SECAUCUS BRIEFS
Jul 14, 2013 | 2526 views | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OPEN FOR BUSINESS – Secaucus town representatives recently helped Submit2Fitness of 1375 Paterson Plank Rd. officially open for business. Cutting the ribbon is Mayor Michael Gonnelli (center). Also pictured are: Councilwoman Susan Pirro (bottom left), Councilman Gary Jeffas (top left), Councilman Robert Costantino (top middle), and owner Javier Ferrer and Rosalba Lagares. (Photo courtesy Yamila Gutierrez of Capture Studios)
OPEN FOR BUSINESS – Secaucus town representatives recently helped Submit2Fitness of 1375 Paterson Plank Rd. officially open for business. Cutting the ribbon is Mayor Michael Gonnelli (center). Also pictured are: Councilwoman Susan Pirro (bottom left), Councilman Gary Jeffas (top left), Councilman Robert Costantino (top middle), and owner Javier Ferrer and Rosalba Lagares. (Photo courtesy Yamila Gutierrez of Capture Studios)
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‘American Dream’ developer sues Jets, Giants

The Jets and Giants were sued in state Superior Court on Tues., July 9, by Triple Five, developers of the American Dream project on Route 3, who contend that the football teams are doing what they can to “thwart” the project and prevent it from “ever opening,” according to a report in The Record.

The lawsuit, filed in Bergen County, alleges breach of contract by the National Football League franchises, citing a 2006 agreement in which the Jets and Giants received $15 million for allowing the entertainment and shopping project, then called Xanadu, to be built.

The teams are already in court with a suit of their own, attempting to reverse the N.J. Sports and Exposition Authority’s approval of Triple Five’s addition of amusement and indoor water parks to the project.

The Jets and Giants, who play across the highway in Met Life Stadium, have referred to a stipulation in the agreement that gives them the power to veto changes to the project that would generate “adverse” effects on the game-day activities of their fans.

Triple Five’s stance is that their project would benefit the football fans, giving them recreational activities prior to and following the games.

Supreme Court rebuffs governor's elimination of affordable housing body

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 10, rejected Gov. Chris Christie's attempt to do away with the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), according to njbiz.

The court said Christie does not have the authority to abolish an independent agency like the council.

The Council on Affordable Housing was established in 1985, in response to the Fair Housing Act of that year and a series of New Jersey Supreme Court rulings known as the Mount Laurel decisions, which mandated that municipalities provide low/moderate income housing.

Developers are supposed to include a certain percentage of affordable housing in their projects, or give towns money to make up for it.

Housing advocates welcomed the July 10 ruling, stating New Jersey has a dearth of affordable housing and requires an independent agency to assist in remedying the problem.

The case dates back two years, when the legislature passed a Democrat-sponsored housing measure that included the council’s elimination. The governor vetoed the bill, calling it insufficient, and instead submitted a plan that abolished the council and transferred its duties to a state department.

That prompted a suit, and last year a lower court ruled against Christie. The governor appealed to the state’s highest court, but on Wednesday it upheld the lower court decision.

A lawyer for the Fair Share Housing Center said the court's decision is important, because it provides for greater transparency when decisions are made about where homes get built.

Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli applauded the recently passed 2014 State Budget that included $6 million dedicated to Meadowlands Tax Sharing payment relief. That means that the town of Secaucus – and its taxpayers – will not have to pay as much toward a pool of tax money that comes from towns in the Meadowlands.

Created by state statute, the Inter-Municipal Tax-Sharing Program incorporates the 14 municipalities that make up the NJMC District. Seven of the participating towns with higher concentrations of development pay into the program, while the remaining ones with more open space receive funding. It has been Gonnelli’s contention that the formula is antiquated and not equitable to his town and others.

Gonnelli, along with his fellow Meadowlands District mayors in Carlstadt, Little Ferry, Lyndhurst, Moonachie, South Hackensack, and North Bergen, have been advocating for relief from the burden their communities face when having to tax their local residents every year more than $7.5 million so that these tax sharing payments can be made.

The $6 million included in this year’s state budget to fund tax sharing represents almost 80 percent of the total amounts due from each municipality.

“None of this would have been possible without the support from Assembly Budget Chairman and our Assemblyman Vincent Prieto. Assemblyman Prieto would not give up on tax sharing, nor bow to any pressure to the contrary,” Gonnelli said. “Since I have taken office there has been no better partner in this fight. Assemblyman Prieto, along with the rest of the 32nd District legislators, State Senator Nick Sacco and Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez, deserve accolades for their efforts in working to help resolve this very important problem.”

“This is a great example of what can get done when all branches of state government work together on practical solutions to problems with municipalities,” Gonnelli said.

Secaucus non-profit aided by foundation donation

Comfort Zone Camp (CZC), a bereavement camp for grieving youth age 7 to 17 with an office in Secaucus, on Wednesday, June 10, announced a two-year $1 million grant from the New York Life Foundation.

The grant will in part help CZC increase the number of campers served.

Camps like Comfort Zone really help grieving children heal, according to the first-ever nationwide poll of bereaved youth released by the New York Life Foundation and the National Alliance for Grieving Children in 2012. Statistics show that 75 percent of bereaved kids value communication about their loss and feel this communication is lacking. Many of the children surveyed identified “talking with others who are also experiencing grief” as very helpful in their overall grief journey.

Since its founding in 1979, the New York Life Foundation has provided more than $168 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.

‘Park Avenue’ next on concert slate

On Thursday, July 18, at 7 p.m., the sounds of “Park Avenue” will grace the crowd at Buchmuller Park as part of the 2013 Secaucus Music & Movie Summer Series.

Park Avenue is billed as performing “a montage of exciting, memorable songs.”

Along with the free concert, there will be a classic cars show.

In the event of rain, concerts will be held at the Arthur F. Couch Performing Arts Center, 11 Mill Ridge Rd.

The concerts are sponsored in part by The Hudson Reporter.

For more information about the summer series, contact the town at (201) 330-2000.

Visit, call about vendor space for fair

Individuals or groups wanting to reserve table space for the 16th annual Friends of the Secaucus Public Library Mini-Fair/Used Book Sale on Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., should do so now.

They can do this by contacting Library Director Jenifer May at (201) 330-2083, ext. 4011, or may@bccls.org, or by picking up forms available at the library’s front desk.

The rain date is Sept. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Field Station: Dinosaurs’ Museum Weekend almost here

Field Station: Dinosaurs’ Museum Weekend, Sat. and Sun., July 20 and 21, is next week. The park will celebrate museums and showcase the best in the tri-state area.

Check the park’s website for the most current list of participating museums. Children are invited to bring their own dinosaur toy, picture, or "artifact," and have it cataloged and displayed at Field Station’s first Kid Museum.

Field Station is located at One Dinosaur Way in Secaucus. (Take Exit 15X of the New Jersey Turnpike, then left onto New County Road.)

Website offers information on Sandy grants

Homeowner grants are available to assist residents whose homes sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy. Information can be found at www.renewjerseystronger.org.

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission offering pontoon boat cruises

Get an up-close view of the Meadowlands District’s scenic beauty and wildlife with a two-hour, guided pontoon boat cruise of the Hackensack River and its surrounding marshes.

Experienced NJMC staff will discuss the region’s human and environmental history and point out birds and other wildlife along the way.

Cruises are offered on Monday, July 15, and Wednesday, July 17, at 5:30 p.m. They are $15 per person, and for ages 10 and up. Pre-registration is required.

The boats depart from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane in Carlstadt.

For a complete schedule, directions, or to register, visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/environment/tours.html or call 201-460-4640.

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