Morris County News

Roxbury Officials Privately Pondered Legalities of Courting Amazon for Hercules Tract

fd7415d313a5b8e27544_roxbury_council.jpg
Roxbury Township Mayor and Council
f32f23f6d777ffcedbfb_b27cced1fef7ddfddad5_fe488695abd98a9613f8_hersite.JPG
The former Hercules site in Kenvil is bordered by Howard Boulevard, Route 46 and Berkshire Valley Road Credits: Google Earth
fd7415d313a5b8e27544_roxbury_council.jpg

ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury officials met behind closed doors this week to discuss the legal ramifications of joining the throng of other municipalities across the nation courting Amazon, Inc. to be the site of the mega-retailers proposed second American headquarters.

The former Hercules Powder Co. site in Roxbury is 1,200 acres, is close to an interstate highway, has access to railroads and has been empty for years. To Roxbury officials, that sounds like a darn good place for Amazon to build its proposed "HQ2" project, a venture that is expected to bring about 50,000 jobs.

The matter was discussed by the Roxbury Mayor and Council on Tuesday in an executive session under the cloak of “attorney-client privilege,” confirmed Roxbury Township Clerk Amy Rhead and Roxbury Township Counsel Anthony Bucco. Attorney-client privilege is one of the nine exemptions from the state Open Public Meetings Law, the "Sunshine Law," that requires public bodies to discuss most business in public.

Sign Up for E-News

“There was no resolution about anybody doing anything,” Rhead stressed. “They might submit a proposal.”

This is not the first time local officials mentioned Amazon when talking about the former Hercules tract. Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, wife of Roxbury Councilman Bob DeFillippo, floated the idea last year at a meeting of the Roxbury Republican Club.

In an interview after that meeting, DeFillippo said she’d met with Amazon representatives as part of her role as a member of the New Jersey Transportation Authority executive board. "Of course, I handed them my business card," she said. "If Amazon is willing to expand in New Jersey, I said Roxbury has the property … I never specifically spoke to the Amazon reps about any particular property."

Contacted today, DeFillippo – in an email – indicated her position hasn’t changed. “I understand the council voted to pursue the Amazon project on Tuesday night,” DeFillippo wrote. “I will support that effort.”

Despite DeFillippo’s comment, there was no vote, according to Bucco. “The council does not vote on anything in executive session,” he said. “From her standpoint, it was a choice of words that didn’t necessarily correctly represent what the council did in executive session. There was no vote in executive session.”

The former Hercules site, flanked by Howard Boulevard, Berkshire Valley Road and Route 46, is owned by Ashland, Inc. It has been unused since the mid-1990s and might present a development challenge due to environmental concerns.

Bucco, who is also a state Assemblyman representing the 25th District, which includes Roxbury, said New Jersey’s high taxation puts it at a disadvantage against other states when big companies are looking for places to build.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Denville

More Than Just Kindness for Roxbury Student Adored by Tragically Killed Boy

April 17, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – She lost her 10-year-old son three years ago in a boating accident on Lake Hopatcong, but Laurie D’Amico is sure her beloved Christopher speaks to her all the time. It’s subtle but firm, she says; messages that come as sparks of recollection, inspiration or intuition.

One of those unexpected inklings led Laura and her husband Chris to a jewelry ...

Lake Hopatcong 'Floating Classroom' Launched at Roxbury

April 13, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – The Lake Hopatcong Foundation on Wednesday launched onto Lake Hopatcong its long-awaited "floating classroom" educational vessel. The launch took place at Lake Hopatcong State Park in Landing.

The 40-foot covered catamaran pontoon boat seats 40. It will be used to teach area students and the public about Lake Hopatcong. The boat, built by ...

New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle Class

April 5, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Volunteers Needed for Denville's Rockaway River Cleanup May 12

April 18, 2018

After the destructive March nor’easters, volunteers are needed more than ever for the annual Denville Rockaway River Cleanup.  The annual Cleanup will be held Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Township of Denville and Saint Clare’s Health are once again partnering in support of this event.

The nor’easters strong winds have brought down numerous trees ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, April 19, 6:00 PM

The Park Savoy, Florham Park

CASA Casino Night

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back Government Law & Justice

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Enzo’s Pizzeria, Budd Lake

Dave Murphy to Headline at Acoustic Open ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_82ae67ce849a82b5418e_wine_3

Fri, April 20, 6:30 PM

New Jersey Vasa Park, Budd Lake

CEC's Wine Tasting and Silent Auction

Food & Drink Giving Back

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

The German Girl

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (Washington Square Press, 2016)

For each of the twelve million victims murdered during World War II there is a gutwrenching story to be told. I have read hundreds of memoirs, biographies, plays, and novels that recount the stories of the martyrs; some are exceptional, some are fair. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa, an award-winning journalist, ...