Frankford splits vote on plan to transform Culver Lake Golf Course to recreation space

Frankford splits vote on plan to convert Culver Lake Golf Course to recreation area

Kyle Morel
| New Jersey Herald

FRANKFORD — For the second time previously 4 months, the Township Committee did not cross a decision Tuesday to allocate $50,000 in open house funding to renovate Culver Lake Golf Course. 

The Higher Culver Lake Watershed Conservation Basis, a corporation created to create the atmosphere surrounding the lake, had sought funds to show the 92-acre property on East Shore Culver Highway into an area for mountaineering, biking, bowhunting and different out of doors actions.

The vote at Tuesday’s assembly was 2-2, with Nick Civitan and Deputy Mayor Jim Ayers for the measure and Sam Castimore and Ed Risdon towards. Mayor Chris Carney abstained as a result of he lives close to the property.

Basis President Rick Ferruggia stated the group’s proposal had been “very well-received” from the lake group and different township residents. He stated he envisioned the renovated property as a spot that would showcase the pure fantastic thing about Sussex County and entice others to go to or transfer to the realm.

Except for the $50,000 from open house, Ferruggia stated, “there will not be one dime on the taxpayers of Frankford,” with the state’s Inexperienced Acres program and different grants funding the remainder of the undertaking and future upkeep.

Castimore stated Frankford residents would nonetheless partially fund the undertaking by way of their tax funds annually.

“What you are saying is it is not paid for by the taxpayer, however Inexperienced Acres funds is taxpayer cash,” he instructed Ferruggia. “So that you type of disguise behind the veil of, ‘it is free,’ however it’s not free cash.”

Ferruggia stated about 70 residents despatched letters in assist of the proposal. Castimore stated he has spoken to loads of residents who oppose it. 

“I assume the folks that I speak to would somewhat see their taxes go down and do not (need to) purchase issues that value extra money down the street,” Castimore stated. 

The Township Committee voted the identical on the renovation as they did on Tuesday. The muse modified its proposal since within the hope it might cross on the second attempt. 

The three members of the general public who spoke on the matter Tuesday, together with Ferruggia, stated they assist the undertaking and see a possible profit for the township.

“We very a lot are in favor of the inspiration and their proposal. We expect it is the best-case state of affairs,” stated Ralph Smith, president of the Normanoch Affiliation of householders within the Culver Lake neighborhood. “I hate to see it go as a golf course, however I believe mountaineering trails and the pure space could be great for our township — an incredible asset.”

Danae Dotz, secretary of Frankford’s Lake Owassa Group Affiliation, learn a letter stating the affiliation’s full assist of the undertaking and requesting the township approve the decision.

“Preserving this necessary tract of land for strolling, mountaineering, snowshoeing and different types of leisure use for the residents of Frankford Township couldn’t be extra well timed on this period of COVID-19, the place extra choices for out of doors actions are of the best worth,” Dotz learn.

Mike Dolan, a member of each the Frankford and Sussex County open house committees, stated Frankford presently has greater than $300,000 in open house cash and no different tasks deliberate.

“Tasks of this nature, which are principally shovel prepared, do not come round fairly often,” he instructed the board, “and I simply want you’d rethink your place and supply your assist for the undertaking.”

Ayers referenced an article he learn about two new resorts being constructed simply over the Sussex County border in Port Jervis, New York, with close by biking and mountaineering trails making the town a preferred vacationer vacation spot. He stated the golf course undertaking would obtain the identical objective for Frankford and result in extra individuals visiting and spending cash.

“In my view, when you could have one thing like this open house and mountaineering trails, it solely helps deliver individuals into the realm,” Ayers stated.

Simply earlier than he recused himself forward of Tuesday’s vote, Carney made a short assertion by which he reminded the committee of the 70 township letters in favor of the undertaking.

“The one factor I do need to say is, we do work for the individuals,” he stated, “and there have been lots of people who spoke up (in assist).”

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