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Borough of Somerville, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 7-17-95 as Ord. No. 1198; amended in its entirety 10-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2562. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
There is hereby created and designated within the Borough of Somerville the "Somerville Special Improvement District" (the "District") hereinafter designated by street address and tax lot and block number set forth on the schedule on file with the Clerk of the Borough. The District shall be subject to a special assessment of all commercial property, nonresidential, as well as residential properties with four or more residential units within the District which shall be imposed by the Borough of Somerville for the purposes of promoting the economic and general welfare of the District and the municipality.
B. 
This special assessment shall be collected by the Borough with the regular property tax payment or payment in lieu of taxes or otherwise, and as hereinafter or hereafter designated by the Borough Council of the Borough.
A. 
The District Management Corporation would provide administrative and other services benefitting the businesses, employees, residents and consumers in the Special Improvement District. The nonprofit corporation Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., is hereby designated as the District Management Corporation for the District.
B. 
The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., an entity to be incorporated pursuant to Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes, shall be designated by this chapter as the entity to receive funds from the special assessment within the Special Improvement District.
C. 
The District Management Corporation shall conduct its business in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act[1] and the Open Public Records Act.[2] This corporation shall have no power of condemnation or eminent domain.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
D. 
The District Management Corporation shall file regularly copies of the minutes of its meetings with the Borough of Somerville Clerk's Office and shall make minutes regularly available in accordance with applicable law.
E. 
The District Management Corporation shall file its bylaws or any amendments with the Municipal Clerk's Office.
The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., an entity to be incorporated pursuant to Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes, shall be designated by this chapter as the entity to receive funds from the special assessment within the Special Improvement District. All of the monies derived from the special assessment provided for in § 148-1 of this chapter shall be transferred to the Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., shall exercise the following powers:
A. 
Adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs;
B. 
Employ such persons, as may be required, and fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the Alliance;
C. 
Apply for, accept, administer and comply with the requirements respecting an appropriation of funds or a gift, grant or donation of property or money;
D. 
Make and execute agreements which may be necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers and functions of the corporation, including contracts with any person, firm, corporation, governmental agency or other entity;
E. 
Borrow money as necessary from private and governmental entities as allowed by law;
F. 
Enforce the conditions of any loan, grant, sale or lease made by the Alliance;
G. 
Provide security, sanitation and other services to the District supplemental to those provided normally by the Borough;
H. 
Undertake improvements designed to increase the safety or attractiveness of the District to businesses which may wish to locate there or to visitors to the District, including, but not limited to, litter cleanup and control, landscaping, parking areas and facilities, recreational and rest areas and facilities;
I. 
Publicize the District and the businesses included within the District boundaries;
J. 
Recruit new businesses to fill vacancies in, and to balance the business mix of the District;
K. 
Organize and coordinate special events in the District pursuant to pertinent regulations of the Borough Council;
L. 
Recommend parking for the District to the Borough Council.
All costs of development, construction and acquisition relating to providing public improvements for the District not borne by federal, state, county or local governments shall be financed and assessed to properties specially benefited by such improvements. The properties specially benefited by the creation of the District as described by lot and block number and street address are listed in Schedule A, which shall be on file in the Clerk's office of the Borough.
It is hereby determined that the improvements in the District may involve annual costs in addition to the initial cost of constructing and making improvements within the District. Such annual costs relate to maintenance services peculiar to the District and are distinguished from maintenance services normally provided by the Borough outside of the District and will provide benefits primarily to the property included in the District rather than to the Borough as a whole. The improvements and the facilities thereof shall be maintained and operated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and to N.J.S.A. 40:56-65 et seq. and the costs thereof shall be assessed or taxed to the benefited properties or businesses pursuant to this chapter and N.J.S.A. 40:56-80 (or N.J.S.A. 40:56-85). The properties to be assessed or taxed to provide for the payment of such annual costs are described in § 148-3 hereof.
