To the Editor:
As many of you know, the Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club closed in August. In early September, Hopewell Township Committee Member, John Hart, introduced an interesting proposal to study the potential purchase of HVGC using NO tax dollars for the purpose of converting the facilities into a Community Center, Senior Center, and possible YMCA offices.
For MercerMe’s coverage, please see Hopewell Township Committee Discusses Golf Club Purchase.
Hart explained that the purchase should be looked into by consolidating the existing set-aside Senior Center tax dollars due to the Township and the two Boroughs along with other monies from Mercer County.
The potential purchase should be studied in a coordinated effort by the three local governing bodies. The possibilities for this facility include creating a domed pool for year-round use (including finally a home pool for HVCHS!), a central location for a senior and community center, a farm-to-table restaurant with full bar, income opportunities for banquet facilities rental, and of course, a public golf course, paddle, and tennis courts.
The beauty of this study is to determine whether improvements could be made over time as budgeting allows. Our taxes are so high – we all just sustained a very significant 4.68% tax increase this year and we should avoid such future tax jolts. The currently proposed senior and community center at Zaitz tract, no doubt, would require further significant tax increases. How much will it cost to build a senior and community center from the ground up?
At the September 16, 2019 Hopewell Township Committee meeting, Mr. Hart asked the other four members that critical question and received no reply. Apparently, they haven’t done the financials for the project yet. Instead, Mayor McLaughlin and her majority tried to scare us that the property requires costly sewering and various other immediate improvements. It is apparently impossible to get a fair study of this idea.
I believe that residents would not support exorbitant taxes for a new community center. I also doubt that anyone would prefer to navigate the dangerous Pennington Circle, where 379 new homes approved by Mayor McLaughlin and the Democratic majority will be built, generating a traffic nightmare. I believe that the idea to retrofit is worth studying.
Thank you, John Hart and Ed Jackowski, for bringing this idea to the public’s attention for further study. Please vote for John Hart and Ed Jackowski for Hopewell Township Committee and voice your support to study this proposal.