PLAINFIELD, NJ - City Council members met this evening and quickly approved the items on the agenda including the appointment of the nomination of Lisa Burgess as the first female Police Director of Plainfield. Majority of resolutions on the agenda were unanimously approved by the members with the exception of two items under Economic Development which Council Member Ashley Davis questioned and voted “No”.

R181-19 which stated “A resolution requesting authorization to encumber funds from the UEZ general funding account to establish a UEZ budget for Plainfield’s business district to assist with the expansion and growth of local businesses in an amount not to exceed $942,950” passed but with Council Member Davis voting “No” . According to detailed information included with the agenda, the funds will be used to assist local businesses grow and expand through education, technical assistance, beautification efforts and targeted marketing and promotion.

Davis also voted “no” on the amended CY 2019 introduced Budget which was amended to restore $45,000 for the Library’s budget. Documents indicated that there was no fiscal impact to the City and Ron West, Director of Finance, confirmed the tax increase remained at 3.55%.

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MORE: CBAC recommendations

Two new items were added to the agenda and quickly approved:

First, the use of a city owned lot between Watchung Avenue and Somerset Street to host an outdoor multicultural festival hosted by Edison Garcia. According to the application the 3 day event on July 12 to 14th will feature live bands from Central and Latin America.

Second, a resolution amending the allocation of funds in the amount of $107,750 to Pennoni Associates inc. for the proposed pedestrian mall on North Ave. All council members present approved with the exception of Davis who voted “No”.

An ordinance authorizing a financial agreement granting a tax exemption in the form of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes, commonly referred to as a “PILOT”, for the Allen Young Apartments also passed on the first reading. The PILOT allows for an exemption of 9% of annual gross rents over 20 years. The Allen Young Apartments located at West 4th Street and Myrtle Avenue is an affordable housing complex containing a total of 107 apartment units. According to the Financial Agreement, proceeds will include capital improvements, interior and exterior improvements and upgrades.

Mapp added that, “One of the things this Administration takes pride to do and continue to do is to make sure that we provide decent quality affordable housing in the city to those who need housing. Without this it would not be possible for the people who live in these apartments to improve their quality of life. The $3 million investment being made will help to make that possible."

CBAC members were also commended on their review of the budget and subsequent recommendations with Mapp stating that it was one of the most comprehensive reports that he had seen over the years.

MORE: The full meeting agenda and details can be found on the City’s website

The next City Council meeting (combined Agenda Setting/Regular Meeting) will be held on June 17, 2019 at 7 pm at the Municipal Court.