Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop won the latest round against the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, as the freeholder board revoked a $300,000 grant the facility had earmarked for specific repairs.Â
Fulop and the Friends of the Loewâ€™s have been going back-and-forth for years over what the future of the theatre holds and resolution number 14, which wouldâ€™ve taken away $535,841.40 from the theatre – which they planned on using to fix fire and safety code issues.
The agenda item brought a number of supporters of FOL to 567 Pavonia Ave. on Thursday afternoon, but before anyone took the podium, the board reduced the amount to $300,000.
Jersey City activist Yvonne Balcer then led the charge to try to get the board to vote the matter down.
Pattie Giordan, the president of the Friends of the Loewâ€™s, said the grant was initially supposed to go towards air conditioning a decade ago, but litigation prevented that from happening.
Things got a little more complicated when Roberta Tarkan, an attorney representing Friends of the Loewâ€™s, said the resolution was legally deficient.
County counsel Donato Battista and District 9 Freeholder Al Cifelli seemed to have a hard time seeing her perspective on the matter, with FOL Director Colin Egan throwing his two cents in.
At the end of the day, the board approved the measure by a vote of 7-0-1, with District 2 Freeholder Bill Oâ€™Dea abstaining since he is a member of the FOL board.
District 3 Freeholder Gerard Balmir was absent from the meeting.
After a long court battle, a judge upheld the group’s lease on the building in March, putting the kibosh on Fulop’s plans to have a high-end concert promoter run the theatre.