RECOVERY BOARD FOR CAMDEN
March 4, 2003
MINUTES OF THE
Members of the Board
present: State Treasurer, John E. McCormac, Chairman; Chief Operating
Officer Randy Primas; Mayor Gwendolyn Faison; City Council President
Angel Fuentes; Marge Della Vecchia representing Commissioner Susan Bass
Levin and Freeholder Director Jeffrey Nash; Senator Wayne Bryant and
Assemblyman Joseph Roberts, Legislative Members; Public Members; William
Hosey, Robert Milner, Reverend J.C. Jones, Vice Chairman; Rosa Ramirez
and Rodney Sadler.
Absent: Tonio Burgos
representing Anthony Coscia, Chairman of the NJ Economic Development
Also Present: Caren
S. Franzini, Executive Director of the EDA, Michael Heningburg, Asst.
Counsel, Governor's Authorities Unit; Anthony DeFelice representing
Bette Renaud, Deputy Attorney General.
Chairman John McCormac
called the meeting to order at 2:50 p.m.
In accordance with
the Open Public Meetings Act, Ms. Franzini announced that notice of
this meeting has been sent to the Star Ledger, the Times,
the Courier Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer at least
48 hours prior to the meeting, and that a meeting notice has been duly
posted on the Secretary of State's bulletin board at the State House.
MINUTES OF BOARD
The first item of
business was the approval of the December 17, 2002 minutes of the Board.
MOTION TO APPROVE: Ms. DellaVecchia SECOND: Ms. Ramirez AYES: 9
A presentation was
made by Louis Bezich of Camden County Community College, representing
the Higher Education and Healthcare Task Force. The Task Force is comprised
of the institutions named in the Municipal Recovery and Economic Revitalization
Act. Mr. Bezich spoke about the planned expansion of the institutions
to be funded with ERB bond proceeds and the present and anticipated
economic impact the institutions have on the City of Camden.
A presentation was
made by Clifton Henry, Vice President of Hammer Siler George Associates
on the status of the Strategic Revitalization Planning Process. In his
update, he discussed a strategy for evaluating projects for ERB funding
based on a definition of project that is predominantly "bricks and mortar".
A presentation was
made by Ed Martoglia of RPM Development, Al Rose of the Fairview Historical
Society and Pastor Mary Lovett on the Fairview Redevelopment Plan. This
multi-phase plan involves the renovation of multi-family buildings on
Yorkship Square, acquisition and rehabilitation of single family homes
in the neighborhood and long term plans for new homes. Rutgers Camden,
NJHMFA and DCA are also part of the redevelopment partnership.
A presentation was
made by Governor Jim Florio of Plymouth/Xspand on a proposed tax lien
financing strategy to ease the fiscal problems that the city is facing.
Primas entered the meeting at this time.
then asked Caren Franzini and Members of the Board for status reports
and comments. Ms. Franzini announced several UEZ commitments made to
Camden projects and the launching of the ERB Camden page on the EDA's
Ms. Della Vecchia
stated that an approval from the Historic Sites Commission has been
attained for the demolition of the deteriorating Arlington Street properties.
Mayor Faison applauded
the ongoing partnership effort between the city, state and federal agencies
on the Arlington Street project.
Fuentes noted that the UEZ commitments were important as they were for
businesses that had been considering relocating from the city.
Randy Primas announced
that the Governor would be in Camden on March 5th for a groundbreaking
ceremony for the new Camcare building. Although Camcare is a non-profit,
it has agreed to pay a payment in lieu of taxes to the city. Also, the
Governor and Secretary Whatley will be in Camden on March 7th for a
"Groundcapping" at the DiNasso property.
Jeff Nash noted
the ongoing commitment of the McGreevey administration to the City and
cited the role of the DRPA in redevelopment on the north side of Admiral
Wilson Boulevard. He discussed the expected Fall 2003 link from the
new light rail to PATCO, a project with the Diocese for a Health Services
building on Haddon Avenue and a new ferry service to be launched March
28. He also stated that the County was continuing its review of its
$20 million obligation for water and sewer improvements in the City.
This investment will be made without raising rates to consumers.
applauded the news of the many things that are moving forward in the
city and the dedication of the local constituency.
McCormac, Mayor Faison gave thanks to the administration for assisting
the city with operational costs and expressed her hope that more aid
will be made available from the State.
Rosa Ramirez urged
the Board to seek the participation of neighborhood residents in the
anticipated revitalization of the city.
Rodney Sadler noted
that the UEZ grant will be the catalyst for the implementation of the
North Camden Industrial Center plan.
opened the meeting to the public for any comments.
Kelly Francis, Vice
President of the Camden City Taxpayers Association expressed his concern
that the State's anticipated municipal aid would fall short of the City's
Karl Walko, President
of Camden County Council #10 acknowledged Chairperson McCormac's request
to provide comments regarding matters that were pertinent to the ERB
and not the operations of City Hall or responsibilities of Council.
Mr. Walko stated his belief that these matters are interrelated to the
City's revitalization and urged the Board not to overlook operational
issues. Chairman McCormac stated that as Treasurer he was aware of the
issue and was working hard with Commissioner Levin and Mr. Primas to
resolve financial matters.
Member Nash observed
that the former administration had frozen aid to the city
Hertzog of the Prince of Peace Church in the Fairview neighborhood discussed
the need for community redevelopment to occur in neighborhoods and the
need to include residents in the process.
Member Hosey recalled
Member Ramirez' similar comments.
Aguilard stated that the city's need for additional municipal aid occurs
annually and urged resolution.
asked about training funds for youth employment. Ms. Franzini stated
that the legislation provided $1.5 million for training and the Department
of Labor was putting together several plans for program implementation.
Member Nash noted
this funding supplemented the schools construction training funds as
well as training programs being conducted by the County.
Pastor Lovett stated
that she had met with representatives from the Department of Labor last
week. One area identified as critical is that residents don't have the
basic skills for entry level training programs.
There being no
further business, on a motion by Mr. Fuentes, and seconded by Mr. Primas,
the meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.
The foregoing and attachments represent a true and complete summary
of the actions taken by the State Economic Recovery Board for the City
of Camden at its meeting.
S. Franzini, Executive Director, EDA
Asst. Secretary, ERB