The Grand Giveaway


lead guilty to dumping on property, we’ll give you more Is it part of a street? Doesn’t appear to be. Is it an abandoned right-of-way? Doesn’t appear to be. How big is it? Well, not exactly sure. Is it part of somebody else’s property? Not exactly sure of that either. Is it property owned by the borough? Not even sure of that since borough maps don’t even say who owns it. But no matter. It’s on the agenda at tomorrow night’s meeting of the Mayor and Council to be given to Captain’s Cove Marina, along with making them responsible for the Redevelopment Area established three years ago. Yes, Captain’s Cove Marina. The very same business that was in municipal court today admitting guilt dumping on yet another piece of borough property, a paper street parallel to Huddy Avenue and running alongside the Marina. Several plea bargains and a couple of hundred dollars resolved the issue for three different companies, but read the story on that in another section of Veni, Vide, Scripto. But it is certainly ironic that less than 48 hours after a property owner has his lawyer go to court and openly admit to the court and forever on the record that yes, indeed, he is guilty of illegal dumping on borough property, the mayor and council are going to turn around and give him some more property. Is the reasoning, what the heck, he’s going to illegally dump if we own it, but it’ll be okay if he dumps on land he owns himself? So follow this carefully. That very quick action the governing body tried to get done at the last meeting under Resolution 21-71, which they took out, switched in another in its place and simply erased the one dealing with the land giveaway, is back on for tomorrow’s meeting as Resolution 21-85, the last of the resolutions they’ve got on the agenda. Read it carefully. It’s recalling that in March, 2018, the borough established the Captains Cove Marina as an area in need of redevelopment, then in December of that year adopted the Plan to redevelop it, and a few other things. Now the town fathers and mothers are “conditionally and exclusively” designating the company the redeveloper of the property for 180 days, or, if the borough administrator extends it for another 90 days after he consults with counsel and other advisors. That’s not all, keep reading. So, the Company, that’s Captains’ Cove Marina, wants to redevelop the property including new bulkheads, docks and structures (wouldn’t that be nice, not repaired, but NEW!) and since they want to do all this for the town, they want public access to their land, and they want it through the Rogers Avenue right-of-way. What’s more, once it’s vacated, they want it automatically conveyed to them. Honest, all this is in the resolution, not even an ordinance, simply the Captains Cove Marina wants some property, so sure, let’s give it to them. Now it gets a little trickier if you’re still reading. The borough map doesn’t show this specific little piece of property as a right of way, a road, or anything. It doesn’t say on the map who really owns it and for that matter is it actually a part of Rogers Avenue? IS there really any proof the borough owns what they want to give to Captains Cove Marina? Call me Curious, call me Concerned, Call me someone who wants the governing body to move a little slower and look a little more carefully before once again giving away something that belongs to ALL the people of Highlands, not just those who want to improve their business and use borough funds and property to do it. Hey, it’s been around since 2018 that we know of, what’s wrong with a little time to let the taxpayers know exactly what’s going on.