SPRINGFIELD, NJ - When the new SPDSAIL building in downtown Springfield is constructed, it will be getting some tax help.
At the Springfield Township Committee meeting on Nov. 27, the committee unanimously approved the second reading of ordinance 2018-19, which paved the way for a 30-year tax abatement on the previously approved construction project at the corner of Morris Avenue and Church Mall.
Matthew Jessup, a public fiance and redevelopment attorney who previously spoke at the first reading of the ordinance was back at the second reading to clear up any final questions that may still be lingering about the abatement.
In particular, Jessup stressed that the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) that the developers of the 226 Morris Ave. would be paying would help them get a better return for their investors in the project and allow them to move forward with construction.
The PILOT will only impact improvements made to the property. The land the building sits on will still be taxed at a normal rate. The PILOT rate will be 10 percent of the annual gross revenue, the lowest possible minimum allowed by regulations.
In a financial breakdown of the revenue from the PILOT, Jessup said that five percent of the money collected would go to the county, with 95 percent remaining in the municipality. He also said that a financial calculation of the first year revenue on the PILOT showed an estimated net of $49,059 for Springfield, even after the five percent share for the county.
After hearing Jessup's testimony, the committee voted to move forward on the abatement. Speaking with TAPinto after the meeting, committeeman Chris Capodice said that
"I'm so excited that it's not [just] potential anymore," Capodice said. "It is going to grow. We're going to see shovels in the ground, and we're going to see real progress being made for the first time. Of course, it's not the big downtown yet that everybody's expecting, but it's certainly a step in the right direction."
Capodice added "There have been updates given by our township about all of our projects, and slowly but surely, they're all going to come to fruition. Of course not at the exact day and time that everyone would like to see, but it is going to happen. Progress is being made, and we've been making the most progress this town has seen in a very long time."
In other business, the Springfield Fire Department swore in a new member of the force. Michael Montero was appointed as a probationary firefighter and was sworn in by Mayor Richard Huber in front of friends and family at the start of the meeting. Montero's girlfriend Melissa Fox was chosen to hold the bible he swore in on. In a short set of remarks after the ceremony, Springfield Fire Chief Carlo Palumbo spoke to Montero's qualifications and said he looked forward to working with him in the department.
The next township committee meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Springfield Municipal Building.