Protecting the interests of the people

Dear Editor:
I would like to compliment Councilman Fulop and Councilman Gaughan for their refusal to grant an $8 million loan to the Hilton Hotel developers. The developers would use the money to improve the vacant land prior to getting financing to build the hotel.
The developers were sold the property at a steep discount over ten years ago, which gave them a great deal of equity in the land to help finance the project. In one of the greatest real estate booms in our lifetime when money was given to anyone who had a project, they could not raise the funds needed to build their hotel. Furthermore business and leisure travel which is important for the success of hotels is down and probably won’t see recovery for a few years. Credit to finance the construction of this project would be extremely hard to obtain for the foreseeable future, which would make repayment doubtful.
The $8 million is our allocation from the federal government that is used to fund much needed social programs by non profit organizations. If the developers fail to pay the city back we would lose these funds and many people in Jersey City who rely on these social programs would be in jeopardy. In these times when we need and want to see development to help create jobs and tax revenues it is too easy to accept anything that sounds good. Because of your diligence, you have faithfully and honestly used your elected positions to protect the interests of people of Jersey City, thank you.

Jeff Kaplowitz
Jersey City

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