The Bayonne City Council unanimously approved (5-0) a measure to appropriate $2.1 million in bonds that will go toward purchasing the Holy Family Academy.
“We’re buying that property so … it’s three building we’re gonna buy from them, they have three properties currently that they will sign over to the city for a dollar,” explained Bayonne Council President Sharon Nadrowski.
“And then we will use that, the sale of those buildings, the proceeds, which it says in the ordinance, only be used for paying off this bond. So, in the end, it should be paid off before we even start paying any interest and it will cost the city nothing in the end.”
The school has been closed since 2013 and local officials have said they want the location, 237-249 Avenue A, to serve as a new location for the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation.
The BEOF is a non-profit designed to aid low-income, disabled and elderly residents.
While several residents spoke out against the measure, Diane Ashe Liming, a BEOF board member who introduced herself as a relative of Nadrowski, said the move would be beneficial.
“I’ve said in meetings, we’re trying to better the BEOF program for the youth of Bayonne and would like to have purchased the property, but we don’t have the cash. We can’t sell the property until the property is sold before we can purchase Holy Family, have the children out in the street,” she said.
“So the council is buying the property: from us, for $1, they’re gonna purchase Holy Family, the kids are gonna move into Holy Family, they’re gonna sell the building, hopefully, at the end of the day, it will all get closed.”
Ward 3 Councilman Gary La Pelusa said he was at first apprehensive about the city getting involved with the real estate aspect of the matter, but said those worries were quelled when he learned the move would cover school repairs and not impact any future grant monies.