Northampton Press

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Apartment developer seeks fee relief

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Owner of Washington Ave. property asks council to allow lesser amount

Northampton Borough Council heard a request Jan. 17 regarding required sewer tap-in fees for a recently refurbished Washington Avenue property.

Attorney Ronald Corkery, counsel for MGMJ Holding Company, requested relief from the $35,000 fee already paid for the former Catholic War Veterans Post 454 building. It was recently refurbished to include eight studio apartments. In the past, the building housed a post office, synagogue and day care center.

Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst has recommended against council granting MGMJ Holding a lesser amount for sewer tap-in fees than other new or refurbished structures have had to pay. Brobst reported the $5,070 tap-in fee per unit is applied uniformly, including the Central School and Tama buildings, which are being refurbished as apartments as well.

“This building was recently refurbished to provide eight efficiency (studio) apartments, and they are seeking relief from the charges that were applied for the tap-in fees paid for seven units. It is the borough’s policy to charge the full tap-in fee for each residential unit. Borough council may consider this, but I recommend against it,” Brobst said.

Kathy Novogratz, a borough resident, rose to question Corkery on whether the apartments were to be for veterans. Borough Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian intervened and said such questioning was not allowed.

Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski Sr. put forward a motion to table the request for fee relief until the following meeting. He said he needs to further delve into the topic and asked for more specific numbers to study the issue.

The request will be decided at the Feb. 7 meeting.