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Dissolution of Port Authority?

B.A. Greg Fehrenbach

February 14, 2013 — Will it be a Sweetheart Deal; Utility in the Making? Harborside Marina Utility Discussed

PERTH AMBOY — At the January 23, 2013 Caucus/Council Meeting there was an ordinance on the agenda (first reading) stating: An ordinance dissolving the Perth Amboy Port Authority and creating the Harborside Marina Utility.

Business Administrator Greg Fehrenbach addressed some of the pro’s and con’s of making the Port Authority a Utility. “As it stands now, the Port Authority is a separate corporation which can borrow and bond and even though the Port Authority has the authority to issue bonds – they have NEVER done so. The Authority has their own attorney and can come to the City for assistance. The Authority doesn’t have the Government’s Section 125 Insurance and Pension Systems nor do they have their own website. The revenue in 2012 was $375,000. We estimate that will be going down to $150,000.”

Answering the question before it could be asked, Fehrenbach said, “This drop in revenue is due to the boat slips that were destroyed during the storm so they can’t be rented out. The slips accounted for 90% of the Port Authority’s revenue. The Port Authority has very little assets. Money that FEMA distributed was paid out to the City and not to the Authority. There was about $50,000 worth of equipment that the Authority owned prior to the storm. Some of this equipment included generators, special saws and office equipment. There will be a public hearing before the Local Finance Board. If the Board approves to dissolve the Port Authority and for it to become a Utility, the effective date would be February 14, 2013.”

Fehrenbach continued, “The office will remain at the Waterfront and there will be a direct link between that office and the City. There will be a new advisory committee (3 members from the current Port Authority will be placed on this committee).”

“The current Chair and Treasurer will have to sign off to say the Port Authority has no debt.”

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