How to keep our ratables

It’s all about ratables. But, it’s not about all ratables. It’s about having the right
ratables and the development proposed for the water company property is the
wrong ratable. We don’t need ratables that will substantially alter life in New Milford as we know it. We don’t need a development that will likely end up costing more than the extra revenue it will bring in.

Why do I think this? The part of development that many government officials seem to forget about is the cost of infrastructure improvements that become necessary to deal with the new development.      

Based on my experience in real estate, I believe the development will bring in an
additional $200,000 in revenue to the borough. That’s $200,000 in an $18 million budget, a little more than an extra 1%. In perspective, that's not a lot of extra revenue.  

If the development happens, look at what we’re in for. We will likely need to widen River Road and Main Street. Is that a million dollar project? The last school expansion cost over $3 million. What will the next one cost? Using FEMA money, New Milford is soon to be the proud owner of five houses in town. 
In addition, because Columbia and Harvard Streets and Holland Avenue and
others are in known flooding areas, the assessed value of these houses have
declined by $16 million. What does this mean to you? Every year, the 200 plus
houses in our flooding areas provide over $2 million in tax revenue to the
town. It means that while the homeowners in the flooding areas will see their property taxes go down, the rest of us will have to make up the difference.

So, what’s the best way to deal with this? What we need to do is work diligently to make sure we keep the ratables we have. Why not do what we can to help these people maintain their property values by working to reduce or eliminate the flooding. If we can help them, we can help ourselves. By putting a flood mitigation plan in place, we will ultimately help our own tax situation. If they maintain their property values, they will continue to pay higher taxes and we will not have to pick up some of their share.              

Howard Berner

Borough Council President

Borough of New Milford

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pat October 17, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Ulises, do not pretend that you know who I do or do not support. Perhaps you should look at the developer a little better. I did not say how to pay for the property, I am not sure that is the best idea, it might not be, it might not even be possible. It is an idea that is mine that i think is not a bad one if the opportunity arises. Perhaps we let the market do its thing. I do not even know who actually owns the property. Tone yourself down. It is a discussion, an opinion that differs from yours to some extent.
Ulises October 17, 2012 at 02:23 AM
The ShopRite is owned by Inserra. My apologies if you felt my tone was too harsh but I'm just analyzing your opinion and that's what this forum is all about, exchanging ideas and opinions. The second the zoning is changed to commercial the developer wins it all, including the COAH requirements because amendments to the master plan are not even being considered by the M&C. Please click on the link below so you can see what Hekemian, the developer, is in business for: http://www.hekemian.com/about.php In their own words "...We seek multi-family, retail, mixed-use, and industrial properties that are centrally located, well-anchored and situated in prime geographic areas..."
Lori Barton October 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM
You need to compare floor selling space vs floor selling space. So the proposed new ShopRite will be far more than "only" 10,000 sq ft more. PLUS, any commercial or retail development will trigger a requirement for EVEN MORE affordable housing. I guess I just can't understand how anyone could prefer paving over green space in a community with so little green space left to make way for a supermarket that has the approvals to rebuild bigger and better right where they are. To each his own, but once that green space is gone, it is gone forever. To turn the area into a usable park, grant monies are available. And the maintenance of that would be far less than the costs associated with large retail/commericial development: increased police, fire, emergency and court costs. Plus, as the commercial property decreases in value with their allowable depreciation, the residential taxpayers will pick up more and more of the costs. It's a lose-lose for New Milford if any of this development is allowed.
Denise October 17, 2012 at 04:56 PM
To add a bit of levity, I do hope a new Wegman's will be built up in Montvale where DePero's is. It will put ShopRite, Pathmark, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, Fairway etc. to shame. For those who have never been to Wegman's, you will walk in and your jaw will drop. Trust me, it happened to me......
lynnegad October 21, 2012 at 10:37 PM
INTERESTING READ: "Four million to save and turn into something, somebody should step up to the plate," New Milford Mayor Ann Subrizi said. "I wish this was my project to save." (River Dell Patch) These are the words of our Mayor regarding the saving of the Blauvelt Mansion in Oradell. Well, Mayor Subrizi, you do have a project to save and that is the United Water Property!!!! STEP UP TO THE PLATE!


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