Monday, April 02, 2007

Council Questions for Wednesday

Plaintalker’s perusal of the City Council agenda Monday raised several questions about pending City Council decisions.

Among them:

--Despite layoffs of Inspections personnel, the city is hiring a public information officer at a possible $72,000 or more, which would account for a couple of Inspections salaries.

--The city plans to agree to an extension of a “payment in lieu of taxes” agreement with a church-affiliated housing company, Plainfield Tower West, that would ward off full tax payments for many more years. The organization wants to use the difference to help fund a $4.6 million physical upgrade of its facilities.

--The city will apply for $129,252 in administrative funds through the Urban Enterprise Zone, even though the current annual revenues seems to have dropped from $82,620 to $67,268.

--There will be a hearing Wednesday on proposed Special Improvement District assessments, even though the $1,300 March 11 ad that was supposed to list the assessed amounts was wrong. No corrected ad has been published, to this writer’s knowledge.

The City Council will vote Wednesday on these and more, including a 60-day extension for the Capodagli group as redevelopers of the East Third/Richmond site.

Also up for a vote will be a settlement with the Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association for a contract through the end of this year. The FMBA received increases of 3.25 percent in 2003, 3.85 percent in 2004, 3.95 percent in 2005 and will now receive 4 percent for 2006 and 4.425 percent this year. The contract expires Dec. 31.

The council members agreed to vote Wednesday on buying a bus for $$92,890 to take children to summer jobs and camp activities. In response to council inquiries, Recreation Director Dave Wynn said the city does have a driver for the bus.

Wednesday’s regular City Council meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.

--Bernice Paglia


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