BAYONNE BRIEFS

Residential building slated for old Resnick’s site

A groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the start of construction for a ten-story, 91-unit residential building on 46th Street and Broadway that is expected to be completed by early 2020. The property, developed by the L Group and with a 25-year tax abatement, will be the tallest building on Broadway and provide 8,576 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and a four-story parking garage with 150 spots. The building also represents economic development on Broadway, which saw the grand opening of a new medical facility on 26th Street this week and a new 38-unit residential building in July.
The developer, Lance Lucarelli, attended the ceremony with members of the city council and Mayor James Davis.
The building is at the former site of Resnick’s Hardware, which moved to 36th Street and Broadway. The building, which will be the tallest on Broadway, may be a bellwether for residents’ preference for taller buildings. Some have expressed displeasure with the trend, while the influx of new residents that the new housing stock will attract is generally accepted as necessary to growing the city. Still, a building twice the height of the one on 46h Street is planned for North Street near the 8th Street Light Rail station.

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Forensic audit results pushed back

A forensic audit of the Bayonne Board of Education (BBOED), which is being conducted by the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) in response to a $2.2 million budget deficit unearthed in December, has been pushed back, according to the NJDOE. The results of the audit, which were originally expected for early September, were pushed to October or November.
The forensic audit should shed light on where the deficit came from by examining the district’s finances. Public-school funding disparity, aging facilities, and increasing student populations, while putting pressure on the district’s finances, cannot explain the deficit on its own.

Prosecution introduces testimony concerning a port-security contract in Menendez case

Prosecutors are now going after Sen. Bob Menendez by introducing testimony about a port security contract he allegedly helped co-defendant Salomon Melgen try to salvage. Melgen owned half of a company that secured a contract to screen cargo in the Dominican Republic. That contract became worthless when the U.S. State Department donated surplus equipment to the country, causing Melgen’s business to lose value, at which point Sen. Menendez allegedly tried to intervene on behalf of his friend.

NJ Gov. Christie comes out against Senate healthcare bill

NJ Gov. Christopher Christie, a Republican, has come out against the Graham-Cassidy health care bill. According to a report from The Record, Christie made it clear on Wednesday that he does not support the bill, despite the fact that he has been “lobbied significantly to be supportive of it.” Christie said he supports the use of block grants in place of health care subsidies, but disagrees with how the grants would be distributed to states. Senate Republicans have recently offered to include in the bill more funds in block grants to some rural states to persuade those states’ senators to vote in favor of the bill, which needs 51 votes to pass by October 1.

NJ DEP drafts statements

The state Department of Environmental Protection is currently suing 50 companies, alleging they were responsible for polluting state waters with dangerous chemicals. NJ Spotlight reports the DEP has found high doses of MTBE, a potential human carcinogen, at more than 6,000 sites. But as the DEP races to finalize the proposed settlements, critics are concerned that the Christie administration is fast-tracking the cases, so it can tap into the resulting settlement money before New Jersey votes on a constitutional amendment that would force the state to use money from pollution settlements to actually address the pollution in question.

Morris Plains hit with 1.5 magnitude earthquake

Federal officials recorded a small earthquake in Morris Plains on the night of Monday, September 25, coming in at a 1.5 magnitude, according to the Associated Press. The earthquake was small enough that most people would not notice it, but U.S. Geological Survey officials said this particular tremor was more noticeable because it occurred directly beneath Morris Plains.

UPS Store seized for nonpayment of taxes

Officials shut down a UPS Store at 470 Broadway Tuesday afternoon for failure to pay taxes, per a notice posted on the front door.
“The property contained herein has been seized … for nonpayment of New Jersey state taxes by virtue of warrants of execution,” the notice read.
Bayonne police were seen inside the entrance, notifying passersby the store was closed. An officer speaking to a woman trying to enter told her the closure would last at least a day.
Jenny Robinson, a spokeswoman for UPS, issued a response via email:
“While I cannot disclose the reasons why The UPS Store located at 470 Broadway in Bayonne is closed, we are doing all we can to assist customers,” she said.
“We have local folks actively working to place a letter on the front of the store informing customers of the closure until further details are worked out,” Robinson added. “Unfortunately, I do not have additional information to share at this time. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience.”

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