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Lake Riviera Resident Organizes Neighbors for Road Improvements

Laura Baldwin collected hundreds of signatures asking for attention to Lake Riviera's road conditions

Louise Baldwin and about 610 of her neighbors in Brick's Lake Riviera section want their roads improved.

Baldwin, a Spruce Drive resident, collected signatures from more than 600 residents of the Lake Riviera section, and this week prodded members of the township council to include improvement projects in the neighborhood in this year's capital improvement budget.

"The roads have greatly deteriorated even during the last two years," said Baldwin, who said she has lived in Brick for more than 25 years. "This problem is something we deal with, day in and day out. We cannot navigate those roads safely."

Lake Riviera's roads suffer from a number of issues, Baldwin said. The streets have potholes, but also dips and degraded areas that test the springs of residents' vehicles, she said. The dips are tough to catch on camera, "you have to drive over them," Baldwin said.

"Our roads need to be a priority," she told Council President Brian DeLuca at the governing body's June 21 meeting.

DeLuca said township officials are aware of the issues in Lake Riviera and are pursuing solutions. For issues such as potholes, he said, residents can call the township public works department and ask for them to be filled.

Large-scale repaving and improvements must be included in the township's capital budget, however. That budget has yet to be set for 2011, but DeLuca has said it will be introduced at a council meeting in the near future. So far this year, the council has - a notoriously bumpy road in the Herbertsville section that serves as an entrance and egress to several developments - will be repaved.

There was no word on what roads would make the cut for improvements under the to-be-introduced 2011 capital spending plan, but Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said a commitment of about $7.6 million for road improvements is looking likely this year.

"Those roads in Lake Riviera are at the top of our list," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis.

Baldwin said help can't come soon enough for herself and her neighbors.

"We need the council’s help," she said.

Concerned Brick Citizen June 25, 2011 at 06:03 PM
Dear Alice, exactly… I’m well aware how properties are assessed. I’m not saying that a person who lives in a 4 room house pay the same as a 10 room, etc. I’ve been trying to figure out why certain areas of Brick are cared for much more than others. Believe me I’ve been carrying that torch for change. I do live in a very nice house, but far from 10 rooms. There are non-waterfront home in my neighborhood that are newer, which are the similar in size with larger properties yet they pay about a quarter of the taxes. We all stare at the same street yet these homes are privilege with a water view. The Brick tax office states that neighborhoods do reflect on the assessed tax value. Yet where I live is labeled by the real-estate community is undesirable. From my highly taxed house on the street side I look at illegal objects in the roadway and unkempt properties. Believe me I’ve been on code enforcement as well as town council, but I have yet to see any changes. The other “FACT” can be found at datauniverse.com. Non-waterfront homes, in Brick, on average sell well over their assessed value versus waterfront properties. Many waterfront properties have sold under the assessed value. This data tells us that waterfront homeowners are over assessed. Inland properties need to be assessed at a higher rate, but they are not. Why? My property is currently on the market below the assessed rate and still no takers. Why? It should sell quickly. Something is wrong here?
Concerned Brick Citizen June 25, 2011 at 06:20 PM
I wanted to add that very rarely has a non-waterfront property owner has expressed any compassion or shown support toward waterfront property owners. Isn’t that a form of discrimination? We are not all wealthy and many of us have been here for generations. There is no “Rent control” on or deeds. The discrimination against us needs to end also. I’m tired of all the posters on here who don’t feel sorry for us and feel we should pull the weight for the rest of Brick. – It is important to understand our plight and it is easy to point fingers.
disgusted homeowner June 25, 2011 at 10:18 PM
@Concerned Brick Citizen, as you know I am a very frquent poster, whose family came here 70 yrs. ago from rural upstate NY. I will stick up for your position on taxation as if I was paying the taxes you are I would want my bang for my buck so to speak. I heard a similar position from many owners, not just waterfront who are in fact paying double or triple my $4300 tax bill. The delivery of services by the township is going strictly downhill in my opinion, and Trenton shares some of the blame. My home is probably in thew bottom third of township assessments, almost $100k under the township average. My dead end street was plowed 2 days after the christmas blizzard, but why others waited 4 or more is shameful and certainly if you are one of them, you have a very legitimate gripe. There is a tremendous unfairness in the revaluations when they are done, and anyone who feels it doesn't reflect their true value should APPEAL,APPEAL, AND FILE MORE APPEALS with the OC BOard of Taxation before 4/1/2012 !!! just as i did in 2010.
Concerned Brick Citizen June 28, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Disgusted homeowner, unfortunately I was one of those who needed to wait almost 4-days to be plowed out. I don’t take what is going on in this town lightly. Yes, I filed a tax appeal and WON! Everyone one who owns a waterfront property needs to do the same. Period! You are a fool if you don't. In today’s Asbury Park Press 6/28/11 there is an article on page B4 “Town Revalues Property – Lost tax appeals force Howell to reassess”. 1,500 property owners appealed costing the town $700,000, Yes! $700,000 in revenue. – Ummm… who is going to pay for it? Who is going to make up my thousands in over assessed taxes along with the other property owners who won their appeals in Brick? Dan Nee needs to do a story on lost tax dollars. Like I stated before the statistics are out there at datauniverse.com. The homes which appear to be under assessed are the non-waterfront properties. Just review the recent sale prices versus the assessment. Those number should be near equal. Who is going to make up the difference? As a waterfront property owner I’m tired of pulling the financial weight for the rest of the township. The playing field needs to be level. I’m now glad others now other Brick tax payers will pick up my bill for my over assessed taxes. But to keep with this story. My street needs to be paved as well as the road in Lake Riviera. But the township better not do them and skip me!
disgusted homeowner June 28, 2011 at 09:47 PM
I truly believe so many only glance at their tax bill and feel they can't "fight city hall". The taxpayers, and all property owners, really need to be educated in the art of filing a successful appeal. Especially when the experts are telling us NJ property values may drop ANOTHER 20 PERCENT over the next year or two. Why pay taxes on a home assessed at $350k when it's only worth $300k??? Folks need to wake up and find their way the the Ocean County Board of Taxation office at 118 Washington St. in Toms River(second floor) and get an appeal package !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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