To the Editor,
The sad saga of our Belleville Council’s continuing quest to allow developers to build high density housing has once again run afoul.
At the end of the Valentine’s Day Township meeting, Mayor Kimble gave a little speech. He said, “Development is going on all over. Why should we be swayed by a few people who are against it?” First of all, Mayor, perhaps you are not paying attention, but the five or six of us who regularly attend Township meetings has grown to an almost standing room crowd.
Kimble has been Mayor for the last decade. Before that he was the Township Manager. Was he sleeping for the past 12 years? Let’s look at the facts.
A 102 unit Senior Citizens housing project was APPROVED (in 2000) for the southwest corner of Cortlandt & Joralemon Street. It was never built. A dozen years ago, an 80 unit rental/retail development was APPROVED for Washington Avenue at Williams Street. It is still an empty lot. A 36 unit residential unit was APPROVED on Rutgers Street. Never built.
Mayor Kimble and Council wrongly sold our School #1 to a developer who was APPROVED to build a 60 unit residential development. The developer backed out of the project, and we lost a school and 1.6 acres that our Board of Education could use.
Instead of crying that people are objecting to the ill-conceived, potentially dangerous, and possibly corrupt 91 Terry Street project, Mayor Kimble and his Councilmembers should explain why all these projects never came to fruition. Belleville residents have finally found out that the towns that have the most high density housing have seen their property taxes skyrocket, while the developers reap millions and get tax abatements.
Vincent J. Frantantoni
129 Mt. Prospect Ave.
Belleville, NJ 07109