HomeHaddonfield Letters & OpinionsLetter to the Editor: Bill Koelling

Letter to the Editor: Bill Koelling

Resident writes on Bancroft property.

Dear Editor,

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The silence regarding the future of the Bancroft property is deafening. I, along with many others in town, had hoped that the Bancroft property acquired by the Borough in 2016 would become the perfect housing opportunity for the town’s aging seniors, who having raised their families, were now empty nesters. But as the Borough planning progressed, we eventually learned that the hoped-for moderate housing for our seniors was not workable for a number of reasons, but primarily because the acquisition of the property unfortunately included an undesired contractual inclusion of the seller.

 The seller of the Bancroft property not only retained rights to develop the property, but worse, to determine the type of housing to be constructed. He rejected age restricted housing for seniors

and our commissioners eventually were left no alternative but to proceed with market rate upscale townhouses which would further benefit the seller. With the arrival of two new commissioners in the spring of 2021 these plans were shelved and along with them any hope of offsetting the $500K annual bond interest with property tax income. And not only has our tax bill included the annual debt service of $500K but the town agreed to fund another one million dollars for demolition which the developer was required to absorb. 

This has been, between debt service costs and demolition costs, a multimillion-dollar expense for the town. And yet the commissioners remain largely silent. What if anything is being

planned for the Bancroft property? Please tell us taxpayers what lies in the future

for this costly Borough owned property.


Bill Koelling




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