Monday, September 14, 2009

White Elephant getting fatter?

As far back as 2005 Garwood has been eager to build a recreation area in the borough. But, some in town say, the project has become a costly White Elephant-- with no tangible signs of progress.

And despite a new round of funding assistance for the athletic field complex (from State Green Acres funds) the project still has many questions left unanswered.

The biggest remains: Does the site need an intensive remediation?

Unfortunately, the answer remains unclear-- which means Garwood's families will continue to wait.


  1. this rec issue goes back as far as 1999 (or maybe even b4) when Mayor Crincoli proposed the senior/youth rec building to be built near the rankin ave area away from the tainted dirt and wetland area at the stream. It was so far along back then that at the beginning of 2003 it was announced that colors for the interior were being chosen by the head of the senior club. This was the last official act for our mayor, since within a day he passed away.

    Fast forward 6 1/2 years. The new breed in charge has completely revamped the concept, design, location, scope spending tens of thousands of dollars in professional fees; why, all very questionable towards a questionable project that the majority of the residents never said they wanted anyway. Cost went from less than $1 mill back in 2002 to $1.4 in 2004 to well into the mid $2 mill range in 2009. Fortunately, a lot of the exhorbitant cost is being covered by grants thanks to Tina A the boro admin who is chasing tirelessly; but it falls short presently by around $500,00 to 750,000 in one estimate. This to be made up by taxes of course unless they chase more grants. But the chasing only takes time and escalation keeps upping the cost. In the meantime, the money in escrow is continuing to be drawn down by miscellaneous professional fee expenses such as the latest hazardous dirt testing and report.

    But keep in mind this is all the fairly normal upfront expense in the creation of a project and is part of crossing "T's" and dotting "I's". Just because we don't see one shovel going into the ground which is definitely a tangible sight doesn't mean that there isn't ongoing progress. And so we go into another winter season where construction can not begin, even if it was ready. Like the Mets, maybe next year.

  2. Colors were picked? Don't think so. Property on Rankin Ave could be contaminated too. Where were the majority of residents who were against it during the meetings? It seemed like the majority was for the current project.