Redevelopment Agency budget adopted

The Redevelopment Agency approved a 2014 budget at its April 2 meeting, with revenues of $1.45 million and appropriations of $1.225 million. The agency introduced the budget in November but was awaiting state review.

The agency, created in 2001 to direct redevelopment, is essentially a pass-through entity of the city. Much of the agency’s budget — about $765,000 this year — pays off debt for construction of the library in 2002. Some of that debt was refinanced in 2004 and more of it will be refinanced by the city this year.

About $343,000 of spending is classified as administration – including salaries ($198,000), fringe benefits ($28,000) and other expenses ($117,000). Management positions and annual compensation was established by resolution (14-14) at the March meeting: Executive Director Peter Pelissier ($143,263), Chief Financial Officer/Qualified Purchasing Agent Frank Ruggiero ($22,508), and Assistant Secretary Cynthia Solomon ($32,275).

The 2014 budget can be viewed here and the 2013 budget here.

The agency does not impose or collect taxes but funding from the city includes previously approved annual capital lease payments related to the Rahway Library. The agency is overseen by seven unpaid commissioners, appointed by the mayor with consent from City Council.

The agency anticipates some redevelopment fees, which are paid at various construction milestones for local developments, which fund operating expenses. In both the 2013 and 2014 budgets, $100,000 is expected from redevelopment fees.

For instance, the redevelopment agreement for Dornoch II, planned in Lot B downtown, stipulates a $1,000-per unit redevelopment fee ($194,000, paid at four points in the future). More likely to pay fees this year is Meridia Water’s Edge, a 108-unit complex constructed adjacent to Rahway Library.

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