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Expect to see windfall from billboards

By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent

KEARNY –

What a difference a sign can make! Kearny hopes to cash in big time on the potential value of billboards it expects to see on three of its vacant meadows area properties.

That can happen, officials say, under an arrangement that the Town Council ratified on Nov. 12 when it voted to grant “exclusive licenses to construct and operate billboards” to All Vision LLC of Greenwood Village, Col., for the sites designated as Lots 2, 11 and 17 in Block 285, all off the N.J. Turnpike’s Western Spur. A

side from All Vision, two other billboard operator firms submitted bids to the town on Oct. 17. They were: Interstate Outdoor Advertising LP, of Cherry Hill, and Lamar Advertising Co., of Baton Rouge, La. However, the town determined that All Vision’s proposal “would provide the most revenue to the town.”

Additionally, as noted by Town Attorney Greg Castano, Outdoor and Lamar “wanted the right to cancel at any time.”

Under the specifications devised by the town, All Vision will pay Kearny an annual “lump sum payment” for five years on each of the lots plus an “annual license fee” for up to 35 years, also on each of the lots.

Calculations made under the formulas specified project that Kearny would get a total of $200,000 in lump sum payments by the end of the fifth year plus a total of $10.4 million in annual license fees by Year 35.

All the billboards will be digital.

Kearny has the right to preapprove all editorial content of billboard advertisements and, specifically, can prohibit “advertising for any tobacco or sexually-related products or services” as well as “political advertising unless it has first been approved by the Mayor and [Town] Council.”

In other business at last Tuesday’s meeting, the council:

• Bade farewell to Second Ward Councilwoman Madeline Peyko who resigned, effective Nov. 14, because she is moving to Ocean County. Peyko, who has served on the council since November 2009, is retiring in February from her job with Ernst & Young’s quality and risk management’s ethics and compliance team. On the council, she chaired the lighting and beautification committees, served on the finance and transportation committees and was liaison to the Board of Health. At her new Jersey Shore home, Peyko said she’d explore possible “public service or volunteering” and devote more time to her hobby, painting.

• Agreed with Mayor Alberto Santos to pursue a cleanup of curbside trash along Kearny Ave. that, Santos said, proliferates on Sunday mornings despite a town ordinance that says garbage can be placed at the curb no sooner than six hours prior to pickup. “Some businesses have been leaving their garbage out as early as Saturday after closing,” the mayor said. “One Sunday, I counted 15 spots on the avenue where I saw trash piled up and the worst of those was at Afton St. and Kearny Ave. Plus, if the day is windy, trash can be blown out over the avenue and into the street, he added. Santos said the town should consider hiring a part-time employee for Sunday morning enforcement of the town’s ordinance.

• Awarded a contract to Downes Tree Service, of Hawthorne. for tree removal services. The town previously hired an arborist to recommend a course of action for dealing with many of the older and larger trees that are decayed or dying and pose a safety issue for the public and the expert came up with a list of trees, mostly in the Manor section, which he advised, should be taken down.

• Authorized spending up to $15,000 in Urban Enterprise Zone funds “for the distribution of the 2014 Kearny Magazine Digest from the Kearny UEZ Marketing and Promotion Project.” Town UEZ Director John Peneda said the digest would promote local eateries and specialty retailers, like the Irish Shop, Pipers Cove and Serene Dreams, in the hope of capturing the attention of tourists coming to the area for the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Peneda said the town would pay CTM Media Group, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., to distribute about 100,000 copies of the magazine in places like area airports, hotels, Garden State Parkway rest areas, etc.. The magazine is expected to be completed and ready for distribution by the end of December, Peneda said.

• Authorized the Fire Department to apply for a $512,038 Assistance to Firefighters Grant “for self-contained breathing apparatus of which a [local] 10% match is required.”

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