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Emotions Run High As Council Continues Debate on Lighting Project

The Walter T. Bergen lighting project item was tabled until the May 10 meeting.

While the Bloomingdale Council was expected to take action on the field Tuesday, the item was tabled until the May 10 meeting so that the borough engineer could work on cost figures for solving apparent drainage issues. But before the item was tabled, Bloomingdale Recreation Commissioner Ray Yazdi asked each councilmember how they planned on voting (see video above).

The project has been discussed for several months by the council and on Monday, the voted to make a recommendation to the council that the project be approved.

The project is expected to cost about $394,000, which is proposed to come out of the ROSE Fund. If the project is completed by the end of June, the borough is eligible for a Green Acres loan with a 2 percent interest rate over 20 years. Payments of about $23,000 per year would come from the ROSE Fund, which currently has about $260,015 in it. 

ROSE Fund money is collected as a separate tax on taxpayers' bills. Voters approved the fund by referendum.

Mayor Jon Dunleavy said there is pressure to approve the project by the June deadline or else the borough will lose the loan option.

"If we do not do the lights, Green Acres will not allow us to use the $400,000," he said. "The field will never, in our lifetime, be lit if we say no today."

Dunleavy said Tuesday that the engineer would be able to provide cost estimates by the next meeting, but resident Brian Spellman also volunteered his assistance, as well as the assistance of several other people, in helping with the drainage issues at the field to cut some of the costs of the project.

Steve DeAngelo April 27, 2011 at 03:15 PM
Ariana, Are lights there already? Or are they putting up brand new lights? Any word on what kind of lights are being proposed?
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan (Editor) April 27, 2011 at 03:24 PM
They would be brand new lights. There are not lights currently there.
paul bastante April 27, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Mr. Conklin's thoughts were well recieved but unfortunately we dont have the time to go to referendum, perhaps this is why the republicano family waited this long to express their opposition to the project, which has been in the works for 7 years. Mr Yazdi and Mr D'Amato, if you need a lawn for your signs this upcoming election i have a spot on my lawn on Red Twig Trail, (directly behind WTB). Make us your first stop!
Jordan Galbraith April 27, 2011 at 05:06 PM
I'm actually embarrassed for the Republican party in Bloomingdale. Never have I witnessed such foolish, petty politics being played. This is an opportunity to invest in our community's future, for relatively cheap. Yet, rather than making an intelligent decision I find the council to be penny wise/pound foolish.
bloomingdale resident April 27, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Why isn't the entire meeting videotaped and broadcast?
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan (Editor) April 27, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Bloomingdale resident-The borough is now videotaping entire meetings and posting them on their Facebook page, which is Borough of Bloomingdale.
Rich Dellaripa April 28, 2011 at 03:33 AM
Recordings are also playing on Cablevision channel 77.
Sally Fane April 29, 2011 at 03:21 PM
I don't think people realize that this project will not increase our taxes at all. The money to fund the project and pay back the loan will come from the ROSE fund, which we are already paying into and the ROSE fund committee recommended the project. The money is there, the only increase is in the borough electricity bill and I believe Mr. Yazdi, head of the soccer organization and TriBoro Little League will agree to share the costs, if that is the only stumbling block. Putting up the lights, fixes the drainage issue which helps the school without increasing the school budget and gives us more facilities for more programs. You'd think it would be a no brainer, but that's a problem for people with no brains that are distracted by the sound of their own gum chewing.
PAW May 01, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Dear Jonathan, stay strong in your convictions and maybe those who are on the council for the wrong reasons will go away,especially those to your right.
Debbie O'Neill May 10, 2011 at 05:55 PM
I sincerely hope that all of the council members leave their egos (and chewing gum) at the door this evening.

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