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Council Signs French's Landfill Redevelopment Agreement

New council will have the final say, however

After a half-hour long closed, executive session, the township council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with a Hoboken-based company to turn a former Superfund site into a solar farm. But even though an agreement is signed, the incoming, Democrat-controlled council will have the final say on whether to go through with the plan.

The agreement with Standard Alternative, LLC will effectively make the township a landlord at the former French's Landfill site, off Sally Ike Road. Under the agreement, the township will float bonds to pay for the installation of solar panels, and Standard Alternative will pay the debt service. The township will borrow funds because municipal bonds are paid off at a much lower rate. The township will purchase energy from Standard Alternative at a reduced rate, saving taxpayers an estimated $9 million over the 15 years it will take to pay off the bonds, according to Council President Brian DeLuca.

After the 15 years are up, the township will take full control of the solar system, at which point it can be used to fully power both the township and BTMUA electric bills, and then some.

But the bonds could prove to be a sticking point. Few specifics were provided at Tuesday night's council meeting on how much the township would borrow, and how much revenue the lease and energy purchasing agreement would bring in.

DeLuca referenced a contract that was 103 pages long which spelled out the agreement, which he said would be available to the public Wednesday. Brick Patch was waiting word from township officials on the details of the deal. In order for the project to move forward, however, the bonds to support the installation of the solar arrays will have to be approved by council members who will be taking office in January.

"It's not going to be a deal struck in stone until the public financing is done," said Township Attorney Jean Cipriani, who added that the required process of passing a bond ordinance would extend, by law, into 2012.

Councilman Dan Toth said that installing a solar farm was one of the few options the township had for the 42 acre tract, since it is what is known as a brownfield site, which is not marketable to developers who would build homes or businesses.

"Hopefully this project will reverse the course, in that we took a bad thing and made it into a good thing," said Toth. "We're trying to use it [the site] to the most profitable, and most beneficial, potential it has to the Township of Brick."

According to DeLuca, the site will generate 6.5 megawatts of energy each year.

clamdigger December 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM
what is the life span of the solar panels? Typically they are 25 yrs. So that means we get 10 yrs of service out of them debt free, then back to the bonds to purchase new panels around the year 2040. Are we getting any type of help from the state or fed on setting up this new solar farm? We may be acting as landlord and as landlord we may be entitled to some grants. So while we may get off on the cost up front, it's the back end of this which may have the potential to bite us.
Betty Ann December 21, 2011 at 01:12 PM
such a long discussion on this subject last night. What happened to the 5 minute rule for public comment? Couldn't believe someone kept the stage for over 30 minutes, with a negative comment under his breath to the Atty as he sat down.
Red December 21, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Stage?
Betty Ann December 21, 2011 at 01:37 PM
but, every week??? com'on
John C December 21, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Despite the politically motivated posts you have seen on this site and others, this present council has always been accommodating to members of the public during discussions, unless the person is grandstanding.
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 21, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Assuming you're speaking about Mr. Scott, his question was short and to the point, as his questions usually are. The answer was quite long.
Betty Ann December 21, 2011 at 04:50 PM
I agree John, but sometimes I see some council members ignore people raising their hands too
Betty Ann December 21, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Dan, his question (s) was short and to the point. So I can understand the politics in brick a bit better, it was my understanding as noted on the bottom of every agenda that each individual has 5 minutes.
Micsun December 21, 2011 at 05:11 PM
What were the solar panels at town hall installed for?
TimeForChange December 21, 2011 at 05:56 PM
John, you are the only one that seems to mention politics in every post of yours. My posts are purely about the careless spending with no political motivation whatsoever. As far as I am concerned, I could care less if Mickey Mouse was Mayor, as long as he did what was right by the taxpayer and not his cronies and connections.
Art Sholty December 21, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Hey Micsun. Ask a stupid question and get a correct answer. The solar panels were installed to produce solar energy which can be used for electric lighting, heating and appliances. Does that help your mind? Where have you been all these years?
Brian Fredricks December 22, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Art I think he meant How much were they installed for.
Sam December 22, 2011 at 12:10 AM
This should have gone out for a competitive bid so the Town would not have to float bonds and could even save more money in the long run. There is no need for towns to float bonds for these types of projects. There are alot of these types of developments on New Jersey brownfields that do not require municipal bonds.
morrissey December 22, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Bond = Debt = Slavery
Watchman December 22, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Every time someone askes a question the Mayor or T.C. doesn't want the puplic to hear its called grandstanding.Could be they don't want the puplic to hear their answer or lack of one either. .And the way the incoming T.C.members were addressed by current T.C. members was a disgrace. You lost,get over it.P.S. The reason there was so much discussion on the solar panels was because the puplic doesn't TRUST the T.C.or Mayor .
Sam Foster December 27, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Exhibit 1: Me. As I said in the past, it's childish and illegal. For all the talk I heard about character from Brick Republicans at election time last month, some of them have shown little if any. And Brian DeLuca is the worst with his outrageous temper tantrums at people. Just a few more weeks to go before they are out. Let's hope they do not do too much damage before they go.
Sam Foster December 27, 2011 at 05:01 PM
John: Are you kidding me? I was screamed at by outgoing councilman DeLuca earlier this year when I asked that if the referendum allowing the township to exceed the spending cap was passed, would the council assure voters they would not use that revenue on $50k or $80k raises to people in town. Then both Mayor Acropolis and Councilman DeLuca lied when they said no one received a $50k raise in a single year. In the words of outgoing Councilman DeLuca: EVER. PERIOD. And neither of them corrected their false statements after Scott Pezzaras said that John Bellu is listed as receiving a $50k raise in a single year. Accommodating? Accommodating? This present council's conduct reminds me of visiting the monkey house at the zoo. The only thing missing is they don't throw their own feces at the audience members.
Art Sholty December 27, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Brian, there are two ways of looking at this. I think he is against progress; if not then he better get back to English 101.
Art Sholty December 27, 2011 at 06:32 PM
GIVE THOUGHT TO THIS: I read this on Christmas Sunday at church. I think it says alot and means much more. I quote: "When we find out how much effort it takes to truly be the kind of community the Bible describes, we are often not willing to involve ourselves in that much struggle and suffering." -------------- Marva Dawn "A royal waste of time." Brick had a good council in the past, now we shall see if the new administration can follow in their footsteps. Time and effore is the key and I hope that these new councilpeople have the best interests of Brick, "the jewel of south Jersey," at heart. All of those who are complaining should ask to be placed on a committee and try and do some good instead of crying about elected officials and their pay scale. Try running for elected office and see how your friends and neighbors act. You will be surprised.
Betty Ann December 28, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Brian, I think Micsun asked a simple question, and Art answered. If he meant how much were they installed for, that would be his question, right?

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