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On Thursday, December 13, 2018 First Graders at Hudson Maxim School participated in Ready to Walk and Roll by TransOptions as part of Safe Routes to School New Jersey.

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The Hopatcong Middle School Student Council held a Gingerbread House Decorating Contest on Monday, December 17.

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Reports from the Hopatcong area include an Aggressive fox that has been in multiple skirmishes

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The Jefferson Arts Committee (JAC) is pleased to announce its Student Artists of the Month for December 2018.

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According to the Media Brief from Jefferson Township Police they had their hands full with DWI’s, with even a person that drove the wrong-way on RT-15 and hit two police cars.

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Missing kitty alert!!! Please look out for Merida! Call Caitlin with any sightings - 973-998-1462.

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The Jefferson Township Recreation Department’s Adult Exercise Programs for the WINTER 2019 season - Registration Is Open.

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Roxbury, NJ (December 19, 2018) — Dates Set for Roxbury’s Kindergarten Registration for the 2019/2020 School Year.

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December 31, 2018 marks the 27th year of New Jersey’s biggest and brightest First Night, a New Year’s Eve family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts – with more than 100 artists, 81 events in 23 venues – representing dance, theatre, music, world cultures, visual arts and children’s programs.

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Three high school students from Chester, Randolph, and Wharton recently earned the Morris County 4-H Club’s highest honors for their dedication to the 4-H program, outstanding leadership skills, and positive work in their communities.

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Incredibly talented students from Morris County and across North Jersey raced their specially designed vehicles to the finish line on Wednesday (Dec. 12) in the 12th annual Hydrogen Car Challenge (H2 Challenge) hosted by TransOptions, and held at the New Providence Middle School.

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On Tuesday (Dec. 11), at about 6:51 p.m, Sgt. James DiStasio of the Borough of Mount Arlington Police Department was struck by a motor vehicle in the vicinity of 10 Howard Blvd.

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On Tuesday (Dec. 11), at about 6:51 p.m, Sgt. James DiStasio of the Borough of Mount Arlington Police Department was struck by a motor vehicle in the vicinity of 10 Howard Blvd.

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Mount Arlington Board of Recreation is looking for a Coordinator to continue our Softball Program!

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Morris County Freeholders Get Recommendation to Fund Six New Recreational Trail Projects

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The refilling of Lake Hopatcong officially starts today, and it’s going to be a race with nature to see if we can recover 60 inches of water by spring.

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By Bill Woolley | LHF: If you’ve ever seen a photo of an eagle, high in a tree or soaring through the sky above Lake Hopatcong, it was likely taken by Bob Behrent.

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As 2018 comes to a close, we hope it will be the perfect opportunity to include the Lake Hopatcong Foundation in your year-end giving.

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We are always humbled by the amazing show of support the LHF receives on Giving Tuesday. Thank you so much to all who chose to give to our lake and lake community on this day of giving.

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The state Division of Fish and Wildlife has added a fourth North Jersey water body, the Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County, to its landlocked salmon stocking program, which currently has three locations in Morris and Sussex counties, to offer some recreational fun for Morris County anglers.

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The Knee Deep Club have released the winners of the Fall Walleye Contest that was held October 6 & 7 on Lake Hopatcong

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The Knee Deep Club will hold its fall Lake Hopatcong Walleye Weekend on October 6 and 7, 2018. The contest will begin at 5:00 AM on Saturday, October 6, 2018 and will conclude at noon on Sunday October 7, 2018.

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The following Fishing Report for Lake Hopatcong is provided by Dows Boat Rental & Bait.

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River Styx Eminent Domain: Understanding the Process and what to expect.

River Styx Project
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Part 3: The third article in this series of the approaching Eminent Domain for the River Styx area is designed to help you understand the process and what to expect each step along the way, and more importantly, what are the deadlines if you wish to contest the process at any point.

(Special Thanks to William J. Ward from Carlin & Ward, who as an expert in this area, and agreed to be interviewed for this article. See the Company information at the bottom of the article)


Background on River Styx Project:

As discussed in the first two articles, the Hopatcong Borough Council is moving forward in their long-term plan that started back in 1996 to revitalize the River Styx area. This plan is designed to increase overall property values, and gain additional Contractor Investments within the Hopatcong area. It may also make Hopatcong eligible for additional Federal & State grants.


Phase 1: The Process towards Eminent Domain:

Eminent Domain is covered by Local Redevelopment Housing Law, which requires the following steps to take place before Eminent Domain is declared:

  1. Redevelopment Study/Report
  2. Analysis of Property
  3. Resolution of Land Use Board
  4. Resolution of Borough Council

a. Resolution of Borough Council passed

b. Hopatcong Borough now has the power of Eminent Domain

Note: We are currently at the second stage of this process, so now is the time to become informed and get involved.

Important: If you are a property owner in this area, you will have only 45 days from the adoption of the resolution (4.a) to file an action contesting the validity of the resolution.


Phase 2: The Redevelopment Process

Once Eminent Domain is declared, the Redevelopment Process starts, which is where the Hopatcong Borough will seek a Developer(s), who under contract will handle the steps and the costs of moving forward. This includes:

  1. The Condemnation Process
  2. The Acquisition Process
  3. The Engineering Studies
  4. The Appraisal Process (for Fair Market Value)

Under the Eminent Domain act, the property owner is entitled to the following:

  • Fair market value determined by highest and best use (comparable to homes within that area)
  • Relocation assistance, to help move you within a 50 mile radius normally about $4,000 – $5,000
  • And potentially a supplemental housing bonus, if the value of your home is less than what can be acquired for a similar home in the new area.


Optional: Process for contesting Fair Market Value

There are two steps available to you if have a dispute on what is the Fair Market value of your home.

Step 1: An Assignment Judge in Morris County will appoint 3 commissioners (Normally: Two lawyers and one Real Estate Broker). Who will hear your case, and help determine the fair real estate value based upon the testimony of the Developer and the Property owner.

If you are still dissatisfied you can appeal within 20 days, and move to Step 2.

Step 2: Superior Court trial before a Judge, or a Jury if you select


Bottom Line:

So as you can see, we are still in the early stages of this process. If you live within the River Styx area, or feel strongly in either direction. Now is the time to become informed and involved. Watch for our Fourth Article on this subject, where we review what the River Styx project could mean to Hopatcong if it is implemented successfully.


About Carlin & Ward, Attorneys at Law

Carlin & Ward specializes in Eminent Domain cases, led by William J. Ward who has over 40 years’ experience for this subject matter in New Jersey.

Carlin & Ward, P.C.

P.O. Box 751

25A Vreeland Road

Florham Park, NJ 07932

Phone: 973-377-3350


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