March 4, 2003


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 Authority.

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.


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.

Member Randy Primas entered the meeting at this time.

Chairman McCormac 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 website.

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.

Council President 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.

Assemblyman Roberts applauded the news of the many things that are moving forward in the city and the dedication of the local constituency.

Addressing Chairman 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.

Chairman McCormac 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 needs.

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

Pastor Wolfgang 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.

Yolanda DeNeely Aguilard stated that the city's need for additional municipal aid occurs annually and urged resolution.

Mettrell McQueen 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.

Certification: 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.

Caren S. Franzini, Executive Director, EDA
Asst. Secretary, ERB