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New Brunswick City Council holds regular meeting, questioned on redevelopment plan for new housing

The New Brunswick City Council held a meeting Wednesday evening inside City Hall to vote on three ordinances and 33 resolutions. – Photo by Eric Finkelstein /

On Wednesday, the New Brunswick City Council hosted its biweekly meeting to discuss several ordinances, resolutions and town happenings.

The City Council is primarily responsible for approving annual budgets, contracts and appointments to boards and commissions.

The meeting began with the roll call of the seven council members and a brief review of the three ordinances and 33 resolutions that would be voted on.

All three of the ordinances were approved, including a revision of a business rule involving cannabis licensing and regulation, the adoption of a redevelopment plan for the Lower George II plan and an ordinance related to the addition of several handicapped parking zones.

New Brunswick City Planner Dan Dominguez said the redevelopment plan would allow the Abundant Life Family Worship Church to build housing on a vacant lot it owns in downtown New Brunswick.

During public comments, an individual questioned why the town was aiming for more luxury housing when there is currently a lack of affordable housing. The citizen also brought up traffic-related problems in the area of the redevelopment. Dominguez fielded questions on the matter.

"(It is) anticipated that there will be about a six- or seven-story parking deck with two of the stories underground, and it is anticipated it will fully 'park' the requirement for the building," Dominguez said.

Charlie Kratovil, editor of New Brunswick Today, asked how Council President Rebecca Escobar would vote before the council voted since it was the same ordinance the council voted against just a month ago.

"I changed my position," Escobar said. "I voted down last time because I had some questions … I was given the information I needed, so I am comfortable and confident … so yes, I am going to be voting for it."

Kravotil also asked about the exact information that changed her mind.

"Just different things that I wanted to know … I was confused about the height of the building and minor stuff that I wanted to make sure that I was making an informed decision," Escobar said.

After they voted and approved each of the ordinances and resolutions, the council broke for a closed session due to personal matters.

When the council reconvened, they opened the floor for public comments. Several Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital nurses got up to ask the committee about the resolution of their new contract. They noted the urgency of the matter, the importance of nurses and a desire to give the committee any information they needed to resolve the matter.

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