The Milford Water vs. MEGA Warehouse issue, leaving aside the developer’s self-serving arguments, is being positioned by the Milford Township Board as a balancing act between competing citizen interests – economic vs. health and environmental.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The primary economic interests of the area, including Milford Township, Dingman Township and Milford Borough, are tourism and residential community development, including real estate taxes.
The key driving factors in bringing these interests here are the area’s incredible natural beauty, its quaint, yet rich cultural heritage and its pristine environment, including clean, healthy water and air.
This area would be economically dead without these driving factors bringing tourists, weekend residents and retirees/metropolitan transplants to visit or live here.
Add to this the potential risk and downside cost of a contaminated aquifer resulting in an unhealthy or unsafe water supply, and you have a recipe for economic disaster about to be served.
Right now, the Township Board does not seem to be balancing competing citizen interests at all, simply pushing a quick-buck, short-term agenda that overlooks both the environmental health and safety issues as well as the intrinsic value of our existing community assets.
I urge the Board to reconsider its short-term framing of this issue and review the long-term implications of a zoning ordinance that essentially redefines the aquifer safety zone and relaxes the standards that have protected our water supply for decades.
Should a worst-case scenario unfold, as has happened in other communities, there will be legal and financial liability issues that Milford Township, its citizens, the Planner and current Board Members will have to address.
Better to consider these issues now before a decision is made.
As Milford Mayor, Sean Strub, suggests, let’s look at better ways to use and conserve this land, ways that contribute to our community’s long-term well-being and its sustained economic future.