BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- The memorandum of understanding with Little Flower Church was extended to March 11 by the council during the Feb. 9 meeting of the council.
The current deadline for reaching an agreement on the potential exchange of land between the church and the township is Feb. 28. There are still a few details to be worked out, said Councilman Marc Faecher, who is the project manager for this phase of the redevelopment project.
Faecher said negotiations continued last week and we are "trying to get to the point where we have a contract to present to the council by the end of the month or the beginning of next month." In particular, since the township needs a library, we "need to dovetail that with" the needs of Little Flower Church.
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The hope is they will be able to continue to provide library services for the residents and hope to "fold it into the contract with Church of the Little Flower," he said.
Former Councilman Kevin Hall, who steered the redevelopment project through the council ever since its inception, attended the executive session as the "assistant project manager."
There is currently no timeline for the project, although Mayor Robert Woodruff said, "We have the components of a time line, but not the details."
The turnout for the open house on the redevelopment project was good. There were a "lot of good questions asked," said Faecher. A video summary of the professionals' testimony on the project is being made and will be available for the public, he said.
A member of the audience asked about the "community center" aspect of the project and said she was surprised to discover the center is proposed to be located on the lower floor of the municipal complex and was not planned to have tall ceilings, similar to a gym.
The mayor told her the public voted down a community center, with a gym, many years ago.
Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley said while it was unlikely there will be the ability to provide a space for adult basketball, the proposed recreation area will be large enough for youngster to play some indoor sports.
Township Administrator John Bussiculo indicated the plans were conceptual at this time, nothing is definite.