Asbury Park City Council Proposes Significant Sewer Connection Fee Increases Amid Public Concerns

In a recent Asbury Park City Council meeting, a proposed increase in sewer connection fees, criticism on the city’s property valuation system, and concerns over ongoing construction projects were some of the issues discussed. The new sewer connection fees, if approved, will see steep increases for various classes of users, including residential properties and hotels. The public responded with concerns about property taxes and the city’s budget management, while construction projects by Kavanian Holdings elicited questions about disruptions to residential life.

The meeting’s central topic was the proposed sewer connection fee increases presented by City Auditor David Ganon. The new fee structure includes a significant jump from $594 to $7,150 per unit for residential properties, and an increase from $2,952 to $3,581 per guest room for hotels or motels, and a minor rise from $31.98 to $35 per gallon for non-residential properties. Ganon explained that these fees are aimed at capturing the historical cost of building the city’s sewer infrastructure and ensuring fairness between existing and new users.

Council members Angela Ahbez-Anderson and Eileen Chapman sought clarification on the residential fee increase, and Chapman noted that affordable Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) would be exempt from these fees. The council proceeded to open a public hearing for questions and comments on the proposed increases. Despite the public hearing, the council moved to approve the increases, leading to a resolution on the agenda.

Public participation saw Dr. Sam Guch express concerns about an accelerated property tax due date and the lack of necessity for a property tax increase. He suggested either an elimination or extension of the deadline to alleviate the financial burden on citizens. Another resident criticized the city’s property valuation system and budget management, calling for better handling of revenue from increased property values.

Ongoing construction projects also raised concerns, particularly the Kavanian Baltic and Egan at Berg projects. One resident questioned why additional construction was starting and expressed anxiety about living amidst constant construction. Addressing the concern, Donna, a council representative, clarified that the construction was part of Kavanian Holdings’ application. She assured residents that construction would only take place between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, excluding Sundays, and encouraged residents to voice any further concerns.

The council also voted on several resolutions, including the approval of payment of bills and establishing a new sewer rate schedule, which passed unanimously. However, a resolution approving a change order for the new Fire Department headquarters faced opposition, with council members Ahbez-Anderson and Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn voting against it. Another resolution, authorizing the use of funds from the Asbury Park Urban Enterprise Zone for the city’s administration budget, passed with all council members’ support except Ahbez-Anderson.

Additional resolutions included authorization for the city to execute an esole certificate and recognition agreement for a Lake Avenue property, which garnered majority support, excluding Ahbez-Anderson. Several ordinances amending various city code sections were passed, including updates to taxi rates, construction fees, and regulations for public parks and privately owned salt storage.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

John B. Moor
City Council Officials:
Amy Quinn, Angela Ahbez-Anderson, Eileen Chapman, Yvonne Clayton

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