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Monday, March 2, 2020

PILOTs, people power plentiful Plainfield Council agenda meeting Monday

Gateway project at Park Avenue and Randolph Road
calls for a standalone drug store with drive-thru window.

Plainfield City Council has an extraordinarily full docket for its agenda setting session Monday (March 2).


Ordinance MC 2020-06 enshrines a PILOT for the residential project at 926-1019 North Avenue, immediately next to the Netherwood Station.

The Gateway project in the 1200-block of Park Avenue is up for a redevelopment agreement with 1204 Park Avenue Associates, LLC. The proposal is to subdivide the block -- currently a genormous parking lot -- into two lots, with a standalone drugstore with drive-thru lanes on one parcel and continue parking on the other (the lost serves for parking for at least a hundred students of JFK's Snyder School of Nursing. Though no PILOT is mentioned, expect one to be sought when the time comes.

Netherwood Village (825-855 East Front Street) is up for a PILOT. The owners plan to remodel the baths and kitchens and do exterior work to refresh the 75-year-old apartment complex. This project reminds us that once a PILOT is granted, it is likely to be in existence many years beyond the initial 30 granted as new owners take over, with new mortgages and plans to renovate. In fact, the city keeps a list of PILOTs, there are so many.

Lastly, a PILOT is being granted with Ordinance MC 2020-11 to Todd West Urban Renewal, LLC, for projects on the block bounded by Central Avenue/West Front/Madison Avenue/West 2nd Street. Plans include an 11-story building with a rooftop restaurant, a catering hall and retail space.

PILOTs have long been considered an essential tool in the economic development toolkit, but it is worth noting that Jersey City has decided to stop granting PILOTs going forward.


City Council will be busy with matters concerning the appointment of people.

The Citizens Budget Advisory Committee is on tap. Each Councilor selects one member. The group shadows the budget process, making recommendations to the Council on improvements to both the budget process and the budget itself. Some are actually adopted.

Maher Janajri, owner of Queen City Coffee Roasters is being appointed to the SID's District Management Corporation.

Leslie Uslan is up for the Shade Tree Commission and Vicky Brown is being reappointed to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

Over at Municipal Court, Nidara Rourk is being appointed public defender. Ms. Rourk has an amazing resumé. She will certainly add to the city's legal staff.

A residency waiver is up for Brittany Claybrooks -- who also has an impressive resum
é -- in the Economic Development Department, where she will be an Economic Development Representative.


The Council will be considering two contracts for grant writing, totaling $100,000. The larger of the contracts comes with a professional, detailed account of the work done and grants booked. The other one not so much.

The Finance Department is stashing $200,00 away in an Accumulated Absences Trust. This will help guarantee the City has fewer rude surprises when employees retire with large payments due for unused sick and vacation time.

The City will be bonding $408,500 for the purchase of radios for the Fire Department.

And to top it all off, the Council has ten resolutions honoring various groups and individuals -- including one to Dr. Harold Yood, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

City Council meets in an agenda-setting session at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers / Courthouse at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street. Parking available on the street and in the lot across from Police Headquarters.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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