1, Outsider 2. Insider 3. Gadfly
Some are a combination, and a few fit into all three.
We recently received an email from one (or more) of the above alerting us to this Tuesday's Planning Board meeting:
A.) Discussion of a request for a reduction of fees for Bloomfield Belleville
Associates, LLC 221-225 Belleville Avenue.
B.) Discussion of a proposed amendment to the Bloomfield Center
Redevelopment Plan Phase II sent to the Planning Board by the Mayor
Our friend suggested that all concerned taxpayers should try to make it to this Tuesdays meeting to voice their feelings about the 225 Belleville Ave. project. They added that present and past employees of the many business affected should attend the meeting and:
"tell the entire board how many people have been put out of work and small businesses ruined. It is an outrage that we, the residents of Bloomfield, will be forced to finance worthless developments that enrich. Our property taxes have gone up considerable. We are paying through the nose for political appointments, newly hired police and firemen, and worthless development projects."
Another friend is a true outsider, having lived in Glen Ridge and worked at 225 for many years, She plans to bring along some colleagues from the affected companies to speak their peace.
The Tuesday meeting starts at 7:30 PM in Town Hall's Council chambers.
When Baristanet ran the earlier piece we posted on this subject, there were over 2 dozen comments, None favored the project. Here are a few of them and some others we received later on:
This whole thing stinks. More people, more kids, more need for classrooms, more tax money needed = tax abatement for the developer and higher taxes for everyone else. Crystal clear logic town council. Also, ‘luxury apartment in Bloomfield’ is an oxymoron.
And some wonder why there are skeptics about Bloomfield’s redevelopment plans.
And what is this drivel about maybe it will be rented at first, and maybe later they will change and sell them as condos? That is NOT an acceptable plan! That is a plan for mass eviction and dislocation and cost upon renters who have been good tenants and paying their rents. If these people are not serious about building rentals, then don’t let them build and rent! If they want condos, they should be condos from the get-go. The residents cannot be set up as cannon fodder for these people. The residents cannot be set up to be jerked around. How in hell could you be giving money and tax benefits to people with such disregard for the well being of Bloomfield residents!
Contact the "sub-committee" of the planning board who make the decisions. The persons comprising this subcommittee are Alan LaQuaglia, Bernard Hamilton, and Dan McGonigle. They work closely with Mr. Rubin on these matters. All of this should be part of the public record as our taxes will pay for just about everything.I believe the corruption in this project goes beyond the local leaders, as corrupt as they may be. The site is a Superfund site, as of yet un-remediated. It was formerly the home of National Starch, which made glue and other products, and produced such toxicity that when we first moved our business to 225 Belleville Ave., we had liability insurers refuse to underwrite our policies on the grounds of our proximity to National Starch. One year there was an explosion which killed a man there. There was another business on the property: Park Place, a manufacturer of car parking lifts, which dumped a lot of hydrolic oil on the site which has never been cleaned up. It is also in a flood plain: the site flooded badly during both hurricanes Floyd and Irene, and the data is clearly listed (and posted here once by Pat Gilleran.) There is also at least one leaking underground fuel storage tank. Somehow none of this prevents Mr. Wilf from proceeding with his “luxury” 1 bedroom apartments. One has to wonder how he has managed to circumvent the clean-up regulations, the distance required from waterway
Ehere is a subcommittee of the P B that makes all decisions before anyone else has a chance to vote on anything: Hamilton, McGonigle, and La Quaglia. The PB is a joke. Have you seen any businesses that have come here and created jobs? Who benefits from this garbage? Not you or me!
There was no negotiation about the 30 year abatement. It was agreed to without real discussion. Yoshi Manale said, “It’s the only way I could get the developer to agree.” That development would bring about $1 million a year in taxes to the town. The same thing happened with the “affordable housing” project across from PD HQ. There is 20 year abatement at another $1 million a year. Don’t forget all of this is done with the mayor and Yoshi cutting the fire department and other town services. More residents=more strain on the schools and other town services that are already being “taxed”....I find it interesting that the mayor’s house WAS in foreclosure until the Oakes deal and downtown developer were chosen.
It is truly a disgrace. They should never build on a floodplain because we, the taxpayers, will have to bail out any flood victims. This is a scam on property owners in this town (both on home owners and small businesses).