Reclaiming Open Space: Hope for Flood-Prone Homeowners

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Our towns occupy one of the most densely populated counties in the most crowded state of the union. Land that would elsewhere be a meadow, hillside or river bank, here is a prime setting for housing. But, as residents of flood-prone areas around the Passaic River and its tributaries know all too well, many of the homes in these 100-year flood plains should never have been built. This certainly holds true for Little Falls, but is also a significant issue for houses near the Second and Third Rivers in Bloomfield. As of last Thursday, new legislation has gone to the state senate that would draw further attention to this problem and broaden the possibilities of implementing a program for municipalities to buy back the worst of the flood zone homes. The concept is designed to reclaim problematic properties and convert the land into park and conservation areas. But the idea isn’t brand new. In fact, it’s already underway in Bloomfield.

“What we know today about developing along the township’s flood plain areas isn’t what we knew 50 to 70 years ago,” Bloomfield’s 2nd Ward Councilman, Nick Joanow told Baristanet. “This new referendum would allow money to be leveraged in ways that are specific to each community, and would widen the interpretation of the use of public funds for conversion to open spaces.”

Joanow was instrumental in getting Bloomfield’s Open Space Trust Fund (OSTF) started, and continues to be actively involved. Through this publicly-financed program, the municipality can investigate properties that need continual repair from flood damage, and are a chronic drain to local and national funds (FEMA). According to Joanow, half a cent of each municipal tax dollar goes to the OSTF. An advisory group to the town council, OSTF is about 90 percent of the way toward acquiring its first property. Although Joanow didn’t convey any specifics, he did say that the land would be remediated of contamination, cleared and finally used for recreation and conservation purposes. “If we can take flood-prone properties off the tax rolls, we can avoid the costs of doing the same remediations again and again. And that doesn’t even factor in the cost of human suffering that can be spared.”

While the OSTF effort is funded by the local tax payers — as are all such programs — Joanow explained that the expense of purchasing and razing the recidivist properties will ultimately mean significant savings for the municipality.

The proposed legislation would support and expand the Blue Acres program, which has been operating since 2007, when the state authorized $12 million for the acquisition of lands in the floodways of the Passaic River (as well as the Delaware and Raritan Rivers), and their respective tributaries. In 2009, an additional $24 million was approved for this purpose. The idea is that the state would acquire the property, demolish the home and designate the land as an open space. According to NJDEP’s web site, properties that have been “damaged by, or may be prone to incurring damage caused by, storms or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage, are eligible for acquisition.”

Bill S-3078, introduced by state senator Rober Gordon, would allow the governing body of a municipality to submit to the voters a proposition authorizing an annual levy specifically for the purchase of flood-prone properties as “Blue Acres” projects. These acquisitions would reclaim lands that have been damaged by — or are prone to incurring damage — from storms or storm-related flooding, or that would serve as a buffer to protect other lands from damage, and earmark them for recreation and conservation purposes.

“I’m thrilled that the senate is entertaining this discussion,” said Joanow. Larry Ragonese, spokesman for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, is also pleased, though he said that, if passed, the new law won’t really change the process.”There’s no downside to the bill. It brings more attention to Blue Acres, but counties and towns can already use the current mechanisms to apply,” he explained.

A second bill also waiting for senate hearing, S-3099, would authorize the state to issue $100 million in bonds to provide grants to local governments for expenses to public entities incurred for projects caused directly or indirectly by Hurricane Irene. If passed, the bill would allow the state to authorize these funds, but would not require them to do so.

Bloomfield’s OSTF Committee has asked the township for a list of properties that have filed repetitive claims for flood damage, but Joanow warns that there is a limitation to how many properties they’ll be able to purchase. There is likely to be many more applicants than the town has money to accommodate, and there will be a process used to identify the highest priority homes. “We’ve been accumulating money, but it will be a competitive selection, almost like a lottery system. The homes will be evaluated by the advisory committee and purchases made based on available funds.”

Little by little, our dense area may get greener — and less flood-prone — but it’ll take some time.

Click here for more information on offering your land to the state.

Photos by Maria Probst, who lives in Bloomfield, near Brookside Park.

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60 COMMENTS

  1. I would really like to see an example of how this will work. I have a hrad time understanding how it will be a significant savings for the municipality?

