Residents spoke out against a plan to install a walkway along the Pequannock River Tuesday night.
A few dozen residents attended a Bloomingdale council meeting where a presentation about the plan was presented.
Ed Snieckus, a certified planner from Burgis Associates, outlined the results of a study officials hired the firm to conduct about the feasibility of installing the walkway. Similar walkways already exist in Edgewater and Saddle River.
The one-and-a-half-mile long walkway would be located a few feet from the Pequannock River. The six-foot wide walkway would run along the river behind Main Street.
“I’m absolutely 100 percent against it,” said Tom Tracy. “There’s going to be money coming out of our pockets and it’s going to be washed away in the next storm.”
Other residents echoed Tracy’s concerns that part of the walkway would be located in a flood zone.
Officials said between 75 and 50 percent of the walkway would not potentially experience any flooding. The walkway would be connected to the main sideway via walkways.
Snieckus said that the river is a commodity that the borough needs to utilize more.
“Elevating it as a central and positive component, as this project does, can only be good for the community,” Snieckus said.
Residents said they would not want to see the borough spend money on a project no one wants. However, the borough could potentially get funds from the state Green Acres fund, the Safe Streets to School program, and the National Recreation Trails Program.
Councilwoman Linda Shortman who has been a vocal proponent of the walkway, said the project should not be a burden to the taxpayers financially.
Some residents said that the walkway could raise taxes in the long term. More police and department of public works personnel could be hired since there would be maintenance work to do and more space to patrol in town.
Council President John D’Amato said the borough has its priorities reversed when it comes to Main Street and the riverwalk.
“I think this is going to be really expensive,” D’Amato said. “We have to fix the front of Main Street before we fix the back.”
Mayor John Dunleavy said the borough would not make any rash decisions.
“This isn’t something that we’re going to start tomorrow,” Dunleavy said. “We’re just at the listening stage. There’s a lot of other things that have to come first in our borough.”