Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Country Living with a Dash of Convenience

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Country Living with a Dash of Convenience

Article excerpt

BLOOMINGDALE - Cindy Keegan doesn't miss the traffic that clogged Route 23 near her former home in Sussex County.

"Living in Sussex, we had to drive 45 minutes for everything," Keegan said.

That was one of the reasons she and her family moved from Sussex to Bloomingdale, a lake-and-woods-highlighted community of 8.8 square miles in the suburban northern reaches of Passaic County.

In Bloomingdale, they're still near Route 23 but without the "horrendous" traffic, and with the arrival of the big-box stores along the highway in recent years, "It's really convenient," she said.

What's also convenient are the municipal services. In the five years the Keegans have called Bloomingdale home, they have also come to appreciate the library and children's programs. On this day, Cindy and daughter Camryn have their arms piled high with books from the library, which is based in the municipal complex.

Camryn smiled as she said, "They have lots of good books."

"And a lot of nice programs for kids," agreed her mother.

Inside the library, as his young daughter picked out books, Jim Keegan shared the sentiment that Bloomingdale is "kid friendly" and mentioned full-day kindergarten as an example. He also said that Tri- Boro Little League starts children early and they can stay in athletics through Butler High School. Bloomingdale shares a high school with Butler but has two elementary schools and a middle school of its own.

"I live on a dead-end and everyone on the block has kids the same age," Jim said. Borough events such as Pride Day also bring residents together, he said.

Elsewhere in the municipal complex, Chris Neuberger is giving a big red fire engine a good washing on an unseasonably warm winter day. Unlike the Keegans, he grew up in Bloomingdale and still resides there, as a renter.

"It's a small town with good people ... quiet," he said of why he never left.

As some buddies joined the conversation, one of them brought up the taxes, which is a sore point after a recent revaluation.

Mayor Jon Dunleavy has expressed hopes that the AvalonBay apartment development under construction on Union Avenue could bring relief, and there is also the possibility of new ratables with the court-sanctioned development in the area of nearby Federal Hill, though no ground has been broken yet. …

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