Wantage changes terms of dam assessment

Friends of Lake Neepaulin to pay 50 percent of 17-year loan


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New terms

Tier I: Lakefront: 25 percent, will pay $410.92 per year, 17 years
Tier II: Lakeview: 15 percent, will pay $271.84 per year, 17 years
Tier III: 10 percent, will pay $11.28 per year, 17 years
FOLN: Will pay 50 percent of cost: $35,339.27 per year, 17 years

Residents who expected to pay a special assessment for the Lake Neepaulin dam repair loan found some relief last week as the Wantage Township Council changed the terms of the special assessment on March 20.

Committeeman Ronald Bassani made the motion and the committee unanimously passed putting the Friends of Lake Neepaulin on the hook for 50 percent of the $1 million loan over the next 17 years. Under the previous assessment, the Friends were expected to pay 10 percent of the loan.

"I do not believe that neighbors should be forced to pay for the repair of a private dam on a private lake because of proximity," Bassani said.

They, still, however, will pay. Lakefront properties — Tier I — will pay 25 percent, down from 30 percent; Tier II will pay 15 percent instead of 20 percent and Tier III will pay 10 percent.

At the meeting, a number of citizens thanked the committee for the change, and some complained that it was still not good enough.

The committee was in a dilemma because $1 million dollars was needed to be raised in order to pay back the Lake Neepaulin Dam loan back to the Department of Environmental Protection within the next 17 years. Residents were furious regarding the originally proposed special assessment.

Tax Assessor Kristy Lockburner will now revise her Special Tax Assessment report and resubmit it to the Committee at the April 10 meeting.

If the Friends of Lake Neepaulin defaults on the loan, Wantage will take over the Lake.

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