  2. @kevin it will be a significant savings for the the Taxpayers and the properties when stripped of housing and replanted will help to alleviate further flooding in the area that they are located in.

    Repetitive flooding costs the taxpayers significant monies. This will not alleviate all of the flooding but it will help.

    The OSTFC is currently developing the process- which will then go to the Town Council for review. All decisions will be made by the Bloomfield Town Council – we want to make sure that when/if properties are purchased they will be the ones that continually flood and that the process is equitable.

    Pat Gilleran
    Bloomfield Open Space Trust Fund Committee Chair

  3. Remember in “The Wire” or “The Sopranos” when those in charge started buying up property because they knew the government money was coming in.

    It seems to me that the properties that flood most often are going to be worth less. If a family is still living in that home and paying the mortgage, how are the lien holders going to approve obtaining the home at a steep discount —- which is the only way Bloomfield should think about getting these homes.

    I would like to hear more about the flooding costs to the township. We certainly can’t review any Council Minutes later than May to see what happened. If certain homes are costing Bloomfield more due to being in a flood area, that would seem to indicate that the tax system has failed.

  4. Sounds good on the surface Pat, but where is the financial analysis? ROI?Payback period? Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea is good but I just don’t understand how it would result in significant savings for the taxpayers.

  5. Beware of politicians who say “ultimately mean significant savings”.

    After all this problem exists because of federal flood insurance. When that was instituted I’m sure politicians said it would “ultimately mean significant savings” too.

    Ultimately people who buy or build in flood plains should bear the responsibility for that choice. After all it’s their property.

  6. “After all this problem exists because of federal flood insurance. When that was instituted I’m sure politicians said it would “ultimately mean significant savings” too”

    Federal flood insurance has only been around since 1968. Most of the homes in our area are much much older and older towns and cities were build around waterways since that was the main way to transport goods. To now say that only those homeowners in those locations should bear the brunt of 200+ years of development is grossly unfair.

  7. I made sure not to buy in a flood plain. How is it fair that I now have to buy their homes through my taxes? Phase out publicly subsidized flood insurance.

  8. “I made sure not to buy in a flood plain.” Good for you. And if at some point it’s discovered that your home is sitting on what amounts to a superfund clean up site, you would expect the government to clean up the problem.

    There are older people who purchased homes in growing communities prior to 1968 and the term flood plain was not a common real estate term. Some areas that have never before flooded do so now. (Yes, the climate has changed and will continue to become more severe). Some homes have been in families for generations…and again, the reason we all live near water is because that’s how country developed. If you live on Upper Mountain Avenue, well you’re luckier than the guy who lives near the river in Bloomfield, who can’t afford your house. But without that initial development in Bloomfield, there would be no West Bloomfield which eventually became Montclair. Same with New York City.

    Sure, some people recently have built beachfront homes near water and I guess you will argue they deserve what happens but there’s a HUGE housing stock in this country that predates federal flood insurance. It’s a mess and someone will yell foul no matter what we do, but buying back properties that are now in areas that perpetually flood seems to be a step in the right directions.

  9. Please someone find me anything that says the Federal Government should be able to do this in the Constitution and I will gladly go along with it.

    But since its not, I can honestly say it is a States Right issue, and therefore if NJ wants to spend tax dollars to do this, then by all means go for it. Thats why we have State Governments and the choice to live in 49 other states.

    Taxing people in any other of the 49 states to pay for home removal in designated flood plain areas of NJ is unreal. Just as I do not want to pay for homes that are flood prone in the Missouri River basin. Or Hurricane/Flood damage on FL, TX, AL, GA, NC, SC, etc., etc., etc.

    FEMA, top down, big government bureaucracy that thinks it knows best about local issues.

  10. It’s not about deserving what happens to them gurl. It’s about weather or not we collectively should make them whole.

    If I don’t buy home insurance and my house burns down will the state rebuild it for me? What if I’m out of a job and could no longer afford insurance?

    What if I buy a crappy house and it falls over? Will the state buy it from me?

    People need to be free to decide for themselves where to live and be responsible for those choices.

  11. It doesn’t matter Kevin. What price can you put on “social justice”? Are you a racist or classist or some other kind of “ist” or something?

