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Riverwalk Study Grant Application Moves Forward

Bloomingdale council, mayor debate whether flooding issues could impact riverwalk feasibility.

The reinforced their support for a Passaic County grant application for a study that would determine the feasibility of creating a riverwalk in the borough.

The council had already supported the grant application this summer, but Mayor Jonathan Dunleavy said at the council's meeting on Oct. 11 the county had requested a resolution re-affirming the support this month.

The mayor said due to recent flooding issues in the borough, he felt that the borough should prioritize before the riverwalk.

"I think it's not the right time," he said.

But Councilwoman Linda Shortman, who said that the riverwalk could be created behind the borough's senior center and in locations that do not traditionally flood, said the two are unrelated.

"I see the flooding having nothing to do with the county funding a riverwalk [study]," she said. "We're talking about areas that never flood."

Councilman Bernie Vroom said the riverwalk study is part of a visionary process for the future of the borough. Shortman said the purpose would be to examine what would be needed and what would be most appropriate if the borough did build a riverwalk.

"I think it's something that may improve our Main Street," she said.

STEVE SMITS October 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM
Are you kidding...The town is struggling and this Riverwalk is a main concern. Priorities council people Priorities!
Kristen October 18, 2011 at 01:25 PM
This is a grant funded by the county. This is for the future, is that not a priority? We have to start somewhere. Jon is asking for bathrooms for wtbergen school, I do not believe that is a priority.
Meg Gray October 18, 2011 at 10:21 PM
A riverwalk??? On a river that at this point, floods annually and we can barely keep sidewalks next to? And along a corridor that mainly now serves as the sites for businesses to house their dumpsters? I've got a feasibility study for you. Try to walk it from any point for more than 2 blocks before you encounter a hazard that cannot be rectified like a fenced private right of way bridge, a garage nearly on the riverfront, a car wash that completely abutts it the river. There is a completely free feasibility study out there...it's called common sense.
Meg Gray October 18, 2011 at 10:30 PM
BTW, the senior center and "the areas that don't traditionally flood" are NOT on Main St. A riverwalk behind the senior center wouldn't improve a thing about Main St. Unless we feel like people will walk from the senior center to get their transmission repaired...or go to Bowman fence maybe. We shouldn't spend one dime of money that no one...county, state, or borough really has to waste on something so impractical.
Jon Dunleavy October 18, 2011 at 11:02 PM
To Kristen, first thanks for commenting but for the record the council unanimously voted to seek the grant for the restrooms, not just me. I dont even vote unless there is a tie, though I do support the restroom project. The restrooms at the WTB have been part of the Recreation Master plan since 2000. The grant will pay the cost of construction. The construction of the restrooms will save money on the cost of the porta johns, which are inadequate as well as save on any overtime the town must pay to the BOE to open the school to use restrooms for larger events held at the field. The River walk study although provided by the County, would cost the Borough an extreme amount of money to constuct if the council moved foward. Not only would it entail taking many rateables of the tax rolls to achieve this, many properties would have to be taken by condemnation, which I dont support, the cost to build would be out of sight. The town has so many other issues such as flooding, poor infrastructure, need of revenue, improving the front of Main st versus the back of Main St, that moving in this direction is very premature. I feel it is a waste of the County's recreation fund money to proceed even with a Riverwalk study at this time. The County Recreation Fund is set up to actually fund and complete projects timely, such as the restrooms for our recreational WTB facility. The County has the final decision on the River Walk study funding, so only time will tell.
Kristen October 19, 2011 at 02:48 AM
So Jon the bathrooms are going to cost I believe it was $250,000, we now rent pport a jons for probably about $100 a month for about 10 months a year so we are paying yearly 100*10 = $1000 a year. so we will get our money back in 250 years. YOU MUST BE OUT OF YOUR MIND. No wonder the dems have to go......The riverwalk is for the future. You worked to get the fields done for the future why not work to get Main Street done for the future. This town has a lot of problems and one of the main ones is the lack for foresight. I applaud Linda S and the reps for pushing this forward and not something that will take 250 year to get our money back........
Meg Gray October 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM
Kristen, so Jon's bathrooms will be used for a very necessary purpose, and their construction will offset some expenditures we already incur. What expenditures we already incur will be saved with the costly construction of a riverwalk? Have you done your own "armchair" feasibility study? Where do you envision this thing would run? If it runs upriver of Main St, where the Pequannock River doesn't flood, it serves no purpose to improve that state of Main St. If it runs anywhere downriver of the Butler bridge, it will likely be destroyed in a spring or two, cost us potentially millions & would have to take away mulitple ratables for any right of way distance worth walking. AT a meeting where I questioned the council, I was given a veery unsatisfactory answer, so I'm curious, if you support this project, please be more specific on where you potentially see it going to and from, and what specific purpose it will serve in the location. "For the future" doesn't really cut it for me, when we are talking about spending limited resources.
STEVE SMITS October 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM
Also don't forget if a portion or all of the Riverwalk is secluded I am sure it will need to be periodically patrolled by our police force. As stated above the area below the bridge has flooded out at least 5 times I can remember. Lets face it the amount of water coming through is damaging our sidewalks and roadways in the center of town. Now we should use useful money to watch it wash away. With the installation of the bathrooms at the WTB field the property may indeed become more appealing to sports programs and events. Since it will be funded by a Grant it is indeed a no brainer.
Jon Dunleavy October 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM
The cost of the restrooms is $125,000. The grant we are seeking for the restrooms is $100,000. The $25000 difference will be paid by a prior grant from the County for WTB. I do not know where you got your information that the cost is $250,000, but this figure is incorrect. The topic of the porta johns cost and the fact that they are inadequate plus the use of the schools at an additional cost are just examples of why the restrooms make sense. Especially when there is no cost to the Borough. The main issue is that those fields are used by a few hundred kids and families per week and the restrooms make sense. As I stated previously the council voted for the restrooms, so are they out of their minds too? Just curious.. The River Walk will be too costly for the Borough on so many levels. This will be a cost that the Borough would never recover. I have foresight and that is fixing our revenue, flooding and infrastructure problems first. I appreciate a healthy debate and respect that we can disagree but please use facts in your arguments. .

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