Monthly Archives: July 2010

Free Money! (or, Take Our Money … Please).

Recession?  Depression?

Naw, not in Westwood, New Jersey 07675.

Westwood, NJ has money to give away.  Bring your own dump truck.

Let’s start with Westvale Park, the “park” installed on top of the recently-capped landfill.  Perhaps you’ll remember that the capping was completed only 2 or 3 years ago.  There was nice grass planted there, a bike path installed, and tons of signs (for which our Sign City gets its name) stuck everywhere.  After all these years, it was finally all said and done.

Guess what?  Only two years later, Westvale Park is being renovated!  Yippee, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!  Just two years old, and it needs a renovation.  Now that’s longevity.

Oh, but “renovation” belies the real intent for this capped landfill.  The park is actually being “repurposed.”  Sort of like when Westwood repurposed Veterans’ Memorial Park to create an insulting terror memorial.

As for the Westvale Park repurposing, Westwood Borough really wants to install sports fields, bleachers, concession stand, bathrooms, and lights, all for the great bargain price of over $2.5 million!!!  Did we get such a good deal on craigslist???

If you go down to Westvale park today (the landfill that was capped two years ago, graded, and had a healthy coat of grass on it), you would find that the grass is gone, and the land is a mess as it is being re-graded.  Oh, and the current workers have pierced the landfill cap, and now that has to be repaired (to the tune of a whopping $140,000).  That’s right, in Westwood the motto is “you break it, and we’ll pay you to fix it!”

Wow, what a great use of taxpayer money–take a perfectly fine landfill “park” that just needed to sit there for all eternity, and utilize it as a taxpayer money pit by ripping it apart to install yet another sports facility in its place.  I guess the half-dozen sports facilities in the Borough of Westwood are not good enough.  Now we need fields built on the worst possible place to put athletic fields–a recently-capped landfill in a 2-square mile borough.

Newsflash!  Landfills undergo subsidence for many years, causing the ground to frequently sink and shift.  Our landfill park/athletic facility will need to be re-graded about every two years, costing tens of thousands of dollars each time.  Without regular re-grading, your kids will be exposed to frequent danger of foot, knee, and other bodily injuries posed by the randomly uneven ground.  This is a money pit of enormous proportions for our tiny borough. 

Best thing to do with Westvale Park: plant grass and just leave it as much–needed open space.

But that’s not all!!!  Westwood also wants to use the surplus from the school renovation referendum (remember there were three failed referendum attempts) to upgrade athletic facilities for the high school.  The surplus will not cover the cost, so the taxpayers will have to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars for that project.

Geez, one would think that we care more about sports than anything else in this tiny 2- square mile borough.  All this, in a time of tightening budgets.  Westwood doesn’t know how to cut costs, it just knows how to spend.

So, back up the Brinks truck, Westwood has got a lot of money to give away.