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Letter to the Editor: Save Open Space

Lori Barton encourages New Milford residents to keep fighting to preserve the United Water Company property as open space; SOD February fundraiser.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the wonderful New Milford residents who have contacted me to tell me to keep up the fight to save open space and quality of life in New Milford. There are times when you start to feel burned out, but then some one stops you to tell your that they appreciate your efforts. They tell you they feel the same way. You don't know how important it is to hear that you support my position to fight United Water, Hekemian and Inserra to preserve New Milford's last undeveloped parcel of land.

Some of you have asked what you can do to help. The first thing I would ask is that you, too, join the effort by writing or calling United Water and Inserra to tell them that you do not support this development. Tell Inserra that you will not shop at any of their stores until they decide to rebuild where they are. And then, follow through. I have not spent a penny in an Inserra ShopRite since I wrote to them last year.

Tell United Water what poor neighbors they have been. Tell them you are tired of them blaming flooding on overdevelopment of coastal areas and then have them be hypocrites and sell coastal properties to a developer.

The other thing you can do is to attend the SOD Night Out fundraiser scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 PM. There will be wine tasting, light bites and yummy desserts for $40/person advance sale ($45 at the door). Money raised will fund the fight going forward to pay for the experts needed to testify in court. Call 201-261-0112 for tickets. We are all in this together and together we can win. Contact sod at mailto:sodnow@yahoo.com for a list of addresses to send your letters.

And remember, "Never give in-never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." (Winston Churchill)


Lori Barton

New Milford, NJ

miriam pickett January 29, 2013 at 12:47 AM
I hope you'll join us on Friday night. We have planned a great evening. SOD has built a community of people dedicated to saving open space in our town. Join us.
Ulises January 29, 2013 at 02:12 AM
Lori, I can relate. My neighbors and friends keep me focus on this endeavor we've taken on and I make it a point to drive by the high school, the United Water property and the Oradell dam everyday on my way to work. It keeps me focus on what we're trying to preserve for New Milford and that's open space by the high school. I dream one day we'll see that field we all yearn for our high school kids and a park the town can truly enjoy. I think Howard Berner's proposal this year was the best idea out there. It would address the town's flooding problems and place a high school field on top of the storage tanks. Our town's grant writer worked on a similar project in Garfield and the project was a success, plus grant money was used for most of the cost of the development. If we worked with environmental groups to raise the capital to purchase this land and work with the grant writer to find us the grants to make the tanks/parks - we'd turn what was once a dump into the community's jewel. Many want a new ShopRite and so do I but this location adjacent to the Hackensack River is not the idea place for a town with flooding problems. At the last M&C meeting someone stepped up and said he wants that ShopRite by the HS and he wants the town to build a municipal complex where the existing one is. Our Mayor told a friend of mine the very same thing last year. If that happens the town would lose $135k in annual tax revenue from this commercial property. (continue)
Ulises January 29, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Instead, I believe, a better plan would be for the town to work with the BrookChester landlord, remove COAH out of the United Water property and put all COAH requirements on the BrookChester property. BrookChester will update their apartments, possibly create retail space too and we'll generate more tax revenue then building a strip mall along the Hackensack River. With that additional tax revenue from the BrookChester we could then build a Police and Fire Department complex right next to Boro Hall where the gazebo is. Then, sell off all the old fire house properties once the new one is built. I've been hard on our Mayor because she doesn't agree with SOD's position and Mayor Subrizi if you read this, my appolgies if I've let my emotions get the best of me. I hope one day our mayor realizes we could make a lot of people happy in town if we think of all the options out there first and not rush to rezone the United Water property to commercial, not use the Boro website to ridicule SOD, and work together on solutions that will answer all we need at the most prudent cost effective method for the future of the town. I hope these ideas I stated can become a reality one day for our town. It would raise revenue, address our police and fire department needs, and put a field right next to our high school. Please come out to SOD's Night Out this Friday at the Kinights of Columbus on River Road - it'll be lots of fun. Hope to see yeah there. SOD!
miriam pickett January 29, 2013 at 04:05 AM
Everything he said!
Darlene January 29, 2013 at 03:14 PM
This all makes perfect sense to me :-)
Miren Kobayashi February 01, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Lori although I won't be able to attend the fund raiser I would like to donate the prize of a ticket. Can you please inform me how to go about this ? Thank for your efforts on fighting for all of us. M. A New Milford resident.
Lori Barton February 01, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Thank you Miren! You can send a check made out to SOD, P.O. BOX 44, New Milford, NJ 07646. SOD is a legitimate non-profit and you can count your donation as tax deductible.


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