To the Editor: The Township of Nutley decided that it was in the best interest of the town to buy all the Ciccolini property for $3,400,000. The property had been assessed by the town for about $1,500,000.

So how did the town come up with the 3.4 million dollar figure they actually paid for the property? Well according to Tom Evans another buyer wanted to purchase that same land for $3.4 million and build 100 apartments on the site. How did the the town find out about that deal? Well according to Commissioner Evans, the law firm of Gaccione & Pomaco told them that they had that deal. But the owner of the property decided he would ask the town if they wanted to purchase it for the $3.4 million instead.  Really? Who believes that someone who has a committed buyer for their property at the price they are asking is going to go looking for another buyer?

Why would the town want the property? Again according to commissioner Evans they had to buy the property so this phantom builder wouldn’t build 100 apartments on the property. And the town could then subdivide the property and use the back lot for municipal parking and then sell the building and parking lot next to the building. By doing this the town could control who purchased the property and what the project would be. When Commissioner Evans was asked what he thought the town could get for the subdivided piece he said hopefully between $1 and $1.5 million. Wait a second, you mean the town is purchasing a $2 million municipal parking lot? Yup. 

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When did this happen? The town closed on the property in October 2016. But Ciccolini’s is still in the building? Yes, the agreement the town has with the owner is he can stay in the building and doesn’t have to pay the town anything until Jan. 2017 at which time he will need to pay the town $120.50/day (about $3600/mo.) until the town or he decides to terminate the agreement. How did the town come up with that figure? Good question, my guess is that covers the real estate taxes that were being paid. But doesn’t the town have to pay interest on the bonds they used to fund this deal? Yup, if the bonds are at 3% and they took the full $3.4 million, the interest every year is $102,000. On a twenty year bond that is an additional $2 million worth of cost.

So what is the towns plan for this property now? They don’t know. What do you mean they don’t know? As of now there are no plans for that property.

You have to be kidding me? I kid you not.

Who buys a property for more than twice the assessed value with no plans? We do.

Editors note: the minutes for the November 23 2015 Board of Commissioners meeting can be found here