Berkeley Heights Library Will Move to Little Flower Rectory Near End of 2017

Dr. Thomas Foregger speaks to the Berkeley Heights Council on the rent that will charged for Little Flower Church for a seven-month period as the library is renovated. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Berkeley Heights Township Council members at the July 18 meeting. Credits: Barbara Rybolt

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Ever since the idea of the “Swap” first surfaced, residents have wanted to know where the library will go while renovations or, more recently, new construction, takes place. Residents got their answer last week. The temporary home of the Berkeley Heights Public Library will be the Little Flower Church Rectory at its 110 Roosevelt Ave. property.

The Township Council introduced an ordinance on July 18 authorizing the temporary use and occupancy of a portion of the property, the rectory, after the closing on the land transaction is complete. According to a portion of the ordinance, on June 30, the township and Little Flower and, “by letter agreement dated June 30, 2017, agreed the due diligence to the land transaction was complete and issued a “Notice of Date to Vacate,” providing the required six months’ notice for the closing of the transaction.

Council President Marc Faecher gave a status report of the issue before the vote. A notice to vacate has been given and accepted by both parties, he said and that is important, because, “The library needs time to move. I was very surprised by the arduous process that needs to be effectuated to move a library.” Everything in the library needs to be catalogued, and everything has a specific place and that “needs six months,” he said.

Sign Up for E-News

The closing is expected to take place “at year’s end,” he said, but even after the deal is closed, Little Flower Church still needs to renovate the library property and “the library needs some place to go,” he said.  After conversations, between interested parties in the township and Little Flower Church, they agreed on a solution to temporarily relocate the library in the rectory. Faecher said that while the rectory is smaller, “the intention was never to operate the library in the same size with full services, it was to maintain an operational presence, with significant services offered,” Faecher said, until it could move into permanent quarters in the new Municipal Complex.

Under a use and occupancy agreement that covers the time period after the closing, Little Flower Church will continue to use the larger building for worship services and school activities and the Berkeley Heights Library will operate out of the rectory. The church will be responsible for interior and exterior maintenance, and will indemnify the township against losses. The church will pay $2,000 a month rent for the temporary use of the facility and the library will get the use of parking and the rectory. After the seven months are up, Faecher said, officials envision the development of that property will start to begin and buildings will be demolished.

The ordinance was introduced with no further comment from the council.

During an earlier part of the meeting, Township resident Dr. Thomas Foregger asked why the rent being charged to Little Flower was so low, when his research indicated market rate would be in excess of $37,000 a month based on square footage.

Faecher said it was because it was “a short-term rental” with a plan in place to demolish the building in seven months, and would not be a marketable property. In addition, all the upkeep of the property, including the rectory, and the insurance, is being done by Little Flower. He described it as “more of a licensing-type use of the property,” in which the “use will be intermittent” and the rent “reasonable.”

Councilmember Mike D’Aquilla and Council Vice President Jeanne Kingsley recused themselves, as they have previously done because of a relationship with the church. The vote was 3-0 in favor, with Faecher, Councilmen Manuel Couto and Craig Pastore voting to introduce the ordinance. Councilman Peter Bavoso was not at the meeting.

The public hearing on the ordinance will be held on Aug. 15, the next meeting of the council. Council meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall, 29 Park Ave. The public is invited and may ask questions or make comments during the public hearing.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Very special "Annie, Jr." coming June 29-July 1 at Rahway High School

June 18, 2018

The CAU Community Players will be staging a very special production of "Annie, Jr." at the Rahway High School Center for Performing Arts on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1, at 2:00 p.m.

The CAU Community Players is a troupe of actors both with and without developmental disabilities. Formed in 2012, the troupe empowers members with disabilities ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers with Spinal Cord Injury for New Study!

Kessler Foundation is a research center in West Orange, NJ that specializes in disability research. We are currently seeking individuals with spinal cord injury to participate in a new research study:

Dr. John O'Neill, principal investigator in Spinal Cord Injury research seeks volunteers for a spinal cord injury study. The purpose of this study is to identify ways of enhancing the ...

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Start June 23

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

Dine at Chipotle in New Providence, June 18, in Support of Covenant House

Support Covenant House by making dinner a selfless act and support a fundraiser that supports Covenant House. Come in to Chipotle at 1260 Springfield Ave. in New Providence on Monday June 18 between 4 and 8 p.m. Click here to print flyer, or show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you're supporting the cause for 50 percent of proceeds to be donated to Covenant House.

About: ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

Union County Freeholders Support LGBTQ Community with Historical Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

June 4, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The rainbow flag, a symbol of pride and independence fly’s high at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month. 

This historic event by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Office of LGBTQ Services, Department of Human Services and many others, brought dignitaries and people from all over New Jersey to the steps of the ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 20, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

The Masterwork Chorus Launches 19th Summer Sing ...

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour


Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM


Kids' Critter Camp


Mon, June 25, 10:00 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Summer Reading Kick-Off: Eyes of the Wild

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, June 25, 10:00 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Summer Reading for Adults at the New Providence ...


Berkeley Heights Here and Now: May Edition

Berkeley Heights Here and Now

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...