News in brief


So far, the transition from the old Meadowlands tax sharing formula to a tax on meadows hotel receipts as the way to compensate certain communities in the Hackensack Meadowlands district has been somewhat rocky.

That’s from Kearny’s perspective, at any rate.

Mayor Alberto Santos said the N.J. Sports & Exposition Authority, which is charged with passing along the hotel surcharge from the state, which collects the fee, still owes the town about $100,000 for the last of three payments for the year.

That third payment was due last Monday, he said.

“But considering that our total annual payment is about $3.7 million and that we’ve gotten $3.6 million, it’s not too bad,” the mayor said.

Santos said the town was further behind earlier in the year “but we got caught up in August.”

The presumption, he said, is that the hotel tax “is still not generating enough revenues” in a timely fashion.

Asked for comment, NJSEA spokesman Brian Aberback said: “As the NJSEA receives further funds from the [state] Department of Treasury, it will continue to distribute those funds in accordance with the law.”


The borough’s Public Library Board is continuing to seek a new library director since the departure of former director Kristin Nelson, who left in late August to take charge of the Fairview Public Library.

Kathryn Landis, the reference librarian, has been serving as acting director in the interim.

Nelson, formerly the adult librarian in North Arlington, was appointed director June 15, 2012.

Asked the status of the search for a replacement, Library Board President Margaret Zukatus declined to comment last week without first conferring with her fellow board members.


As the township continues to negotiate financial terms with Tulfra Realty for redevelopment of the Roche Diagnostic property, one potential public use for the 19-acre site has surfaced.

Sonny Jumani, president of Tulfra Realty, told The Observer last week that township officials have broached the idea of locating a municipal firehouse on the property. “We would build it and pay for it,” Jumani said.

Asked what the price would be, Jumani said he did not yet have the numbers. “We’re trying to work with the township to get more details,” he said.

Belleville Fire Chief Robert Caruso said he would happily welcome a new, updated fire station. As to whether the proposed new facility would replace the Silver Lake firehouse – which has been closed for repairs – Caruso said that would be up to the township’s elected officials to determine.

Dep. Mayor/Councilman Steven Rovell said that Mayor Ray Kimble and Interim Township Manager Kevin Esposito have talked about the possibility of developing a one-acre tract on the Roche site for a two-bay firehouse as a possible replacement for the small, outdated Silver Lake facility.

He said there have been discussions about possibly adapting the Silver Lake firehouse to house a township ambulance or police precinct and/or as a storage facility for municipal documents that must be preserved for a certain time period.

The township governing body has previously approved bonding funds for certain repairs to the Silver Lake building so it’s unclear whether that work would still go forward.

Esposito, who was away last week to attend the N.J. League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City, could not be reached for further details.

Learn more about the writer ...