The Community Advisory Panel working with DSM met on Tuesday, January 18, 2005.  Gary Meddaugh opened the meeting at 7:03 PM.

 

In attendance:  Gary Meddaugh, Bud Allen, Doug Smyth, Beecher Zollinger MD, Stan Wilkins, Joe Venesky and Ernest Maso.

DSM members: Mike Adams, Jim Brandl, Joe Gentile, Tony McHugh and Paul Minehart.

 

Minutes of the November 2004 meeting were approved.

 

Chairman’s Remarks

 

·   Gary wished all a Happy New Year.  He also offered an apology to Beecher Zollinger for miscommunications regarding two cancelled December CAP dinner meetings.

 

DSM Property Tax Assessment Issue

 

·   Mike Adams said that Tony McHugh would make a brief presentation on the issue for information only.  Mike explained the current business situation facing the site, as he has told employees: Vitamin C production will eventually cease due to intense competitive pressure from Chinese producers who have newer technology and lower costs.  Mike said that he must continue to reduce costs including reducing employment.  As a result, he does not want to pay any more in tax than what is owed.

 

·   The value of the property is in dispute.  DSM believes that the value should be based on the purchase price paid by DSM to Roche in Oct. 2003.  He said that DSM believed that an agreement had been reached with the township, but that after a December 28 meeting with the tax assessor, the situation is on hold and may result in litigation.

 

·   Tony McHugh discussed how the site is valued.  He said the facility is deemed “Special Purpose” and that there is no benchmark for comparison because there are only two Vitamin C sites in the world outside of China.  He said that because Vitamin C global revenues have declined significantly ($1B - <$250M) over the past few years, that the value of the facility continues to diminish and, therefore, the property tax should be less.  This lower value was reflected in the purchase price DSM paid for the site in October 2003.

 

·   Several CAP members voiced concern that homeowner property taxes continue to rise significantly while corporate property taxes, as in DSM’s case, have been decreasing.  All agreed that “fairness” and tax policy are not the purview of the CAP and tabled further discussion.

 

 


CAP Fest 2005

 

·    Gary Meddaugh said that CAP Fest 2005 would be on February 17 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at the Brunswick Hilton.  He encouraged members to attend, saying that past events have been worthwhile.  DSM will handle registration and pay the cost of tickets to the event.  J. Brandl to send out a note to all CAP members.

 

Letter Requesting Continued Funding from NJ

 

·    Gary Meddaugh said that revisions had been made to the draft letter, and that he and Bud Allen, as chair of the AirQAP, were ready to sign the letter. 

 

·    Bud agreed and said that Steve Ross could prepare the final version of the letter for signature and send it to NJ legislators and NJDEP officials.

 

DSM Update

 

·   Jim Brandl said that the asthma study report was received at DSM on December 28, 2004, and that he did not believe the report had been submitted for peer review yet.  Jim said that DSM would review the report and comment on such items as typo’s, etc.

 

·   Jim gave a site environmental update: in November there was only one incident that required reporting to the State (for visible dust in a bag collector).  There was also only one report made to the State in December (because the thermal oxidizer shut down the system temporarily due to an improperly closed valve).

 

·   Jim said that unusual, day-long fog during the week of January 10 may have caused odor from the waste treatment to remain in the area longer than is normal.

 

AirQAP Update

 

·   Bud Allen, chair, said that the AirQAP had requested a speaker from NJDEP for its upcoming meeting to address chloroform.  DSM will attend and be prepared to reiterate its effort regarding chloroform.

 

Other

 

·    Gary Meddaugh said that he will call Betty Merring regarding her decision to leave the CAP, and encourage her to stay.

 

·    Joe Venesky asked: if DSM stops producing Vitamin C and replaces it with another product, will DSM give advance notice of any VOC’s related to the new product?  Mike Adams assured Joe that DSM would.

 

Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.  Next meeting is Tuesday, February 15, 2005.