The year end December 31, 2018 audit for the Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency has yielded no findings.
Financial Highlights The Agency was created by an ordinance adopted by the Borough of Bellmawr on October 26, 2017, pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1, et seq.), and subsequently authorized by the Local Finance Board of the Department of Community Affairs, State of New Jersey on November 9, 2017.
The Agency ended its initial year of operations with unrestricted net position of $17,895.01. Net position represents the difference between the Agency’s assets and liabilities at December 31, 2018.
During 2018, the Agency’s operations were funded by redeveloper fees of $60,000.00. These fees were to provide funds to cover the Agency’s initial startup costs and provide management with some financial flexibility while getting the operations of the Agency established.
To view the audit report in its entirety, click the image below:
On September 16, 2019, the Borough of Bellmawr and the Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency hosted a Brownfields Development Area (BDA) Steering Committee meeting. Updates on the environmental remediation and redevelopment efforts were provided.
Landfill Operations were from 1962-1979
History – Brownfield Designation
Landfills closed in 1982 with two-three feet of soil cover. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined this area was not a Superfund site in the mid-1980s.
By 2004, it was recognized that the landfill was poorly maintained. There was ponding on site, trash exposure, and leachate discharge into Big Timber Creek.
By 2006, it was discovered that old storm water pipes were failing and in danger of collapse.
The Bellmawr Waterfront Development, LLC, (BWD) and the Borough of Bellmawr coordinated with Municipal, County, and State officials to create a plan to fully remediate and properly close the landfills.
Since then, BWD has accomplished:
100% remediation of Phase I: 54 acres
98% remediation of Phase II: 27 acres
90% remediation of Phase III (Borough property): 28 acres.
Phase I NJDEP Remedial Action Permit for Soil has been submitted for approval.
Tidelands Grant Application has been submitted for approval.
Planning for access roadway is underway.
Planning for public walking trail is underway.
NJDOT Progress Report:
Bellmawr Waterfront Development, LLC, and the Borough of Bellmawr continue to coordinate efforts with NJDOT, Camden County, and Deptford Township regarding:
NJDOT’s Missing Moves project
NJDOT’s Creek Road and Route 42 Connector Project
Tidelands Progress Report:
NJDEP – Tidelands Bureau has requested that Bellmawr Waterfront Development (BWD) and Bellmawr Borough bifurcate (divide) the overall Tidelands Grant Application.
BWD will apply for the major grant adjacent to Phases I and II.
Bellmawr Borough will apply for a minor grant for several very small areas within the Borough’s Phase III property.
Waterfront Park Progress Report
BWD has been meeting with the Borough Select Park Committee, as well as with the Borough and the Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency’s legal, engineering, planning, and traffic professionals, who are all working together to finalize the park plan.
The park will be a waterfront, natural park, with public access to the waterfront. It will also have a walking trail, nature overlooks, benches, exercise stations, and shade structures.
Park plans are nearing completion and BWD anticipates meeting soon with the Select Park Committee to finalize the park design.
Once the plans are finalized, the permitting process can begin. This will involve NJDEP permits, County permits, and also the Planning Boards in both Bellmawr and Deptford.
BWD will construct the park at its own expenses as a component of the redeveloper’s obligations under the Redevelopment Agreement.
If the park plans and the Redevelopment Agreement are approved this fall, park construction can begin next spring, and could be completed by fall, 2020.
Redevelopment Process Progress Report
BWD, Big Timber Junction, LLC (the “Redeveloper”), Bellmawr Borough, and the Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency continue to work together diligently and cooperatively to prepare for the next phase — Redevelopment.
BWD anticipates formally executing Redevelopment Documents with the Borough and the Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency very soon.
“BWD is confident that we can bring commercial redevelopment to at least some portions of the site in the future. As with any landfill remediation project, geotechnical and soil stability concerns remain.” [Emphasis supplied]
Geotechnical conditions may limit the type of construction upon the site. [Emphasis supplied]
NJDOT site access issues also remain. End users will require the Creek Road to 42 Connector Road to be eventually constructed.
Deptford Township continues to support redevelopment efforts. However, Deptford has expressed its commitment to BWD and Mayor Chuck Sauter “to do no harm to existing area retail businesses, and in particular, the Deptford Mall.”
BWD will comply with the requirements of both Bellmawr and Deptford.
The update and meeting were presented by:
Gary Brown, P.E., L.S.R.P., RT President
Jennifer Berg, RT Project Manager
Donald Nogowski, Esquire, Redevelopment Counsel
To view the meeting presentation, click the image below:
At the August 20, 2018 Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency meeting, Councilman Paul DeAngelis was appointed as Commissioner and Vice Chairman. DeAngelis replaces Councilman Ray Bider who resigned as of May 24, 2018 for “personal reasons.”
Commissioners Nick Kappatos, Paul Medany, and Tom Whitman were absent from the meeting.
Chairman and Mayor, Frank Filipek, made a statement regarding the BDA: “I am happy with the Authority… Also, Mayor and Council have the final say in anything that we work together with. And I want to make sure that it’s not a one-way trip. We sit together and put it together … the right way so everything goes the way it should. It’s not one person making the decisions. It’s a team that makes the decisions and that means that the Authority can go over things, but everything has to go through Mayor and Council before anything can be finally approved.”
During the public portion, Councilman Jamie Casey stated: “I see that you’re going through the professional consultant contracts. I don’t remember that ever going through Council.”
Agency Solicitor Michael McKenna responded: “I can tell you that has been upon the table.”
Casey replied: “It has been tabled, but it’s never gone through Council.”
McKenna stated: “The reason is that it’s been on the table is to give Council the opportunity for input. I personally discussed it with you by telling you that the appointments have been made five months ago. I was starting to get legally antsy. But, this is what perfects that which has already been done. Some of these folks are working already.”
Casey said: “I can say that at caucus we’ve never talked about this.”
McKenna replied: “I can say that I have talked about it.”
Casey stated: “It’s never been voted on as far as with us. That’s my portion.”
Councilman Jim D’Angelo asked: “When the time comes to take a vote to take over the ground from the developer…Does this committee/commission have the authority to make that move without going through council first?
Filipek responded: No.
D’Angelo replied: “In order for us to take over that ground, it has to go through Council before a vote…A question came up that the [BDA] could have the authority to override Council when it comes to the final decision when it comes to taking over that ground.
Solicitor McKenna stated: “Actually, it doesn’t matter the order, but it doesn’t work until both sign. For the reasons we have discussed many times, you all have to be a party and you have to agree on all the terms of the contracts.”
There was an Executive Session for the purpose of contract negotiations in the redevelopment.
To view the meeting agenda and supporting Resolutions, click below. Both Resolutions on the agenda were approved.