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The Sussex County Historic Court House in Newton was the setting for the Annual Reorganization Meeting of the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Monday, January 8, 2018.

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Hopatcong Ambulance Squad saw a 4% increase in 2017 over last year, and helped the Borough avoid over $50,000 in costs.

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The New Jersey State Nurses Association welcomed a new vice president and secretary to its Board of Directors at a swearing in ceremony this weekend.

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An Investigation into Hopatcong's Recreation Department finds Verifiable Evidence on Five Serious Allegations that show Misconduct, Mismanagement and Gross Negligence.  

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Officer of the month goes to Cpl. Fedo! Officer Fedo has been a patrol officer for the last 16 years and is credited for his work with the department of special needs program.

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Jefferson and State Police are investigating a snowmobile crash on Lake Hopatcong that killed the driver early Sunday at 2:00 AM.

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Members of the Roxbury Township Board of Education met on Tuesday, January 9th to conduct special board training during this public two and a half hour meeting. Topics covered included board ethics and the teacher evaluation process.

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Although winter is here, the pink flamingo flocking continues around Roxbury. The latest district administrator hit was Chris Argenziano, the principal over Lincoln/Roosevelt School. He came in Thursday morning to find his office full of 50 pink flamingos.

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Roxbury High School’s Winter Track and Field athletes held their kick-off dinner on December 13th and in the spirit of the season, its Booster Club decided that the team should encourage its athletes to give back to the community that supports them.

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Students in Roxbury High School’s Fashion Design class created special items in December for Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Hospital.

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We are accepting donations on behalf of past member, Robert Ranft, who we lovingly call "Silent Bob". who lost his home due to a fire on the morning of January 7, 2018

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Bump Set, And Have Some Fun! League will run January 11th- March 8th Thursdays 7:00-8:30 at MAPS Gymnasium

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Mount Arlington finalized their Christmas Light Contest during the week of December 20th, and while they didn't find Clark Griswold this year, they did have four outstanding winners.

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The Morris County League of Municipalities has announced the creation of the Arthur R. Ondish Memorial Scholarship, to be awarded annually in honor of the late Mount Arlington mayor to a graduating high school senior, starting in 2018.

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Winter’s chill may be keeping people huddled inside their homes for now, but there’s no freeze on plans for a celebration designed to help thousands of Lake Hopatcong-area neighbors warm back up in the spring.

 

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The Lake Hopatcong is to receive $500,000 annually for the protection, preservation, restoration, maintenance, management and enhancement of New Jersey’s largest state-run lake 

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The 5th Annual Lake Hopatcong Block Party will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018 (rain or shine!) 10 am to 5 pm at Hopatcong State Park.

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New in 2018, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, in cooperation with NJ DEP Division of Parks and Forestry, will be coordinating and offering community programming at Hopatcong State Park. 

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The Knee Deep Club that is over 1,000 Members strong, just released their calendar of events for the 2018 season. The first event starts January 21st with Ice Fishing.

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Michael Wallace of Highland Lakes, NJ won the American Bass Anglers RAM American Fishing Tour, Division 10 Tournament held September 10th, 2017 on Lake Hopatcong.  

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Hopatcong Lake Regional News is pleased to continue to provide the weekly Fishing Report for the Lake Region to help inform you on what’s biting and where. Our guest author is Dows Boat Rental and Bait Shop.

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Hopatcong Lake Regional News is pleased to continue to provide the weekly Fishing Report for the Lake Region to help inform you on what’s biting and where. Our guest author is Dows Boat Rental and Bait Shop.

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The Redevelopment Plan for River Styx Area – Has the public Heating Up

River Styx Project
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Upset Hopatcong local Residents and Businesses are heading to the Land Use Board Meeting this week to voice their strong opinions about the redevelopment plans for River Styx area. Note: The meeting was postponed.

While the Mayor and Hopatcong Borough Council has been working on plans to revitalize the River Styx area for years, and have always shared with the public the plans, progress and overall schedule. The latest move caught many residents by surprise.

  1. By sending certified letters from Borough to River Styx residents and business advising them that their property may be deemed "underutilized," possessing "obsolete characteristics", and they need to attend a public hearing.
  2. To help fuel the fires, the letters also used language "that subject to a Redevelopment Area Designation the Borough of Hopatcong could exercise the power of Eminent Domain to acquire property within the delineated area."

So, let’s take a minute to separate fact from fiction and really understand what’s happening.

Here is what you need to know:

1. Attend the meeting if you feel strongly on either side

Meeting: Land Use Board meeting

Date: July 19, 2016

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: Hopatcong Senior Center, Ryerson Rd, Hopatcong, NJ 07843 (Next to Quickchek)

 

2. Understand who is affected

  • The area that is affected is River Styx Road and Durban Road, stretching from Lakeside Boulevard to Deane Road. Overall, this is 32.8 acres.
  • This involves 41 properties and 24 different owners

 

3. Understand the purpose of the meeting

  • The purpose of the meeting is to present the findings of the May 2016 Redevelopment Study Determination of Need, prepared by John Ruschke, the borough engineer.
  • To allow the community to speak and inform the Land Use Board of their opinions, which will be forwarded to the Hopatcong Borough Council.
  • This meeting is NOT to determine the final outcome, but rather to share information and gather feedback.

 

4. What is the Intent of the Hopatcong Borough Council?

  • The Mayor and Council Members have said for years that the redevelopment designation is meant to help property owners and attract investors by encouraging growth in the River Styx area.

Alan Gilbert, States that the council people and mayor that I've spoken with have no intention at all of using eminent domain. It is unfortunately or fortunately -- however you look at it -- happens to be part of the toolkit that's available if we designate an area as a redevelopment area. And it's necessary to let people know that's part of what's available, even though there is no intention, as far as I can tell, to use that."

According to Council President Frank Padula, "Basically, (we want to) send a message out to the world that we're serious about doing some redevelopment here. We want investors to hear that we're willing to work with you, we're willing to talk. You've (got to) start somewhere. We're just trying to jump start the redevelopment that seems to have petered out down in that area."

  • Through "Eminent domain" Hopatcong can become eligible for federal and state funds and can offer incentives to developers, investors or residents.
     

 

 5. What is Eminent domain, and what does it mean?

  • Eminent domain is the power of government to take private property for public use after compensating the owner.
  • New Jersey Steps required:
  1. Determine the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain;
  2. Compel the exercise of such power;
  3. Fix and determine the compensation to be paid and the parties entitled
  4. Determine title to all property affected by the action.

Note: Hopatcong is only at the first step.

 

6. What happens next?

  • After Tuesday's meeting, the Land Use Board will prepare its own findings and present them to the Borough Council. The council will review the recommendation from the board and may choose to designate the area in question, or any part thereof, as an area in need of redevelopment.
  • The Land Use Board will then have to draft a redevelopment plan, which establishes goals and objectives of the municipality and outlines the actions to be taken to accomplish them.
  • The redevelopment plan is then sent to the council -- where the public will be offered another opportunity to be heard -- which can adopt the plan by ordinance. The plan would be become an amendment to the borough's zoning.

 

Bottom line, if you are a Hopatcong Resident, the time to become informed and involved is now. Watch for future reports from Hopatcong Lake Regional News.

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