MontClairVoyant: File It Under ‘Didn’t Honor PILOT’?

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

You promised last week to discuss rent control this week, but could you first talk about how The MC hotel reportedly stopped giving money to Montclair under their PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement?

Sincerely,

690 ‘Doomfield’ Avenue

Yes, The MC was said to be more than a year behind in making payments. Maybe it should be renamed The DB, for deadbeat.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

The PILOT breach is especially disturbing given that Pinnacle, a rather rich developer that’s been involved with various big projects in downtown Montclair, was one of the companies responsible for building the hotel. The wealthy sure try to play by different rules, don’t they?

Sincerely,

Bucks Stopped There

And the wealthy usually get away with it, so I hope Montclair puts its foot down. You didn’t know Montclair had feet? Think of the bottom of the 7 and 4 in the zip code 07042 as thin legs.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Ugh — I can’t unsee that. But COVID was a crushing temporary blow to most hotels; isn’t that a good excuse not to pay?

Sincerely,

Empty Room Syndrome

The MC, which reportedly also hasn’t paid its affordable housing obligation, was already getting a break with the PILOT deal rather than being billed at a higher regular-property-tax rate. Seems The MC roof has a view of not only Manhattan but of Entitlement.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Didn’t realize New York City had a sixth borough. Curious minds would like to know if The MC at least made a good-faith effort to fork over some of the PILOT money it owed?

Sincerely,

Court Partial

Leave religion and utensils out of this.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Anyway, onto the rent-control compromise passed April 19 by the Township Council. It has its pros and cons, right?

Sincerely,

A Mixed Drink

Yes, but if the measure isn’t blocked during a 20-day waiting period, many Montclair tenants will finally/thankfully have at least some protection from unreasonable hikes. For me, unreasonable hikes include walking in Eagle Rock Reservation wearing bunny slippers.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Ugh — I can’t unsee that. Other thoughts?

Sincerely,

Give Lease a Chance

Actually, I discussed rent control a lot in previous columns, including my March 31 piece four weeks ago. So, perhaps I shouldn’t repeat myself. So, perhaps I shouldn’t repeat myself. So, perhaps —


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Shush! The Council is also advancing The Jose German-Gomez Native Species Act named after the esteemed local environmentalist and community activist. What would this ecologically beneficial measure mandate?

Sincerely,

A Tree Grows in Montclair

That at least 70 percent of all new plantings in Montclair be native to Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Given that those latter states are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, they have to deal with occasional flooded basements.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

You’re delusional. Meanwhile, Earth Day was marked on and around April 22 with events in and near Montclair. Comment?

Sincerely,

Planet Fitness

Such an important day, especially with the existential threat of climate change. And remember that The Green New Deal has nothing to do with Kim Deal, who’s an experienced rather than green new musician.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

She’s been with The Breeders and The Pixies, done solo work, etc. Speaking of entertainment, the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence’s latest fun fundraiser will be held this Saturday, April 30, at Lackawanna Plaza. What’s the event called?

Sincerely,

MFEE Glee

“ShowUS Montclair” — and many of our town’s talented residents will perform. If anyone happens to sing an Elton John song, I’d prefer “Take Me to the Pilot” over “Staked MC a PILOT.”

 

 

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

 

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Dave,

    Some good news, but first the bad. From 2019 to 2021, the MC Hotel has caused a $1.2MM municipal budget shortfall which we had to cover from our surplus. The good news is 1) our $1.2MM Federal American Rescue Fund allocation will cover this hole in our finances, and 2) I don’t think we budgeted the additional $600k+ Affordable Housing contribution, and 3) we didn’t budget any PILOT payments from the MC Hotel this year, so we can’t have shortfall in 2022, and 4) any funds recovered, even if they should file for bankruptcy and get pennies on the dollar, will be found money. You should take a glass half full attitude when it comes to PILOTs and what we are sold versus what we realize. Maybe we will have a Holiday Inn Express in our future.

  2. Thank you, Frank, for the seriocomic comment. If money ever falls from the sky, it could potentially land in that big round ring thingy on The MC hotel’s roof. 🙂

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