Three ordinances re-approved to redevelop YWCA site

Photo by Chris Sykes
Businessman Jeff Feld, pictured addressing Orange City Council, discovered the email mix-up that required the three ordinances be re-approved to redevelop the YWCA site.

ORANGE, NJ — The Orange City Council unanimously re-approved three new ordinances related to the redevelopment of the old YWCA site on Main Street, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Ordinances Nos. 49-2018, 50-2018 and 51-2018 had been approved on Wednesday, Nov. 4, but the council had to re-approve them because an email that was supposed to notify the public about the meeting was never published in print, according to state law, due to problems with the city’s emailing system, according to Orange Business Administrator Chris Hartwyk and Council President and East Ward Councilman Kerry Coley.

Local businessman Jeff Feld discovered the email mixup; however, Coley and Hartwyk said such minor errors such are easy to fix.

“The Clerk’s Office emailed the ordinances and request for publication as they usually do,” said Hartwyk on Sunday, Nov. 18. “The email was not delivered and the Clerk’s Office failed to discover the email of nondelivery until after the Nov. 7 meeting. How to fix it? At the council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20, a new public hearing for the affected ordinances will be set for the first meeting in December and the public notice will be published. It’s a delay, not a fatal flaw. These types of mistakes happen but, fortunately, they are correctable.”

The council voted 6-0 to approve the three new ordinances, with at large Councilwoman Adrienne Wooten absent.

“Yes, they all passed,” said city clerk Joyce Lanier on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Ordinance No. 49-2018 approves an agreement between Orange and the J. Rossi Paint and Wallpaper store to relocate from its current building, which is on the same side of the street as the YWCA and is needed to facilitate the project. Hartwyk brokered the mixed use redevelopment with developers to the building at 425 Main St., currently owned by Jack Kelly and John Gamba, Orange’s former chief financial officer and fire chief, respectively. The ordinance also provides for the city “to make improvements to 425 Main St. necessary for business operations and to accept the transfer of real property from J. Rossi and Wallpaper, Joseph Rossi and Annemarie P. Rossi to the city of Orange Township.”

Ordinance No. 50-2018 authorizes the acquisition of 425 Main St. for $1,990,000, “providing for the acquisition and renovation of 425 Main St., appropriating $3 million therefore and authorizing the issuance of $2,857,000 bonds or notes of the city to finance part of the costs thereof.”

This ordinance No. 51-2018 is a stop gap measure needed to facilitate the YWCA redevelopment deal, according to Hartwyk.

“These three ordinances are related to the revised project plan for the Health and Wellness Center, formerly referred to as the ‘Rec Center,’ and they authorize the acquisition of certain properties, so that we can square the corner of Main and High Street and have a larger footprint, where we intend to do a mixed use development project, which will include a new Health and Wellness Center, for approximately 45,000 to 60,000 square feet, and a residential component above it and a parking component below it,” said Hartwyk on Wednesday, Nov. 7.