SECAUCUS BRIEFS

Traffic jams are expected when American Dream opens in October.
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Traffic jams are expected when American Dream opens in October.

American Dream could be a headache

Reports that Secaucus might sue to get its fair share of impact fees from the soon-to-open American Dream Mall are premature, said town officials this week.

Mayor Michael Gonnelli has raised concerns about the traffic the mall would generate and the services the town would have to provide in case of a traffic jam or accident.

“We’re the closest residential town to the mall,” said Town Administrator Gary Jeffas. “But we have not threatened a lawsuit.”

Part of the issue are the fees the mall would pay Secaucus to cover extraordinary service the town might provide.

Gonnelli said the fees as they stand now were based on an earlier and smaller project in the Meadowlands Sport Complex, not the larger project that is expected to open in October.

Town officials said Gonnelli has met with the ownership of the mall and that some of the issues may soon be resolved.

The entertainment aspect of American Dream is expected to open on Oct. 25, with retail stores to follow. The mall is expected to have about 500 stores including many high end retail establishments.

While the mall hopes to offset some of the traffic impact by having NJ Transit run daily service from the station at Xchange along with the buses already dedicated to run to the mall, traffic issues are still high on the list of concerns for Secaucus.

Gonnelli said traffic is still the number one concern, since Secaucus is the next town along Route 3 from the mall.

Marra family member charged with theft

Secaucus police said they could not release the details behind the arrest of Linda Marra, who has been charged with allegedly stealing as much as $50,000 from Marra’s Drug Store, the family business where she was employed.

According to a report on NJ.com, Marra allegedly stole the cash from the family pharmacy over a one-year period.

Marra was arrested on July 3 and charged with theft, said police officials, who would not release additional information because of an ongoing investigation.

Marra’s Drug Store is located in the Plaza section of Secaucus and is among one of the oldest businesses in the town.

NJ.com reported that the missing money was discovered during an audit, and was allegedly stolen during a nine-month period from the cash register.

Marra is due to appear in Superior Court on Aug. 14.

The money was allegedly taken from the gift shop cash register located in the front of the story, as well as from the lottery machine.

An anonymous tip apparently altered the owners about Marra’s deposits into a local bank, according to the NJ.com story.