We Want Apex in Hillsborough

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Steve Ostergren
Steve Ostergren signed this petition

To all Families and Residents of Hillsborough Township, NJ:

I’ve been a Hillsborough resident my entire life. My family has known no other home besides Hillsborough. I was a Duke and a Raider, and my children have been as well. Although my youngest will graduate next year, my wife and I will always remain very passionate about athletics and recreation in Hillsborough. For those of you who know me, I am certainly not a frequent Facebook user, but I understand the importance of it, and I whole-heartedly believe in the Apex concept. This is why I’ve started this petition. We Want Apex in Hillsborough!

I apologize if you’ve already seen some of this information. I tried to collect as much as I could from various local media sources and summarize it here. The rest I gathered through multiple conversations I’ve recently had with friends.

Apex is proposing to build a 210,000 square foot state-of-the-art indoor athletic and recreation facility including basketball and volleyball courts, a kids adventure area with Play Climb and rock climbing, a full-size synthetic turf multi-purpose field, a sports performance and training area with batting cages/pitching tunnels, as well as three (3) outdoor full-size synthetic turf multi-purpose fields. The programs offered at the facility will provide a solution to local and regional sports, recreation and event needs and will provide our children with a safe and comfortable environment to help keep them active and off the streets. The result is a project that assists in the development of athletes, encourages healthy lifestyles and creates a welcoming social experience for youth, adult and family participation as well as making a positive impact on the local economy.

I do understand some of the local residents’ concerns about additional traffic on Mountain View Road and the height of the dome. These questions/concerns will need to be addressed by Apex and the township during the planning board process. But bottomline for me is that Apex is a perfect compliment to the outdoor sports and recreation activities that will be offered by the township at Mountain View Park. Why would we want it anywhere else? I mean, this park was conceived to bring recreation and sporting activities to the community, all in one area, and is the ideal location for a state-of-the-art athletic and recreational facility such as Apex! For your information, this 40 acre plot of land that is adjacent to Mountain View Park is currently zoned “Research and Development” which means factories, warehouses, and pretty much any commercial and/or industrial operation could go there. I think a state-of-the-art athletic and recreation facility that supports the development of our youth and an active adult community is better. Don’t you?

On Tuesday, March 13, the Hillsborough Township Committee introduced two (2) ordinances and approved a resolution aimed at paving the way for the construction of Apex adjacent to the existing Mountain View Park. In order to facilitate the project, the Hillsborough Township Committee is looking to enter into a lease agreement with Apex, and they are also looking to provide a five-year tax exemption to Apex as an incentive to construct the facility. These ordinances will be discussed and voted upon by the Township Committee at the committee meeting on Tuesday, March 27. Apex and the township want to make one (1) “Township Field” solely available to our local youth programs. This Township Field will be a full-size artifical-turf soccer/football/lacrosse field with bleachers and lights. Their plan will provide 400 hours of field usage annually at no charge to Hillsborough Parks and Recreation programs as well as a discount of 50% off market rates for local 501(c)3 organizations on this Township Field.

Regarding the 5-year tax abatement, there’s absolutely no free ride for Apex at any time. A friend of mine did some research and found that the likely scenario under the tax exemption statute is that Apex will be required to pay their full share of taxes on the property value as soon as they open their doors. The abatement would be on the improvements such as the turf fields and buildings. According to the tax exemption statute, there is a ramp-up on the improvements over 5 years…20% in Year 2, 40% in Year 3, 60% in Year 4, and 80% in Year 5. So long story short, Apex will in fact be required to pay taxes over these initial 5 years, and the Board of Education and all other receivers of property taxes will benefit quite substantially. As my friend reminded me...the land is just sitting there now and not currently bringing in any tax revenue!

Our township and county elected officials have done an outstanding job of recognizing what the Hillsborough Community needs for its families, and they developed a creative solution to minimize the tax burden on residents by bringing Apex to Hillsborough. If you want Apex in Hillsborough, then please sign this petition, and let your community and elected officials know that “We Want Apex in Hillsborough!”. Also, come out and join your fellow Hillsborough residents in supporting this project at the March 27 Hillsborough Township Committee meeting. The meeting starts at 7:30pm in the Hillsborough Township municipal building.

Hillsborough will have repurposed a contaminated site to the benefit of hundreds of families and literally thousands of our kids. The site will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue. The project is a win-win for HIllsborough and its residents. This is an easy one…..

Thank you!
Steve O