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Misinterpretation of Ordinance & Tax Bill Discussed

10/15/14 Council Meeting



SOUTH AMBOY – A resident complained that she was issued a driveway permit that she paid $186 for work being done. At a previous meeting she was told by the City Engineer that someone would come by to inspect the work after completion of the job. This resident, Ms. Pasternack, said, “No one came by, even after calling twice. What am I paying taxes for?”

At the 10/15/14 City Council Meeting City Engineer Mark Rasimowicz told the resident, “Someone from my office did come by Ms. Pasternack’s residence. Ms. Pasternack wanted to know who that person was and what time they came by? Because I have a camera on my site.”

Business Administrator Camille Tooker remembered, “At a previous meeting that Mark told you (Pasternack) that Mark sent someone and that you wanted to know if there was an inspection.”

Tooker further explained that Ms. Pasternack should have only been required to fill out a zoning form which would have cost only $20. “You paid a fee for work that was not done. We are looking at it for a possible refund to you. The ordinance is vague when it comes to curb, sidewalk and driveway renovations. On the  Agenda tonight we are refunding  a fee to someone who had overpaid on something similar. You and the other resident (who shares the common area) did only a portion of the driveway – not the curb.”

The City Engineer Mark Rasimowicz said, “The fee is to the Township – not to Feist Engineering.”

Resident Laurie Pasternick was concerned about two tax bills that she received. Business Administrator Camille Tooker said, “Damage caused by Superstorm Sandy lowered your bill (It was only reduced for that period), then the value went back to the prior assessment after the improvements were done. We have accelerated tax sales, but you can go for  a tax appeal.”

Pasternick replied, “It would have been nice if we had been notified about this.”

L. Pasternick also mentioned correspondence that was sent to Congressman Pallone referencing the damage throughout the City during the storm.

Tooker said, “The estimate of that damage was between  six to seven million dollars. Pallone needed the City to endorse what you said in your correspondence to him. I also had a conversation with the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). We had to survey the type of damage that was done and how much damage there was. We are working on the Beach Maintenance Program, but it has to meet their (DEP) criteria.”

City Engineer Mark Rasimowicz said, “The City said there is also a Beach Survey which requires what the elevation was before and after the storm. This opens up funding for the Beach. The Army Corps. of Engineers looks at all of the Coastline – not just South Amboy. We are trying to get the Beach back to what it was before the storm. We did some additional improvements. The northern section of the Beach can be enhanced with Beach replenishments that we can apply for in the future.”

B.A. Tooker said, “Because of FEMA funding, we could not do all of what we wanted.”

[Current South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry won the close Primary in June 2014 and Mickey Gross and Christine Noble were not challenged in their wards.]

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