As I reported in my story in today’s Inquirer, Camden has a balance of $49 million in grant money, some of which isn’t being used because city officials can’t tell if it is real money or a bookkeeping error.
The auditing firm, Bowman & Company LLP, which has been auditing the city’s books for at least 15 years, has almost always mentioned the city’s “aged receivable balances,” as an issue. Yet, the city has not been able to resolve the problem.
For the last two years, Bowman has given Camden an “unqualified” audit opinion, meaning no serious issues were found. But would a different auditing firm have the same finding?
More than a year after Camden’s tax assessor abruptly resigned, the city has hired a replacement and some extra help.
Deputy tax assessor Melissa Mallory had been filling in as interim tax assessor since Frank Librizzi quit in April 2012. But Mallory retired in June, leaving both tax assessor and deputy vacancies.
The city hired Tyler Technologies Inc, a Texas company with offices in Pennsauken, as a temporary tax assessing service for the city. The firm, which handled the city’s tax reassessment in 2011, will be paid no more than $99,000 for its services.
The lot across from across the street from Camden City Hall, which is used mainly for city employee parking, will be redeveloped by the Parking Authority of Camden City.
A resolution authorizing the Camden Redevelopment Agency, which owns most of the Block 175 land, to enter into a redevelopment and purchase agreement with the parking authority was approved at Tuesday’s redevelopment agency Board of Commissioners meeting.
The agency is selling the prime real estate, along with a few other properties near downtown, for $1.2 million, a reduced price since it is one public agency selling to another public body, said redevelopment executive director Saundra Ross Johnson. The CRA parcels in Block 175 are valued at close to $4 million, according to property tax records.
Three Camden students were chosen to participate in a Latino youth leadership training program this summer in the nation’s capital.
Jonathan Ramirez and Peter Rivera Jr., both students at Camden’s LEAP Academy Charter School, and Michelle Melanie Panchana, a student at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School in Philadelphia, will be attending the 2013 Ready To Lead Next Generation, or R2L NextGen.
The program was created and is hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a Hispanic nonprofit and nonpartisan leadership development organization. The CHCI invites 40 high school students from around the country, who are seen as future Latino leaders, to spend a week in Washington, DC.
Twirling around in colorful and sassy dresses, Camden’s Sophisticated Sisters drill team showed off their new uniforms in front of City Hall Wednesday.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office gave the team, which has garnered national attention for their positive message, full set of dance outfits for 150 girls, worth $8,000.
The money came through the prosecutor’s office federal Community Justice Grant, which provides for expenditures in programs that prevent and control crime in Camden.
Three Camden nonprofit redevelopment groups were awarded $2.4 million in state Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit grants to help in the revamping of city neighborhoods.
The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC) offers New Jersey businesses 100 percent tax credits for various state taxes in return for investing in the revitalization of low-and moderate-income neighborhoods.
Here are the Camden nonprofits that will benefit this year from the program:
- Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc. received $425,031.00
- Parkside Business and Community In Partnership, Inc. received $985,000.00
- Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation received $985,000.00
More than a year after scrap-metal dealers made a fuss at Camden City Council over proposed regulations, state legislators passed some of the very same rules for everyone in the state.
On Monday, the state Assembly approved legislation aimed at deterring copper and metal theft by setting up stricter standards for payment. The bill was sponsored, in part, by local representatives: Sen. Donald Norcross and Assemblymen Angel Fuentes and Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (D-Camden).
In February 2012, Camden City officials tried to amend the city code governing scrap-metal yards as a way to better control the metal theft problem the city was (and still is) enduring. The proposed changes to the code included paying sellers by check only and providing driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Camden annual tax lien sale was held this week, resulting in a $2.3 million revenue boost for the city.
This year, 3,401 liens were up for sale, down from 4,317 in 2012.
The city collected $2.3 million from the 2,517 tax liens sold. In 2012, the city collected $2.9 million from 2,891 liens sold.