Mayor's Round Table: Mayor Sheds Light On Township Facts

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Mayor's Round Table is a monthly show hosted by Dr. Donald DeFabio, who sits with Mayor Robert Woodruff to talk about current issues that affect the township as well as answer questions submitted by citizens. 

Included in this episode Mayor Bob Woodruff provides an update on Redevelopment, Affordable Housing and plans for Peppertown Park. 

Affordable Housing and Redevelopment

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  • Court approved Affordable Housing Agreement with Fair Share Housing and Developers
    • Agreement: 389 units
      • 55 and older housing on Locust Avenue
      • Connell property [which was not part of the suit, but is part of the agreement]
      • Kings Property
      • Theatre Property
      • Hamilton Avenue Property
  • Council passed Part 19 for design standards -- specs that builders need to follow for consistency.
  • Kings developer will take Sherman Avenue and extend to Plainfield Avenue and widen for a boulevard look.
  • Redevelopment discussions with the church are ongoing.
  • The Township is moving forward with the township administration building.

Woodruff addressed public comments to assure that citizens are receiving factual information. 

  • Current debt is $16.4M, rolling off on a monthly basis. Information provided by the CFO. 
  • Projected bond for Municipal Complex Redevelopment is $27M -- $22M to construction fees and balance for soft costs.
  • Sale of Hamilton Avenue -- remaining bond will be diminished from $27M to $14-$15M. Secured at various rates.
  • One "No" vote by a councilperson could bring land transaction between Township and Church of the Little Flower to conclusion. Woodruff confirmed that this is not true. With Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley and Councilman Michael D'Aquila recusing themselves from the vote, leaving four voting members, a 3-1 vote passes.
  • The outstanding lawsuit by resident Carol Matula was dismissed and is in appeal. This law suit will not stop town business, said Woodruff. There is no court order on this.

Other Business

  • Hotel and restaurant at Connell Corporate Park will open in early 2017; bid for purchase of liquor license [one time payment]; 3% sales tax per room per night goes to the town.
  • Peppertown Park is being redesigned in phases. Funding through grants and private donations. A 501c3 has been formed. Phase 1 is estimated at $116,500.
  • Movie theater -- 21 units with some units being duplexes. There will be 4,400 square feet of retail space opening to a redeveloped space on Sherman Avenue (could be open seating in the back.)
  • Vito Mondelli property bequeathed to the town. We are in discussion with developer to build on property and create park and maintain it, said Woodruff.


Berkeley Heights Here and Now: Mayor, municipal offices will provide updates and the Communications Committee wants the citizens to be heard, wants to hear from the businesses and wants to hear from the community organizations. 

The show will be aired on Comcast 34 and Fios 47: 

  • Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays at 8 a.m.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 7 p.m.

The show will also be shown through this column on TAP into Berkeley Heights and the Township Website. (A DVD will be placed at the Public Library.)

Citizens of Berkeley Heights are welcome to email a question for the "Ask the Mayor a Question" segment of the  show. Your email must state your full name, postal address and phone number. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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