Government

Berkeley Heights Council Adopts Ordinance Approving Purchase of Plainfield Avenue Property by Township, Sale Of Library Property to Church

Township Clerk Ana Minkoff reads the Ordinance title. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
The full Berkeley Heights Council and Mayor Robert Woodruff. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley and Michael D' Aquila recuse themselves from the hearing and vote on the ordinance because of their association with the Church of the Little Flower. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
The Berkeley Heights Council votes on the ordinance that will enable the action formerly known as "The Swap." Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Council members return to their seats after the public hearing and vote are over. Credits: Barbara Rybolt

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The township moved one step closer to becoming owners of the Church of the Little Flower's Roosevelt Avenue property at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The council, by a vote of 4-0, adopted the ordinance approving the purchase of property at 110 Roosevelt Avenue from the Church of the Little Flower and sale of the township library, at 290 Plainfield Ave., to the Church of the Little Flower. As they have previously, council members Jeanne Kingsley and Michael D' Aquila recused themselves from the hearing and vote because of their association with the church. The ordinance authorized the appropriation of no more than "$2,900,000, plus all adjustments to be made at closing," for this purchase. The amount will be funded through a $2.9 million bond ordinance passed earlier in the year.

No members of the public commented on the ordinance during the public hearing.

Sign Up for E-News

This sale and purchase were originally called “The Swap,” when the concept was first presented to the public. At that time the plan was for the township to “swap” the library plus an undetermined sum of money for the Roosevelt Avenue property with the Church of the Little Flower.  The township would rehabilitate the buildings on Roosevelt Avenue and turn them into a municipal complex, in which the library and police department would be located, and do other work to make a space on the property for the Department of Public Works.  Later it was called “The Transaction,” but the plan was the same. The church would renovate the former township library and use it for religious instruction and other purposes.

Public meetings on the topic were held in 2014, then in June of 2015, in part because of vocal opposition to some elements of the plan, consultants recommended a new Municipal Complex be built on Park Avenue and the Roosevelt Avenue property be turned into a 100-unit townhouse development, with 80 market rate townhouses and 20 affordable housing units.

Almost two-and-a-half years later, the ordinance adopted Tuesday night, Nov. 21, should permit the township to put their plans into action. There has been incremental progress during those years. In July, residents learned the township library will relocate to the Little Flower Church Rectory when it vacates its current home, and the church would continue to use the building on Roosevelt Avenue for its religious school, until renovations of the library are complete.

 At the time, it was expected that the sale of the property would take place by the end of this year.

The council went into Executive Session at the end of the public meeting to discuss “contract negotiations – library.” Presumably the two parties are continuing to discuss details of the closing, including the date for the actual closing on the properties. It is still possible, although unlikely, that the sale could fall through.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Your Doctor in Sickness and in Health

December 11, 2017

About 3 years ago, around the time healthcare was saying its last goodbyes to solo practitioners, I decided to plunge into the world of private practice and one morning announced to my family, “I am starting a new primary care solo practice.” I am an Internist of Asian Indian origin and I graduated from residency about twenty years ago. To say that my family was bewildered is an ...

Union County College’s Board Member Zimmermann Named to NJCCC Executive Committee

December 12, 2017

CRANFORD, NJ - Union County College is pleased to announce that Mary M. Zimmermann, former Chair of the Union County College Foundation Board and member of the College’s Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, was elected to the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges on Nov. 20, 2017.

The members of the Executive Committee represent the New Jersey Council of ...

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Announces 2018 Musical Theater Company Members

BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) announced today that 10 students have been chosen for its advanced Musical Theater Company: Alysa Ali, 13, of Watchung; Kate Bloom, 11, of Westfield; Sara Bolden, 12, of Berkley Heights; Payton Buckley, 11, of Berkley Heights; Mariam Contractor, 13, of Watchung; Paloma Di Falco, 13, of New Providence; Sarah Duong, 10, of ...

Hickory Tree Chorus offers Free A Cappella Singing Series - January 2018

The Hickory Tree Chorus chapter of Sweet Adelines International invites women singers to register for its free “Sing A Cappella Series” of vocal workshops. Women will learn to sing chord-ringing, fun-filled, four-part a cappella music, Wednesdays, January 10, 17, and 24 at 7:15pm at The Shrine of St Joseph, 1050 Long Hill Road, Stirling, NJ.  The series kicks off with a ...

Give the Gift of Health and Happiness this year!

Don't know what to get your loved ones as a holiday gift?
https://www.themaxchallenge.com/locations/new-providence-nj/

We've got the answer right here! Give the gift of health and happiness this year!

THE MAX Challenge of New Providence can help you to make the change you've always dreamed of in just 10 weeks. We've combined fitness classes, nutritional counseling and ...

Winter Weather Advisory Issued as First Snowfall of the Season Arrives on Saturday

December 8, 2017

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - - The first snowfall of the season will be arriving on Saturday morning according to the National Weather Service(NWS) in New York. 

A “Winter Weather Advisory” is in effect from 6 a.m. Saturday morning until 6 a.m. on Sunday.

According to the NWS advisory, Union County can expect snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, with the possibility of ...

Rutgers to raise minimum wage to $11 an hour for student workers

December 12, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University will be raising the campus-wide minimum wage to $11 an hour, university president Robert Barchi announced in a campus-wide email on December 11.

The move comes as a partial victory for the local labor rights group, Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops​ (RUSAS)​, wh​ich ha​s​ been campaigning for a $15 minimum wage.

Right now, the ...

ConRail Working on Track Clean Up Following Friday's Derailment in Union; Train Service Still Suspended

December 9, 2017

UNION, NJ – No hazardous material was involved in the freight train derailment Friday afternoon in Union.

“There’s severe damage to the tracks,” said Union Fire Chief Mike Scanio at a press conference Friday evening.  “There’s multiple piles of cars at different locations up and down the span of the tracks from the Roselle Park line all the way through ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, December 13

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, December 13, 6:00 PM

Congregation Ohr Shalom, Summit

Candlelight Vigil Against Gun Violence

Law & Justice Religions And Spirituality

Thu, December 14

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, December 14, 7:30 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Troubleshoot & Fix Your Computer

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, December 15

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Fri, December 15, 5:00 PM

West Orange

Holiday Lights Spectacular

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Berkeley Heights U10 Boys Soccer Team Captures Championship at 5v5 Winter Tournament

CARLSTADT, NJ - Berkeley Heights Team Azzurri U10 boys soccer team took home the Sofive 5v5 Winter Tournament Series Championship in Carlstadt on Saturday.

The team defeated SABA NYC, 1-1, and Wayne, 2-1, and tied Wykcoff Y, 1-1, to advance to the championship game.The team defeated Fort Lee, 3-1, in the championship game.

Team Azzurri players: Sammy Bartiromo, ...

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

Market Forecasts: Helpful or Useless?

The financials industry spends a lot of time and money on preparing stock and bond market forecasts – especially at this time of year --  but are they “helpful” or “useless” when it comes to making investment decisions?  In my opinion, most of these forecasts have little predictive power. In other words, they’re useless in terms of providing ...

The Mommy's Review - Coco

Corre, no camines (that’s “run, don’t walk!”) to see Coco, the newest animated feature film from Pixar Animation Studios/Disney. This beautiful movie is something that families will cherish seeing together. Like Moana last year, I took my family (ages 7 to 70+) to see Coco over Thanksgiving weekend, and everyone was delighted by the splendor of this wonderful cinematic ...