Sacco’s Follies

Dear Editor:

In your “Ground Broken on Paterson Plank Road park” article, several key factors were not mentioned.

NJ DEP Green Acres has penalized North Bergen for situating its 17 trailer preschool in Braddock Park. The state is now requiring North Bergen-Hudson County to create three times as much new park land (almost 4 acres), as was misused in Braddock Park. North Bergen has submitted the Paterson Plank Rd. land (which cost $2-plus  million to buy and convert) to Green Acres in the hope it will partially pay this penalty.

Green Acres has not yet ruled whether the Paterson Plank Road land (which is approx 1.5 acres) is acceptable, and there is a possibility that half of it will not be, because it is on a steep slope which has suffered several landslides; this half will not be open to the public.

As is the case with the $13 million downtown library-rec center that North Bergen has broken ground on, and the $65 million Hi-Tech acquisition and school realignment plan, North Bergen officials have claimed these projects will cost little or nothing to taxpayers. Where is all this money going to come from, if not from taxpayers?

Even if the controversial new power plant gets built, North Bergen would only receive approximately $5 million a year in revenue from it. This projected $5 million would come at the horrific cost to the health of people and the environment for miles around. The power plant would be the largest, or near largest, polluter in all of New Jersey. It would lower property values in North Bergen and parts of Bergen County, it would strain emergency services, and after it is built, it would provide few permanent jobs.

North Bergen has failed for decades to alleviate school overcrowding, it has violated state and federal regulations in Braddock Park, and now it is being penalized and forced to deal with both of these issues. Taxpayers are on the hook if official claims of money falling from heaven fail to materialize to pay for Mr. Sacco’s blunders.

Robert Walden