Letters

Necessary Change

May 23, 2018

The following was addressed to Beach Haven’s municipal clerk/borough administrator, Sherry Mason.

Dear Sherry:

As you are aware, the Beach Haven Taxpayers’ Association is committed to ensuring greater transparency and discussions of Beach Haven town priorities among Beach Haven government officials. At the Beach Haven Borough Council meeting on May 14, the Victoria Rose project, which would have involved an ordinance for redevelopment at the site of the old Beach Haven bank building, was tabled. The redevelopment included tearing down the building and replacing it with a residential/retail complex containing residential units, whereby five units would be set aside for low-income, affordable housing.

In the spirit of transparency and under the leadership of BHTA Vice President Deb Whitcraft, two public meetings were held at the Maritime Museum to address concerns. The BHTA further requested that the council address greater transparency in terms of the concerns of all taxpayers and its impact to our community. Thus, another public meeting was held on Friday, May 18 to address the concerns to the developers of the project.

One of the BHTA 2018 priorities is business revitalization and support for pro-business initiatives to attract commerce. Expansion of businesses is good for Beach Haven; it serves to increase the borough’s ratable and revenue base. It has been documented that Victoria Rose could mean additional tax revenue of $100,000, according to the mayor. Additional sources of revenues via business revitalization are realized through increased visitation volumes while creating jobs for the employees of our business establishments.  

Beach Haven’s year-round population over the years has dropped over 40 percent. The project would provide affordable housing for those who would benefit from this – that is, the younger population and those employees of our business establishments, including the young, serving our first aid squads and police and fire departments.

We believe the project would improve what is currently there and appeal to most visitors via improved streetscapes. While some of the concerns relate to the size of the structure, this is not the only building in Beach Haven in the downtown district of size. If there are good reasons for its size, then so be it. In addition, this ensures that we keep the post office, which despite the advancement in technology and shipping options is still an essential component of the services we have in Beach Haven.

In summary, change is difficult but at times necessary. Business development and expansion, whereby the tax base improves, with residual impacts of creating affordable housing and reducing the tax burden of all homeowners, benefit all taxpayers. Business development to attract both visitors and future year-round residents is good for Beach Haven, and we are encouraged about the future of Beach Haven.

John Hailperin, president

Beach Haven Taxpayers’ Association

 

 

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