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Councilman Blasts State for Check Cashing Fee

After withholding about $450,000 from the township for cleanup of a landfill on New Road, South Brunswick was charged a small fee by the state for cutting the reimbursement check.

Township officials are unhappy with the state after being charged a fee for the issuance of a reimbursement check for money owed to South Brunswick after the cleanup of a local landfill. 

In 1984, the state pushed for a cleanup of the landfill on New Road, which required the township to put up about $450,000 until the site was cleaned, according to Mayor Frank Gambatese. South Brunswick officials were unaware that the state was still withholding the money from the mid-1980's cleanup project until township administration discovered the error earlier this year.

"Unbeknownst to anybody, that site was determined to be clean by the state two years ago and nobody did anything about it,"  "So (Township Manager Bernard Hvozdovic) checked and found out it was deemed clean and sent a letter to the state. Then they informed us that they will be returning about $280,000 to us, so that's nearly a tax point right there."

However, when the township received the first installment of the reimbursement money, the funds included a $230 fee for issuing the check.

"Our township professionals found out the state was holding $450,000 of our money from 1984 and didn't tell us," said Councilman John O'Sullivan during Tuesday’s council meeting. "Then they had the chutzpah to charge us $230 for cutting the check. Maybe this is all legal but give me a break. We should be getting interest on that money."

While the fee was not exorbitant, O'Sullivan said he was in disbelief over the principle that the state would charge South Brunswick for money that was owed to the township.

"The citizens of this township should know they were holding our money, we found out about it, and they charged us for the check," he said. "We all think this is unbelievable. Maybe this will help improve the system in Trenton."

The council expressed plans to send a letter to the state protesting the extra fee.

Winston June 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Oh please.....in my opinion due to the incompetence and mismanagement by Frank, Bernie and Joe they "totally forgot" about $280,000 of our tax dollars for over two years? Rather than investigate potential mismanagement of finance director and town manager they pretend quibble over a few dollars for a check cashing fee. Wake up SB residents we have a bunch of politcal hacks (D&r) running our town into the ground! How many more dollars have been forgotten about?
I am RIGHT June 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM
What about the $450,000? Why is state keeping $170,000 of our bond money? Answer that question first before you ask about the $230 check cashing fee.
Just me June 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Yes, where's the rest?
Winston June 29, 2012 at 01:28 PM
OSullivan is soooooooooooooo out of touch with reality! And where is Bernie and Joe M? They are the managers of our money? They forgot about it? If the town council wasn't filled with...in my opinion...incompetent political blowhards...they would immediately hire an outside independent auditor to audit the towns finances and find out what is really going on. Who knew what and when?
Elaine June 29, 2012 at 01:31 PM
HA! Boy am I surprised! That was sarcasm by the way. Thank you John for the insight. That is the government for you. I expect nothing less. Nothing but twinkies in the office pushing papers around on their desk to look busy.
Winston June 29, 2012 at 02:59 PM
unmmm...er...Elaine? John is part of the problem and not the solution....he IS the incompetent government!
AC June 29, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Don't waste your breath. The same people keep getting voted in and or recycled out and back in and keep doing the same things. The days have apparently long past when the residents looked for more than just pressing a button on election day. It wasn't like this 25 years ago. If you didn't do your job--or strong armed the voters when they expressed their dissatisfaction, you were unemployed the next election day.
Winston June 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM
AC...even after the town council blatantly put their political interests above the welfare and financial interest of SB residents with the hiring of their unqualified political boss, at over $125,000 a year plus perks and a car, over the interest of the taxpayers...the morons in this town still reelected them! In addition Frank LOUSENberg who I thought died years ago is a hero in this town!
Elaine June 29, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Winston, I know John is a part of govenrnment. I also know that John has good intensions. Unlike the career politician. I have trouble with those in govenment that make politics a career and only know about politicing and don't give a crap about positive change, their town, their state or their people. Also, unfortunately we have many people who work in government, who care very little about their job, do not do an honest days work and know they are shield by their union, at our expense.......I can go on.......Fortunately for John, I do not consider him one of them. John has always cared about South Brunswick, and his devotion goes way back. You may not have ever read any of his past editorial going way back. It is easy to suggest John got sucked up into the system. You obviously do not know John. Winston, why don't you run for an office? Lets see if you come out smelling sweet!
AC June 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Yup. I don't get it. do they really have so much money that they don't care who they vote in to spend it? Or is there such widespread ignorance that they just don't know what is going on? Frustrating, because this is the way the state votes, and the country votes. Then they can't understand why all these people promise and promise during their campaigns and then deliver only to themselves and their friends.
AC June 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
And they blame the union workers. These politicians aren't union. But it is all someone else's fault--for the past two years it is the unions' turn to be at fault. The responsibility never falls where it belongs. In the politician's laps.

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