NUTLEY, NJ - Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans gave an update on Nutley’s affordable housing during the Board of Commissioners public meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco was absent excused.

“We were initially informed that fair share housing was looking for 550 units to be established in Nutley. We successfully fought that and there is only 55 that will be required on the [Hoffmann-La] Roche site,” he said.

Part of the program is a housing rehab program. Eligible homeowners who need significant repairs done to their property can have them done by securing an interest-free loan for up to $12,000 from the current code of trust. The trust fund of $600,000 will be available through an application process. According to Evans, residents who stay in their house for 10 years, the loan will be forgiven. “It’s a real opportunity to help residents in town,” he said.

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The township has been working with Essex County to join their program with the county housing program which offers interest-free loans up to $25,00o. Residents can apply for interest free loans which will also be forgiven after 10 years up to $35,000.

Evans said developer fees the township collects will now be returned to taxpayers in the form of these interest-free loans. Included in this, eligible residents may replace their lead water line service line from their house to the street.

Announcement

The Division of Motor Vehicles will be back in Nutley with their mobile unit from 10 to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 at the Parks and Recreation parking lot at 44 Park Ave. The new service will enable residents to complete driver license/registration renewals, obtain non-driver IDs, surrender license plates, add a veteran’s designation to a license, register to vote and make organ donation selections. Also this time if resident’s vehicles are within 60 days of inspection they can use the mobile unit for that as well. Nutley was picked for the pilot program and launched the first mobile unit on June 20. The service is in the collaboration with the Departments of Parks and Recreation, Public Safety and Revenue and Finance.

Public Comment

Chris Cullari of Nutley questioned with Ralph Lauren moving into the Hoffmann-La Roche site what the percentage of tax revenues would be compared to what was lost to the township.

Evans said right now taxes associated with the property, which was an empty building, are $4.1 million. Ralph Lauren’s taxes are part of the current $4.1 million on the property.  Evans said Ralph Lauren is part of a pilot program where they pay full local taxation including the school tax, which is annually adjusted at 2 percent, and they pay a 2 percent annual administrative fee to the township. He also said since Seton Hall leases from Hackensack Meridian they have to pay taxes too.

Evans said when Hoffmann-La Roche announced their closure they were paying the township $10 million in taxes and now the property is assessed at $4.1 million. “The determination of how much that number will rise is dependent on the future uses of this site will be and as of this time and this point there hasn’t been any agreement as to what those future uses might include,” he said.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Editor's Note: The "Hoffman La Roche" site is the On3 Campus on the north end of the Township of Nutley.

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