Letter to the Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents for their commitment to our town’s future.  Recently the Town Council held four information meetings regarding the Redevelopment of the Municipal complex.  These are complicated issues and it was extremely valuable to me and the Council to hear the thoughts, issues and concerns raised by the public. 

The redevelopment of our municipal complex project is still in its infancy.  The Council wishes to make it clear that nothing has been decided on this matter.  We asked for and continue to ask for public input.  No good choices or decisions are effective without it.

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For those residents that were not able to attend any of the sessions, I want to briefly summarize what the Redevelopment of the Municipal complex means.  Our community is faced with significant infrastructure issues regarding our current Municipal complex.  The Church of the Little Flower approached the Township about a possibility of exchanging the Township library for the Church property on Hamilton Ave.  Given the challenges that we, as a town, have been facing regarding the library and Municipal complexes, it would have been irresponsible for us not to explore this “exchange” option since it is incumbent upon the Council to evaluate all feasible alternatives to address our aging infrastructure.  This involved examining all of the current deficiencies in both properties, determining approximate fair market value for the properties, and assessing short and long term township needs to see if they could be met in the Hamilton Avenue property.

Once this initial analysis was performed, public meetings were scheduled to educate the residents on the various components of this series of transactions and to gain insights and thoughts around them.  The meetings provided a significant amount of information, and any resident that was not able to attend the meetings can still pick up from the Town Clerk a disk containing all of the information that was presented.  In addition, the meetings were videoed and are able on the township website and our local TV channel. 

A summary meeting is planned as well as coffees for small group discussions.   If you are interested in hosting a coffee, please email council President Jeanne Kingsley at jkingsley@bhtwp.com.  Thank you for your continued involvement and we look forward to working with you on this important project.

Kevin Hall
Councilman, Berkeley Heights