  12. p.s. gurl. If we allowed the insurance market to operate properly we wouldn’t have this problem. Banks would not give you a mortgage for a home in a likely to flood area without flood insurance. And if you buy a home without flood insurance in a flood plain you are taking your chances. (or should be)

  13. “Bill S-3078, introduced by state senator Rober Gordon, would allow the governing body of a municipality to submit to the voters a proposition authorizing an annual levy specifically for the purchase of flood-prone properties as “Blue Acres” projects. ”

    “Larry Ragonese, spokesman for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, is also pleased, though he said that, if passed, the new law won’t really change the process.”There’s no downside to the bill.”

    This is how liberal politicos think. “New Taxes” and “No Downside” to the bill.

  14. I tried to get some info as to the size of the floodplain however the FEMA site doesn’t show a floodplain map? Am I looking in the right place? Anyone know where to access this info?

  15. oops! this time with the linkhttps://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&categoryId=12001&parent_category_rn=12001&type=1&stateId=&countyId=&communityId=&stateName=&countyName=&communityName=&dfirm_kit_id=&future=null&dfirmCatId=null&isCountySelected=1&isCommSelected=1&userType=G&urlUserType=G&sfc=1&cat_state=13037&cat_county=14771&cat_community=349464

  16. Well Roc some of the properties that are flooding now didn’t flood in the past. Developments upstream have caused this. Incidentally one of the flood areas is in South Bloomfield and it’s not on the river it just appears to be a basin that other areas flood into.

    @Kevin I’m not the one instituting the program – I’m not the one approving it either. I suggest that you ask Mayor McCarthy since he’s already suggesting properties to the OSTFC. Town Councilor Venezia is the OSTFC liaison as of 1/1/2011 (not that he’s attended a meeting in 6 months).

    You can find their e-mails and phone numbers (you’ll have to leave a message) here:
    https://www.bloomfieldtwpnj.com/content/township-bloomfield-list-township-officials

    I’m concerned with outlining a process that is fair/equitable/ and gives the town the best result – which means that we’re looking at properties that repeatedly flood no matter where they are in town. One of the benefits will be pocket parks for people to enjoy.

    @ budmanzz we’ll make sure that speculators don’t make it into the program!

  17. gurl,

    Please see our Governors outlined Plan.

    https://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2011/11_0016.htm

    Specifically #1

    “1) Expanding and expediting floodway buyouts, with State Blue Acres funds and FEMA funds.”

    Or if you want to go further, google search the terms:
    FEMA Severe Repetitive Loss Grants
    or
    FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants
    or
    FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants

    These already fund most of “Blue Acres” projects in NJ.

    I can only state again that i disapprove of Federal Funds being used for these projects, but I feel that if States, Counties, or Localities want to move forward with bonding debt to purchase these homes, and of course the owners are willing to relocate, than by all means go for it. If i didnt like the idea i can lobby my State Senator/Assemblymen/women to vote against it. Or move out of NJ to a state that doesnt have these issues.

  18. “I’m concerned with outlining a process that is fair/equitable/ and gives the town the best result – which means that we’re looking at properties that repeatedly flood no matter where they are in town”

    What is the cost to the town when a property floods?

  19. “If I don’t buy home insurance and my house burns down will the state rebuild it for me? What if I’m out of a job and could no longer afford insurance?”

    That’s just it, a lot of them do have flood insurance. Do we keep paying it or do we find another solution? And as Pat pointed out, a lot of these homes didn’t flood before but do now – not just because of natural weather patterns but because of other development in flood plains further down stream. I don’t think it’s about being “deserving” and social justice as much as it is not being able to truly assign” blame ” for a century plus of development that didn’t take flooding into consideration. And sometimes it’s actually government lead programs from the past that create problems way into the future – like the levees in Mississippi. Or our system of dams.

    That’s why I used the analogy of a superfund site under your house. Look at the southern end of Glen Ridge. How would anyone have known those homes would need to have their basements dug out in the 90’s because of excessive radon from the old watch factory that used to use radium on the dials in the earlier part of the century. You can’t go back to them to pay for it, they aren’t in business anymore. Do you go back to a developer and claim something he built 50 years earlier is now creating flooding? Do you sue the government for doing nothing about carbon emissions? Or do you look at the problem we have now and try to figure out how to mitigate it in the fairest way to all, including tax payers.

  20. ROC,

    Why did you not ask the same question of Montclair when you thought it was perfectly ok that Firefighters were pumping out basements in Montclair this summer?

    Do you know if Montclair paid for OT so peoples basements could be
    pumped out?

