Why does Magazzu want you to foot the bill for the Chapel?

It seems that Lou Magazzu is really pushing to build this chapel at the Veteran’s Cemetery, even though the county fired many employees, and despite warning that next years budget will be as harsh as this one was.

A friend handed me some documents today, including a presentation to the Freeholders dated September 10,2008. It was presented by developers John E. Torpley and Scott J. Burnley. They were proposing a residential housing development near Dutch Neck Village. They wanted Lou to give them a parcel of land owned by the county. In exchange, they promised to build a chapel at the cemetery for FREE!

A problem arose when counsel informed Lou that the county can’t just give land away. It has to be sold. Maybe some of the insiders can give me the particulars, but as I remember this one going, the land was placed up for sale at or near the appraised value, but nobody wanted it. You have to realize that there is no hookup for water or sewer in this area.

I believe it was on these forums that somebody pointed out that the land was placed for sale again, this time with the caveat that the Freeholders (Lou) would be authorized to offer it to a bidder (this developer) that did not meet the minimum bid – but much to everyone’s surprise they did not bid the second time. Were wires crossed? Or did the developer get gun-shy knowing that Magazzu Watch was discussing and watching the progress.

So now we come to 2010, and Lou wants to spend tax money for a project that was proposed for free. the parcel of land is still there, and the developer is stuck, unable to build since that parcel is necessary to provide access to the development.

In looking over the proposal I saw something that I do not remember EVER being discussed, not during the initial proposal not any time since.  The initial design plans include a sewer easement. The problem, which I just explained, is that there is no sewer anywhere near this development. Doe the CCUA have plans to extend sewage lines there? Was Lou planning on having the county taxpayers pick up this bill? But, that is all moot. The development appears dead in the water, so to speak, and Lou is cramming this chapel down our throats.

Shame on Bill Whelan for not having the cojones to allow this proposal to die – he had it tabled. that was cowardly, he should have taken a stand and allowed it to die since it did not pass during the scheduled vote, last Freeholder meeting. I had hopes that Whelan would be a leader. I think there is still possibility, but I don’t think we will see that until Magazzu is out of the picture, which may be sooner rather than later.

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8 Responses to Why does Magazzu want you to foot the bill for the Chapel?

  1. la mano nera says:

    If I am not mistaken, there is sewer available at the Manor. Building a chapel, at taxpayer expense, would bring the sewer much closer (through?) to the Dutch Neck housing development. Connect the dots…

  2. WuLi says:

    Either way (free chapel or taxpayer funded chapel) – it seems the taxpayers are being held hostage for the sewer hookups for these developers.

  3. Deep Throat says:

    The Manor is on sewer. The City of Bridgeton is upgrading it’s water system near the Manor and will likely be selling water to the Manor. This would make public water potentially available also. The 2 things every housing developer wants.

  4. Bridgeton Resident says:

    Albert is greasing the wheels for this one. I have public works info that he is going to sell water to Hopewell for nothing so that Hopewell can build an apartment complex right smack up against Bridgeton city line. More poor being dumped on the door step for Al Kelly to exploit and the city will just have more poor to deal with. The city does not even have the water capacity to deal with it’s residents. Kelly is going to expand the regional center to Upper Deerfield and Hopewell and make Bridgeton even more less attractive to developers. The more poor the better for for Tri-county to make money and anyone who complains is a racist in the town. Look into the Lou and Albert Connection they feed each other.

  5. WuLi says:

    It is clear that Kelly has always had designs to turn Bridgeton into a little Camden, and Lou has always been on board to assist. The lower the standard of living, the more money you can connive from state and federal sources. It is quite apparent that the only people Al Kelly is interested in enriching are Tri-county cohorts. As I have said, Al Kelly and Tic-County – eliminating poverty one relative at a time.

  6. Calhoun says:

    A couple of side items/questions. First, here is an interesting quote from Sweeney back in April 2009 (from PolitickerNJ) during budget hearings in which state funding for the Cohanzick Zoo was being scrutinized: “Bridgeton houses a lot of bad things, senator.They have nothing. If you want to pick on them for having a zoo (the Cohanzick Zoo), please come to Bridgeton before you criticize Bridgeton. Come take a trip with me. I’ll take you on a trip. Cumberland County houses 26 percent of the state’s prison population. That’s our economy.”

    My question: If Sweeney is right and we have nothing, our economy being largely driven by the large prison population, why do we keep re-electing the people, like Sweeney and Magazzu, who are presiding over this nothingness?

    I fear my answer lies in what some of the posters have been indicating — namely those in power know we’re poor and uneducated and want to keep it that way because the poor and uneducated form a sizeable voting bloc in the county. This voting bloc can be made even stronger by bringing more of the same into Cumberland County.

    Which brings me to my second question. Several months back, I was listening to the Delaware Valley Hotline show hosted by George Moore on Quinn’s WSNJ AM. A caller into the show claimed that down South near the I-95 corridor there were signs inviting people to move to Bridgeton and highlighting the public benefits available to those who qualify. Moore said he had heard that too. Funny thing is I too had heard this rumor but took it as nonsense.

    Nonetheless I feel compelled to ask if anyone has heard of a concerted effort by some to encourage the poor to move into Bridgeton or Cumberland County.

  7. WuLi says:

    Calhoun – if that is true, then who is footing the bill for the ad campaign? Is this Lou’s idea of a new “Cumberland County – more to offer” ad campaign? Instead of touting the wonderful attractions such as the Glasstown Arts District, WheatonArts, Dutch Neck Village, NJMP, Millville Army Airfield Museum, the wild and Scenic Maurice River, Bridgeton Zoo, the music and arts festivals we tout the ease of public assistance and our prisons?

  8. Calhoun says:

    I haven’t gotten cynical enough to think a region through its government would tout itself to outsiders based on its poverty and prison populations. I am cynical enough not to put it past some who profit from poverty to do this. However, I want to see some hard evidence (e.g., flyers, brochures, signs etc) that someone is indeed doing this.

    What is indisputable, based on the NJPoliticker article, is that Sweeney said “We have nothing”! One of the region’s own Senator’s said we’re a big zero! Yet, we keep re-electing this guy. In fact the Senate sees fit to elect him as their leader and Gloucester County still has him as their freeholder director. I liked (well, respected) Lou more when he was butting heads with Sweeney, as opposed to their current Machiavellian alliance.

    You’re damned lucky Carl. The rest of us have to just put up with all this crap. Meanwhile, you have the luxury of having that low-hanging live electrical wire in your neighborhood. When things get too much you can just reach up and end it all. I am surprised you want the damned thing fixed. I would regard it as my Plan B when Cumberland County politics gets to be too much.

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