Resident wants WM to have Brown’s Point public forever

West Milford. The township carries the financial burden for maintaining the property and is seeking ways for the state to takeover those expenses.

| 14 Oct 2021 | 10:52

Brown’s Point, only public access point to Greenwood Lake, should be owned by the Township of West Milford and be part of the municipality forever, according to lifelong resident Rick Ashley.

He was at a recent township council meeting and gave a history of Long Pond, Greenwood Lake and the surrounding area.

Ashley recalled that certain families throughout township history have lost a great deal of money taking care of the land. Ashley said he observed the condition of the lake and sees that it is continually deteriorating. He said he recently found an arrowhead from the Munsee Indians while walking over the land.

Back in July the township cancelled an existing use of Brown’s Point lease with the state of New Jersey. The state currently owns the property. It is the only piece of public land adjacent to the lake. The park and lake are used now by many non township residents. The township entered into a lease to utilize and maintain Brown’s Point in 1980. West Milford carried the financial burden of taking care of the park for over four decades.

Mayor Michele Dale said in a discussion at a meeting earlier this month that local property taxes should not be used to maintain state-owned property.

If a change takes place Dale clarified that residents would still have access to Brown’s point with the state of New Jersey handling the maintenance. She said it is not fair to tax and burden the residents of West Milford for a state owned property.

Responding to Ashley’s comments, Councilman Michael Chazikow said he has a special place in his heart for Brown’s Point and is in favor of purchasing it if the township could come up with the money.

Former Councilman Paul Bailey, now owner of the Breezy Restaurant on the New York side of the lake, many years ago proposed a boardwalk along the waterfront bit did not get support to makes him dream become reality.