Concurrently with the submission of the Improvement Implementation Plan for the Special Improvement District and annually thereafter the Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., shall report to the Borough Council an estimate of the cost of operating and maintaining and annually improving the District for the next fiscal year to be incurred under the Plan and an estimate of changes in the amounts of said cost which would follow upon the adoption of any addition or amendment to the Plan recommended to or under consideration by the Borough Council. Such estimates shall be reasonably itemized and shall include a summary of the categories of cost properly chargeable in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:56-80. The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., shall submit a detailed annual budget for approval by resolution of the Borough Council. The Budget process shall follow the process required by the Borough Council.
The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., shall cause an annual audit of its books, accounts and financial transactions to be made and filed with the Borough Council in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:56-88 and for that purpose the Alliance shall employ a certified public accountant of New Jersey. The annual audit shall be completed and filed with the Borough Council within six months after the close of the fiscal year and a certified duplicate copy of the audit shall be filed with the required agencies.
The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc. shall, within 30 days after the close of each fiscal year, make an annual report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year to the Borough Council.
The Alliance shall be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine members appointed by the Borough Council as follows:
A. 
On December 31, 2018, all the appointed Board of Trustees of the Downtown Somerville Alliance shall expire. The duties and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees at 12:00 midnight of December 31, 2018, shall terminate.
B. 
On December 31, 2018, the terms of all members of the Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., (Interim Board) shall expire.
C. 
The newly appointed members of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., shall assume responsibility and shall be designated as to the positions and terms they are filling.
D. 
The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., (Interim Board) shall adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business, and to prescribe rules, regulations and policies in connection with the performance of its functions and duties. The Downtown Somerville Alliance, Inc., may recruit and contract for the Executive Director on or before January 1, 2019.
E. 
The bylaws and corporate documents shall provide that the corporation shall conduct its business in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act[1] with meetings scheduled no less than monthly.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
F. 
The bylaws and corporate documents shall reflect that the Board of Directors shall consist of nine members.
G. 
The bylaws shall reflect that one member shall be the Borough Administrator and one member shall be a member of the Borough Council (appointed by the Borough Council and an affirmed by resolution of the governing body).
H. 
The Administrator is a voting member on Board of Directors but cannot hold the position of Chairperson.
I. 
The Council member is a voting member that is appointed annually by the Borough Council.
J. 
The bylaws shall reflect that the remaining seven members of the Board of Directors shall consist of five qualified members that either: reside in the Special Improvement District; own a business in the Special Improvement District; or own property in the Special Improvement District, and two members shall be residents of the State of New Jersey. The Trustees of the Board shall be designated as follows:
(1) 
Borough Administrator; one council member; five members that are either property owners or business owners or residents within the Special Improvement District, and two members at large, who must be residents of the State of New Jersey.
K. 
The initial appointment terms of the Board of Directors on January 1, 2019, shall be as follows: three members are appointed to one-year terms, two members are appointed to two-year terms and two members are appointed to three-year terms. The Borough Administrator serves on the Board of Directors as a regular member. The Council member is appointed to one-year term.
L. 
After the initial appointments the term of the appointment shall be for three years.
M. 
Vacancies on the Board shall be recommended and approved by a majority of the Board for the balance of the term.
N. 
No member of the Board except for the Borough Administrator or Council member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. If a member is appointed to less than a three-year term, that member shall be allowed to serve two consecutive three-year terms if desired.
O. 
The Board of Directors shall appoint its Chairperson from among its members annually.
The special assessment for each tax year imposed upon the designated property as provided by § 148-1 shall be: (a) in an amount equivalent to 0.087 multiplied by the total tax levy upon such property for the then current calendar year; or (b) in the event of property subject to a tax exemption or abatement pursuant to the provisions of "The Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law," N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., and Long Term Tax Exemption Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 et seq., in an amount equivalent to 0.087 multiplied by the amount of the total tax which would have been levied upon such property for the then current calendar year were it not subject to a tax exemption or abatement.