ATLANTIC CITY — City Council gave final approval Wednesday to borrow millions for tax-appeal settlements announced earlier this month.
Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance allowing the city to issue bonds for as much as $80 million to cover the settlements.
Council President Marty Small said the payments will be “good for the future of Atlantic City.”
“The tough part is over and it should lead to much-needed fiscal sustainability for the residents of Atlantic City,” he said.
State officials said the resort’s remaining tax appeals had been settled, including several casino appeals with billionaire Carl Icahn. Bonds will be issued to fund the repayments, although the exact amount of the settlements still has not been revealed.
In other business, council pulled a resolution on redevelopment of Gardner’s Basin.
The resolution on council’s agenda was to approve a redevelopment and lease-management agreement for Gardner’s Basin. The resolution listed Scarborough Properties as the potential redeveloper, and while specific plans had not been discussed, they could include recreation, a new restaurant and renovations to the area.
Councilman Kaleem Shabazz said they will address comments and questions about the resolution before bringing it up again.
“My colleagues have indicated to me that they have some concerns,” Shabazz said during the meeting.
A few people came forward during public comment to speak against the resolution.
Tom Lamaine, who is on the board of directors for the Atlantic City Historical Waterfront Foundation, thanked council for holding off on the resolution and said he and others attended the meeting to make sure it was pulled.
The foundation currently holds the lease with Gardner’s Basin, and some board members who spoke said specific details of the plans were not released to them.
“We are in agreement with what has been proposed,” Lamaine said, but added, “there weren’t enough details in that resolution.”
Lamaine said he questions whether another company can “accomplish what we could not do” in the area due to various regulations.
The Press of Atlantic City previously reported the city is limited in what it can do with Gardner’s Basin because of state and federal grants, including state Green Acres funding it received, which is designed to promote open space.
Councilman George Tibbitt said the city should be careful about what is done to redevelop the land, because Gardner’s Basin is one of the few “crown jewels we have left that we can call our own.”
Shabazz asked that comments on the resolution and suggestions be submitted to him by Aug. 20 so it can be revisited at the Sept. 6 council meeting.