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Christie signs bill to help industry stay in county - Ocean City Sentinel: State

Christie signs bill to help industry stay in county

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Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 10:25 am

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie signed into law legislation sponsored by state Sen. Jim Whelan and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, both D-Atlantic, that would help existing industrial businesses in the Pinelands grow and create jobs.

The law would allow existing rural development areas zoned for industrial use in the Pinelands to qualify for incentives through the Grow New Jersey and Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) programs.

“This is a great day for Atlantic County,” Whelan said. “Working in a bipartisan fashion, we were able to implement a law that is going to help Atlantic County’s largest manufacturing facility expand and create jobs.”

“Atlantic County families are still reeling from the recent casino closings,” Mazzeo said. “Extending incentives to companies who want to stay and grow in New Jersey will provide a much-needed lifeline to our region while at the same time having no negative effect on our beautiful Pinelands.”

The new law will help Comar, a company located in Buena Vista Township that manufactures plastic bottles and other specialty packaging materials for medication, powders, supplements and more. Given the company’s growth, Comar is at the point that it needs to expand its existing facility or it will be forced to leave New Jersey. Once Comar gets assistance from the state Economic Development Authority to expand, it will create about 150 new jobs and bring in more tax revenue to the township.

“I appreciate Senator Whelan and Assemblyman Mazzeo’s leadership on this issue,” Buena Vista Township Mayor Chuck Chiarello said. “Our region cannot afford to lose any more jobs or businesses. This new law is a win-win for Comar and Atlantic County.”

Whelan and Mazzeo noted that they solicited feedback from various environmental groups on the legislation, including the Sierra Club. Comar will not be increasing its footprint, and the law narrowly applies to existing businesses already zoned for industrial use.

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