NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

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By William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet


UnknownTHE SECRETIVE GLOUCESTER CITY COUNCIL —Gloucester City Mayor and Council will be voting on three ordinances at the THURSDAY, AUGUST 20 meeting that deal with the redevelopment of the Southport area, located on Water Street. The three ordinances were first introduced at the May 28 council meeting.  For one reason or another not one of the three is available for public inspection on the city’s website. All that is listed are the numbers for the ordinances, 021,022, and 023.

The ordinances appeared in the Legal Notices of a newspaper on August 13, 2015.

The first ordinance, 021, authorizes the execution of a purchase and sale agreement and settlement agreement between the City and Gloucester Titanium Company (GTC) encompassing approximately 145 acres located in the southwest corner of the city. 

Ordinance 022 authorizes the execution of a Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) agreement between the City and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for the same property mentioned in the first ordinance. The ordinance states the City had been reimbursed $721,637 from the state for monies spent to investigate the property. And, furthermore it calls for the City to receive $1.5 million from GTC for remediation of the  property. 

Ordinance 023 authorizes the acceptance and execution of a ground lease between the City and Gloucester City Organic Recycling (GCOR) for the 145 acres mentioned in the two previous ordinances. This ordinance deals with the redevelopment and improvements of that acreage, along with a financial and “pilot” agreement. Included in that new law is a long-term tax abatement for GCOR.  

Note: We have reached out to City Clerk Kathy Jentsch for a reason why the ordinances are not available on the city’s website. We also sent a copy of that request to City Administrator Jack Lipsett. We are waiting for their  reply.

RELATED: You Have A Right To Know 

NJ HAS THE HIGHEST PROPERTY TAXES—The state of New Jersey has been given the unfavorable Property_taxes-01-1024x893distinction of having the highest average residential property tax in the nation, 2.38 percent, according to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research think-tank based in Washington, D.C. 

The organization has released a map that list all the states and the amount each pays. 

The Tax Foundation, notes that states tax property in a variety of ways and that the rates listed are the “effective rate” paid by the taxpayer.

Jared Walczak, a policy analyst with the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation, writes that the map “cuts through this clutter, presenting effective tax rates on owner-occupied housing.”

“This is the average amount of residential property tax actually paid, expressed as a percentage of home value,” Walczak wrote.

Illinois has the second highest rate at 2.32 percent, followed by New Hampshire at 2.15 percent and Connecticut at 1.98 percent.

Hawaii has the lowest rate at 0.28 percent. Alabama has the second lowest rate at 0.43 percent, then Louisiana at 0.51 percent and Delaware at 0.55 percent.  Read more   

MURDER RATE UP IN PHILLY—Speaking of unwelcome notoriety, The City of Brotherly Love, also known as Philadelphia, has recorded 161 murders so far this year, plus 692 people have been shot.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told WPVI reporter Vernon Odom, “We’ve had a little uptick in some gang activity. Particularly in South Philadelphia with some shootings and so forth. And we’re looking into the people that are responsible for that.”

For those wondering, the definition for an uptick,  is “small increase”. 

Last year at this point in time there were 621 people wounded by gunfire and 149 shot dead.   

Mayor Michael Nutter said, “I’m absolutely concerned about this. Our trend over the past few years has been in a downward direction, and we still have a decent amount of this year to try to make up some ground.”

Read WPVI report