    Also, I can assure you, since I live in a flood plain in Montclair, that they have Municipal crews clearing drains, blocking streets, clearing Tony’s Brook, and a variety of other work near my house on Godfrey Rd during flooding situations. Which i might add floods multiple times a year, even after the town spent Millions to dig up the streets and try to mitigate the problem by redoing the drainage below Carteret St, Godfrey, and Brookfield Rd.

  21. “Do you know if Montclair paid for OT so peoples basements could be
    pumped out?”

    Don’t know but I highly doubt that expense, whatever it was, economically justifies buying the entire house!

    (does anyone think in degrees anymore?)

    “Also, I can assure you, since I live in a flood plain in Montclair, that they have Municipal crews clearing drains, blocking streets, clearing Tony’s Brook, and a variety of other work near my house on Godfrey Rd during flooding situations.”

    And razing houses would change that how? Or are we talking 10’s of millions (maybe 100’s) it would take to raze all houses in flood areas and remove streets and drains and sewer pipes?

    It’s really no wonder this country is consuming itself in debt.

  22. “That’s just it, a lot of them do have flood insurance. Do we keep paying it or do we find another solution?”

    Sure we find another solution. STOP paying for the flood insurance of private home owners!

  23. How is it that Bloomfield can plan to purchase homes on the Third River in a flood plain and turn around and grant a developer a 30 tax abatement for building “luxury condos” on the Third River in a flood plain? Oakes Pond buildings flooded during Irene, as they did during Floyd.

    Pat, is there any way to stop the madness?

  24. So the ROC scenario is to create ghettos of unsellable homes that are anywhere close enough to a water source that a bank will not loan out money without having flood insurance? That’ll do wonders for property values. Those homes on Park Street near Mt. Hebron and Alexander? No insurance, no mortgage. The ones on Marquette backing onto the Bonsal Preserve – worthless. The southern end of Manhattan and much of Brooklyn? And FYI, federal flood insurance only covers up to $250,000 of damage in the worst case scenarios. It doesn’t cover replacement value.

  25. ROC,

    I think you missed the part in my post about the town already spending millions to replace the drainage pipes, replace the grates 10 years ago, and fix tony’s brook. It didnt work!

    There needs to be serious cost analysis on this consideration. Also do not forget, I, and my 10 surrounding neighbors pay $16,000 a yr in property taxes. What happens to the budget if those dollars go away?

    I am in no way advocating this without some real studies on the cost of the project versus what we have spent in the past on maintaining these areas.

  26. “So the ROC scenario is to create ghettos of unsellable homes ”

    Then we could buy them a lot cheeper!

    No you have to phase in the phase out. Start by making the public flood insurance self-supporting (like it was designed to be). And start phasing out FEMA funds for damage in a flood plain.

  27. “There needs to be serious cost analysis on this consideration. Also do not forget, I, and my 10 surrounding neighbors pay $16,000 a yr in property taxes. What happens to the budget if those dollars go away?”

    What are we talking in montclair 100 houses? so $50 million dollars. Plus rebuilding the streets and what, bridges of the new river beds? So another $30 million?

    Or 200 hundred houses and thus $160 million.

    To make even a meaningful dent would take millions and millions.

    We were griping mightily about a mere 4 million added to the towns debt not 5 hours ago. Well, 4 million would get you 5-8 houses total!

    It’s preposterous, the whole notion.

  28. Kit, that is amazing that Bloomfield would be giving tax abatements to build in the same flood plain while proposing this plan? Wow!

    JG, not sure I understand your post completely but if those houses on Mt.Hebron,Alexander and Marquette are in a flood zone then they already would be required to buy insurance to get a mortgage. The $250,000 insurance costs about $1,000/year. It can be had for less if it is not considered a high risk area.

  29. @Kit YES don’t vote for the Democratic machine – they are the ones that approved the irresponsible 30 year tax abatement.

    Come to the candidates Forum on 10/27 and listen to all of the candidates – there will be a question asked about the 30 year tax abatement- It’s on people’s minds – I’m sure

  30. @kevin, roc is saying the government should abandon it’s flood insurance program. you’re right, insurance is available now for about $1,000. read roc’s posts. i’m not even sure i disagree with him, but the consequence of getting rid of the federal flood insurance program would be a glut of homes that would never qualify for mortgages because no private insurance company would want to insure homes in flood plains. just like they don’t want to insure medical coverage for people who have pre-existing conditions that actually require medical care. the entire insurance industry gets a pretty good deal right now.

