Chronology of the BROX Community Lands – A History of Commitment by the Town
Late 1990’s: The Brox Company approached the Town in the late 1990's to see if the Town was interested in purchasing 320 acres of undeveloped property. The BROX Company provided conceptual subdivision plans for approximately 90 new homes. The Town authorized a study committee to analyze the cost/benefit of Town ownership.
1999: Study committee recommends to the Board of Selectmen purchase of the BROX property to retain the residentially-zoned parcels for future community uses and the industrially-zoned parcels for sale for industrial uses and economic development.
In 2000 The Town made a valuable long-term investment in the acquisition of 270 acres commonly referred to as ‘the BROX Property’. The land serves to provide for ‘community’ needs for the foreseeable future (school sites, recreation and municipal facilities, a valuable supply of earth materials such as sand and gravel, open space, trails, and natural resource protection) and provides an opportunity for tax positive commercial and industrial development that will create jobs and economic development. A brief chronology of actions taken to date follows:
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2000: Town voters approve purchase (1318 – 538) of 270 acres for $1.4 million financed by a 15-year bond. A separate parcel of 50 acres purchased by the School District as the site for Heron Pond Elementary.
2000-2006: Milford Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) concentrates on strategies and methodologies to sell BROX industrial parcels.
2000: Planning Board adopts Report and Recommendations on Providing and Preserving Land for Future Community Needs.
2001: Town voters approve authorization (1651 – 680) for the Board of Selectmen, to sell the BROX industrial parcels for industrial uses.
2004: Town voters approve funding (1402 – 1236) for consultant work to develop a master plan for community uses.
2006: Town voters approve creation of a ‘Tax Increment Financing District (TIF District)’ (1425 – 407) to provide a funding mechanism for BROX industrial property infrastructure. Town voters approve authorization (1764 – 180) for the Board of Selectmen to sell the former Police Station property.
2006- present The West Milford Tax Increment Financing District Advisory Board takes over for the MIDC and continues developing strategies, tools, and planning for the TIF District and begins work with professional commercial real estate brokers to market and promote the BROX Property/TIF District. Contacts and discussions made with potential developers.
2007: Town voters approve (1277 – 762) the establishment of the BROX Community Land Infrastructure Capital Reserve Fund.
Town voters approve (1444 – 582) authorization for the Board of Selectmen to sell and/or dispose of mineral interests, earth materials, and other natural resources located in the ‘community lands’ portion of the BROX property, and divert proceeds to the BROX Community Land Infrastructure Capital Reserve Fund.
Town voters approve (1200 – 814) the diversion of up to $500,000, from the proceeds of sale of earth materials, into the BROX Community Land Infrastructure Capital Reserve Fund.
Town voters do not approve (460 – 1526) authorization for the Board of Selectmen to issue bonds for $2,760,000, for Phase I infrastructure development of the BROX industrial/Tax Increment Financing District properties.
Town voters approve (1496 – 591) rezoning BROX industrial parcels from “I-Industrial” to “ICI-2 – Integrated Commercial-Industrial 2” to allow mixed-use development in this area.
2008: Planning Board adopts updated Community Facilities chapter of the Milford Master Plan that acknowledges, based on review by the Community Facilities Committee, the former Police Station site as a ‘…highly visible location and important commercial site. At this point in time, the Committee does not foresee any future long-term community facility uses for the Elm Street site.” Chapter goals include analyzing the highest and best use of the Elm Street Property (former Police Station), and reevaluating the 2005 BROX Community Lands Master Plan to reflect projected changes in community needs.
2010: Three warrant articles proposed for March 2011 vote to provide additional tools and methodologies to facilitate BROX Property/TIF District development:
1. Establishment of the BROX Properties Public Infrastructure Improvement Fund (Tax Map 38, Lots 4, 5, 5-1, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13 & 14).
2. Diversion of Proceeds of Sale of Former Police Station Property.
3. Modification of Authorization for Selectmen Sale of the BROX Properties (Tax Map 38,Lots 4, 5, 5-1,6,9,11,12,13, and 14)