Appraisal of Firehouse Unpopular With Council

17 June, 1992 (~estimated)

Appraisal of Firehouse Unpopular With Council

Township Committee’s re-quest that an appraisal be made of the Chambers Street firehouse fell on deaf ears at last week’s Borough Council meeting.

The Borough’s governing body made it clear that it did not wish to pay the $8,000 the appraisal would cost. It preferred, instead, to place the firehouse on the auction block, with the proviso that any or all bids may be rejected.

The Chambers Street firehouse will soon be replaced by the new firehouse on Wither-spoon Street, the first in Princeton Township.

Proceeds from the sale of the Chambers Street facility are scheduled to be used to offset the costs of the new fire station.

Attempting to place a positive spin on the Township request, Mayor Marvin Reed said that an appraiser might be able to look at .the property in terms of its best potential value, and give a clear indication of the zoning variances and special conditions that should be put in place.

Councilman David Goldfarb responded drily, “They’ll tell you to put in a tall office building and eliminate parking requirements.”

The Mayor was not addressing the point of an appraisal, said Councilman Mark Freda. “I think the appraisal is a waste of money. Let’s move ahead.”

Mr. Goldfarb concurred. “Eight thousand dollars is eight thousand dollars,” he said. “We’re putting it out to auction, which will let us know the market value of the proper-ty, and we can reject all bids.”

Mayor Reed said, “If we do an appraisal, we may be able to convince Township Committee we would be better off doing this as a redevelopment plan.”

“We don’t need to be a developer,” said Mr. Freda. “We have to get rid of the building.”

He added that the Township needed to be told that Borough Council disagreed with having an appraisal done. If they’re willing to have a joint meeting, fine,” he said. “We owe it to them. The last thing I want is to have to go to war with the Township.”

The Mayor agreed to tell Township Committee that Borough Council does not want to spend the money [for an appraisal]. “We’ll put the property up for auction and retain the right to reject bids,” he said, adding that if Township Committee disagreed, he would ask for a joint meeting soon.

An October 1 auction date was suggested by Council-woman Jane Terpstra.

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