  31. I doubt any homes in Montclair rely on federal flood insurance gurl. Little Falls is another story.

    I didn’t say abandon it, I said phase it out.

    But tell me, where is all this money going to come from. You yourself were flipping out offer adding 4 million to our debt. How many flood prone homes do you think 4 million would buy, anyway?

    This scheme won’t happen because there is no money for it.

  32. Pat, I’m not a resident of Bloomfield so I can’t vote. I own a business there. But I’ll work for the cause. Tell me what else we can do.

  33. ROC, homes in Montclair do indeed rely on flood insurance. I looked at a home on Park close to Mt. Hebron and a bank mortgage would have required flood insurance. Same with Marquette, I have friends who live there. I’m guessing there are plenty of other areas as well.

    And you’re right, there’s no money. But I do like the idea of the OSTF. In another town where I own a home, there’s a small percentage of every property sale that goes toward a land trust which over the past 15 years has been used to take down old (old as in built in the mid-1800’s) buildings that were beyond repair and often flooded to create some open space and parks along a waterfront areas. I honestly don’t know what the solution is, but it would be easier to phase out flood insurance if there were other funds in place to deal with areas that will continue to become more flood prone. Some because of nature and some because of man made problems. Look at the case cited above -Bloomfield gave a tax abatement to a developer to build in an area that floods and probably also approved a variance. That development has created a greater likelihood of flooding elsewhere by removing a natural area with trees and shrubs that could flood and therefore mitigated the problem somewhat in other areas along the river.

  34. “And you’re right, there’s no money. But I do like the idea…”

    May you have a happy life in your fantasy world, gurl! (soon to have socialized medicine, too!)

    P.s. Truly, you should run for the state legislature. “There’s no money. But I like the idea…” is their motto!

  35. Which goes back to my original point in the first post, that I just don’t see how they can make claims of “significant savings’.

  36. ROC, I just gave an example of how another town is funding something similar. It’s a very small percentage of every sale (less than 1%) that goes into a fund. Yes, it’s an additional tax but ONLY impacts a homeowner if, or when, the home is sold.

  37. “very small percentage of every sale (less than 1%)”

    So maybe the homeowner only has to pay the “very small” extra fee of $5000 or $6000. Whew! For a benefit they’ll never enjoy because they’re leaving town! No big whop then…

    (I’m not sure there is a better illustration of how liberals view the collective “ownership” of a citizen’s hard-earned money)

  38. @RoC Bloomfield Taxpayers have been paying into the Open Space Trust Fund since 2002. The OSTF was voted on by residents in a referendum (and was voted in overwhelmingly). So, you’re wrong- WE ARE PAYING FOR THIS!

    The Open Space Trust Fund Committee’s goals are:

    • Encourage and create a walkable community for improved health through a network of sidewalks and trails;

    • Acquire and preserve land for pocket parks and expansion of existing parks and recreational facilities to meet growing needs for both active and passive recreation activities;

    • Establish an integrated greenway system to connect local neighborhoods to their parks, natural areas, and historic sites;

    • Identify and protect natural areas in Bloomfield;

    • Permanently protect historic sites;

    • Work with Downtown Redevelopment Authority to incorporate open space and greenways in the implementation and construction of the redevelopment site;

    • Work with Essex County to continue to enhance and improve maintenance of existing parks and facilities;

    • Preserve the watershed, wetlands, and floodplains of the Second and Third Rivers, and their tributaries, with the Township;

    • Identify and protect flood hazard areas, especially steep slope areas, to reduce flooding damage and streambank erosion; and

    • Encourage residents to use the outdoor resources in Bloomfield Township.

  39. If you live in a community and pay local taxes – then yes, it’s those tax dollars that are used to “fix” problems that impact the community. It’s not “someone else’s money”, it our money. That’s the way it works. I pay for schools even though I have no kids, I pay for the MFD to pump out basements even though I don’t get flooded. The real problem I have with our local government is not that the money is spent to mitigate problems that may only impact some people or part of the town – my issue with our local council and our tax burden is their lack of basic financial common sense the tremendous amount of time and money that’s wasted on nonsense. And our taxes are among the highest in the state in a state with the highest taxes in the country and it’s not because we’re getting better services.

