Thursday, March 8, 2012

Recent Sewer Assessment

On February 14th, the Denville Township Council was asked to approve or deny the final assessment of the latest phase of the Township sewer project. The project was initiated many years ago and the Council last Tuesday was only deciding about whether the current assessment for each property was fairly done.

I was not on the Council when the project was initiated. Actually, only one current Council Member was. So during this meeting I was not making any decision regarding how the project came about or whether or not the process was the best route. We were simply deciding if the assessments of the final project were correct.

There was a citizen advisory board for the project to watch over the assessor and assessment company. We heard a lot of feedback from many current residents regarding the project and the assessment but I felt that all questions were answered. If there are any outstanding issues, there is an appeal process through the courts. For the most part it appeared that things were in order. Most importantly I gave great value to the Citizen Advisory Board. It was made up of citizens that were understanding of other residents. There testimony was powerful. There were huge problems with the sewer project and how it was communicated to residents but this assessment was fair when applying it to the project. And that was what the Council was voting on Tuesday, February 14th.

The Council unanimously approved the assessment. This was not an approval of all of the components of the project but only on the assessment aspect. Any residents that still have a dispute with that assessment, which didn't appeared to be a relatively small amount, have a legal avenue to still appeal and should proceed in that way. I have faith that the court system would honor any appeal that presented a clear case.