Taxes are the number one issue number for every resident in Woodland Park. With Governor Christie’s cap on property taxes in place, the Woodland Park Mayor and Council continue to run an efficient municipal government to sustain the services our residents expect. Every line of the budget is reviewed and evaluated yearly. The governing body has and will continue to make informed decisions about what is cut, and what remains. Nevertheless, everything is on the table in keeping our property taxes stable.
The process for crafting the budget is transparent and accountable. The Mayor and Council have hosted town hall meetings to listen to resident concerns and develop solutions. Additional town hall events are scheduled as issues arise residents can attend and raise their issues to the governing body. We are all in this together, and the Mayor and Council are committed to working with everyone in Woodland Park to come to a consensus on the budget in order to control taxes.
Through the hard work and commitment to our taxpayers, Mayor Keith Kazmark and the Council successfully delivered NO MUNICIPAL TAX INCREASE in 2013 and have maintained minimal municipal increases in both 2014 and 2015!
McBride Avenue & Browertown Road Zoning & Streetscape Project
The Mayor and Council are proud to announce the award of a two separate $250,000 grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to begin work on the McBride Avenue Streetscape project. These improvements to our business corridor are threefold: promote economic vitality, enhance beautification, and create safe pedestrian walkways and parking areas. This work effort will begin in spring of 2016 and has brought together all of the stakeholders in Woodland Park – residents, business owners, and government officials – to maintain a long-term beautification plan for the future of this area.
In order to maximize economic productivity in the town, Mayor Keith Kazmark and the Council have championed the need to create an atmosphere driven by business owners, not by the government. They are in the process of creating an attractive downtown area in our community which will encourage residents from all over the region to make the Woodland Park business district a shopping destination.
During his first two and a half years as Mayor, Keith Kazmark worked with the newly revived Woodland Park Business Association and commercial property owners to help fill over 30 vacant storefronts following Hurricane Irene. We are now down to three or four vacancies town wide. The Governing Body is committed to their comprehensive plan to make sure shoppers are visiting our local businesses and sustaining our local economy.
Recreation & Open Space
One of our top priorities has always been giving our children every opportunity to participate in recreational programs, ensuring there are safe parks and fields. As the former Chairman of the Recreation & Community Relations Committee, Mayor Kazmark worked to protect open space and revitalize our parks for our children. Through the Mayor and Council’s work with the West Paterson Boys & Girls Club, we continue to give kids a safe place to play after school and participate in sports programs year round.
The open space goals for the Mayor and Council are now being directed toward enhancing both Rose Place and Zaccaria Park. With a $1 million renovation to both parks being funded through the Local Open Space Trust Fund, we will soon see vast improvements to these parks which will have not effect on future budgets. This on the heals of the installation of the new spray park at Zaccaria Park and the completion of the Memorial Field Improvement project.
Partnering with the county, the Mayor and Council were able to preserve and upgrade Dowling Gardens in the heart of our business district – making it an attraction for wedding photos and special events. These, along with many other upgrades, such as the Morris Canal pathway in our community, are projects we need to continue to build upon. Mayor Kazmark and the Council continue to work with our county government to bring open space money into Woodland Park, this year for a new athletic field at Zaccaria Park.
Studies show that open space and parks increase property values and make a community more attractive for residents and businesses. The Mayor and Council know they must continue to build upon past successes to protect our open space and maintain our parks as some of the best in Passaic County.
Passaic & Peckman River Flooding
Mayor Kazmark and Council are proud to announce the award of over $300,000 in flood mitigation grant dollars to address flooding issues with regard to both the Passaic and Peckman Rivers. The Governing Body also continues to work with the Passaic Valley Regional Flood Control Board to jointly address flooding issues along both waterways.
In addition, Mayor Keith Kazmark and the Council along with leaders from Totowa fought hard to remove the flash boards in Paterson just above the Great Falls. The removal of the boards has reduced water levels, especially during heavy rainfall and reduced the flooding impact on our residents.
Any proposed new development along the Passaic or Peckman Rivers must factor in the joint consequences for all the municipalities in the Passaic River Basin and the potential to cause serious long-term consequences to life and property along our rivers.
Most recently, the Mayor and Council have approved the FEMA purchase of multiple abandoned homes in the flood zone that will now be returned to open space and have worked with the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission to remove fallen trees and debris from the Peckman and Passaic Rivers.