  40. @kit I found you address to the Bloomfield Town Council this last year to be very moving. With a little luck we’ll have a new Mayor and more fiscally responsible Town Councilors (who aren’t out to assist their friends or curry favor with vendors and consultants once this years election is over.

    There were rumors that McCarthy was to be added to the democratic Line for Freeholder but those turned out to not materialize. If we can hold out for another two years we may be able to replace him with someone that has some allegiance to the town and it’s residents.

    In the meantime – The Open Space Trust Fund Committee runs two park/water cleanups a year. This seasons cleanup is on the Morris Canal Towpath on 10/22 from 10am-12noon. We meet on Newark Ave between West St. and Berkeley Ave

    https://tinyurl.com/3pb3nlp

    The cleanup is also sponsored by the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) who will supply us with gloves and a truck to take away the debris and recyclables that are collected and who will come back during the week and cleanup the river in this area.

  41. Pat, here is where I get confused. (I mean this honestly) The taxpayers have been paying into the OSTF since 2002. One of the goals that you site is “Preserve the watershed, wetlands, and floodplains of the Second and Third Rivers, and their tributaries, with the Township.” Yet, Kit points out that the Town has now granted a tax abatement to build in that very same floodplain. This would seem to be working against the OSTF? No? Also, the residents would seem to be paying for both?

  42. RoC I’m speaking about Bloomfield specifically. This thread talks about Bloomfield . Are you attempting to Hijack it? Why??

  43. It’s one thing gurl to tax everyone for a benefit they’ll all enjoy. (like bloomfield’s 1% tax). It’s quite another to tax only the people selling their houses and leaving a community for a benefit they will not ever enjoy.

    I have no problem with the format of this law because every community can decide for itself if it want’s to levy the new tax.

    What’s ludicrous about the scheme is that there is simply not enough money to make even the slightest dent in the problem.

    In 9 years of Bloomfield’s “hardly touched” OSTF they’ve scraped together $1.6 million. 9 years, and what? They can buy 3 houses?

    The real danger in these schemes is once the door is open a crack the state legislators will eventually decide, “it’s not effective enough” and will issue hudreds of millions or a few billion dollars in new debt to give “grants” to the cities. And we’ll fall even further into the state’s fiscal black hole.

    Now is not the time to think up new and exciting ways to spend more money, its time to reduce spending.

    The state has put up $36 million. so that’s what? 72 homes STATEWIDE?

    That wouldn’t solve the problem in Little Falls, let alone the entire state or the entire Passiac river system.

  44. @RoC 1/2 penny per $100 dollars of assessed value. Please get your facts straight.

    We haven’t scraped anything together…the 5.7 acre property on Lionsgate – a property that is in the flood plain and that has been cleaned of contamination. The plan is to make it into a passive park. It will be purchased with Opens Space Trust Fund monies and Green Acres Monies.

  45. wow part of my post was dropped

    We haven’t scraped anything together…the fund has been building slowly.
    The town is 99% there in purchaing a 5.7 acre property on Lionsgate – a property that is in the flood plain and that has been cleaned of contamination. The plan is to make it into a passive park. It will be purchased with Opens Space Trust Fund monies and Green Acres Monies.

  46. Towns already had the power to do this sort of reclamation (as GR did early in the last century); and they already had the power to do this through local trust funds (as Bloomfield is doing).

    This bill adds “acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes” for Blue Acres projects to a law that already allowed “acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes” for any project

    In other words, it appears to do virtually nothing, other than rename “Municipal Open Space, Recreation, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trusts” to “Municipal Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trusts.”

    This looks like an “Election Year Photo Op” bill for Senator Robert Gordon, who was made a bit more vulnerable by re-districting. Gordon is an apparatchik in Senator Paul Sarlo’s grubby little machine – my guess is that the Assistant Majority Leader is throwing one of his doggies a bone.

  47. @RoC to be clear – The OSTF taxpayer contribution it was a penny until Bloomfield was revaluated t which time the amount that we were taking i doubled. The OSTFC felt this was an undie burden on taxpayers and asked that it be reduced to 1a 1/2 penny.

    I do find your invitation to stick the penny somewhere to be uncivil and feel that it violates the barista’s comment policy. Try to at least be civil if you can’t be nice.

    You act like this is my personal bank account. It isn’t.

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