down anytime, their office is always open. Township phone number 908-464-2700. Click here for full directory.
  • Accepting online payment of taxes.

Mayor Woodruff also spoke of the following topics:

  • Kings Site -- submitted all paperwork to the Planning Board. 
  • PILOT -- agreement with Kings.
    • Annual Service Charge -- replaces conventional taxes on building and land.
    • Declaring a property for redevelopment allows for a PILOT.
    • Addresses the affordable housing issue.
    • No tax appeal on project until the end of the PILOT project period. 
    • Developer of the Kings Property pays a PILOT of $427,000 -- the Township gets 95% of that amount. 5% goes to the County. There is flexibility to give to schools if needed.
    • Win for the developer and a win for the Township.

Veterans Ceremony is on Saturday Nov. 11.  

Community Corner -- Rotary Club talks about the Medic Alert. 

Berkeley Heights Police Department speaks of drug awareness programs available to community..

Discussion and tour of the DPW Yard with Joe Niosi, Director of Public Works. 



Berkeley Heights Here and Now: Mayor, municipal offices will provide updates and the Communications Committee wants the citizens to be heard, wants to hear from the businesses and wants to hear from the community organizations. 

The show will be aired on Comcast 34 and Fios 47: 

  • Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays at 8 a.m.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 7 p.m.

The show will also be shown through this column on TAP into Berkeley Heights and the Township Website. (A DVD will be placed at the Public Library.)

Citizens of Berkeley Heights are welcome to email a question for the "Ask the Mayor a Question" segment of the  show. Your email must state your full name, postal address and phone number. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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