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The Lakewood Development Corporation has just adopted their annual budget.

New Jersey's Urban Enterprise (UEZ) Program was enacted in 1983, in the Department of Community Affairs, to foster an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through public and private investment.

The UEZ Program offers participating businesses incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies, including a 50% reduced sales tax, tax free purchases on certain items such as capital equipment, facility expansions, and upgrades, and financial assistance from agencies such as NJEDA.

Back in the day, the UEZ program provided a dedicated funding source for municipalities to operate economic development programs in the form of a reduced state sales tax which (instead of filling the state's coffers) were then deployed in UEZ communities to promote economic development. That dedicated funding source previously ended in 2011 and former-Governor Chris Christie did not continue it.

In August 2021, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed into law the Urban Enterprise Zone Reform Bill which restores and revises the UEZ Program and appropriates $42.5 million in Zone Assistance Funds statewide for FY22, bringing the program back to full operation after having been without a funding source for more than ten years. 

Currently, there are 32 zones statewide, which are spread across 37 municipalities and home to approximately 7,267 UEZ-certified businesses which are included in the UEZ program. 

A portion of Lakewood Township is included in a zone in the UEZ program.

The Lakewood Development Corporation (LDC) is the arm of the Township which administers Lakewood's Urban Enterprise Zone program. The LDC uses the annual UEZ grant money to offer business loans and grants to certified UEZ businesses as well as numerous other business encouragement incentives such as business-to-business networking events.

The LDC's Board of Trustees this week adopted their annual budget which, according to their resolution, "finances the personnel and administration expenses associated with projects and activities that will lead to increased economic activity or encourage private investment and job creation."

This budget, which will be funded by the UEZ funds that the Township receives from the state, is $462,500. This is an increase from last year's budget of $417,900.

This budget includes salaries of $124,852 to Executive Director David Klein, $78,052 to Joann Wilkes, and $25,990 to Anita Doyle (who receives an additional salary from the Lakewood Industrial Commission), as well as benefits (i.e. health insurance) for these employees for a total of $113,000. (Attorney Sean Kean receives $10,000 as his slice of the pie, an additional $22,000 covers the audit).

The 2023 budget included salaries of $122,400 to Executive Director David Klein, $76,500.00 to Joann Wilkes, and $25,480.48 to Anita Doyle s well as benefits (i.e. health insurance) for these employees for a total of $113,000. (Attorney Sean Kean received $7,000 as his slice of the pie, an additional $20,000 coverd the audit).

Mr. Klein stated that this year's budget includes "some increase for professional services which we needed to engage due to the new projects that we have coming down the pipe."

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Anonymous said...

The phrase is "coming down the pike" someone please teach Mr. Klein the proper vernacular!

Anonymous said...

If you watch the video on the Township website he says it correctly "coming down the pike". Do you homework people.

Tracht! said...

Is this even a full time job? Quite a compensation for all that stress And responsibility......