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Union County Freeholder Board Approves $500,000 to Restore Historic Sites

 Eleven historic buildings in eight Union County municipalities will undergo restoration work this year, funded in part by $500,000 in grants approved by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Preserve Union County program.

Preserve Union County was created in 2003 as an initiative of Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon. It provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants for projects that are developed by local preservation groups and governments. Projects for Union County properties are also eligible for funding.

“Preserve Union County is focused on supporting local groups in their efforts to preserve sites that are most treasured within their communities,” said Scanlon. “This program has worked so well because the projects are developed by people who are deeply committed and involved.”

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Since 2003, Preserve Union County has awarded approximately $2.5 million in matching funds that have gone to help preserve and restore twenty-six historic sites throughout Union County.

Preserve Union County is funded through the Union County Open Space, Historic Preservation and Recreation Trust Fund. The Trust Fund was approved overwhelmingly by popular referendum in 2000. Since then it has preserved well over 300 acres of land for public parks, acquired and restored historic sites including the 1920-s era Performing Arts Center in Rahway, and provided matching grants to municipalities and nonprofits for dozens of local recreation improvements and historic preservation projects.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a consistent funding stream for important civic projects, through good times and bad,” said Scanlon. “Even during this time of global economic crisis, Preserve Union County is still helping to save rare treasures from our past, while creating work in the building and preservation trades that otherwise would have to be delayed, or would not occur at all.” 

The 2011 Preserve Union County awardees are:

Elizabeth

First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth: Restore slate roof and masonry at the tower (Elizabeth Old First Historic Trust), $100,000.00.

Fanwood

Carriage House: New windows and air conditioning (Borough of Fanwood), $15,000.00.

Kenilworth

Oswald J. Nitschke House: Restore second floor, lighting, and air conditioning, and install period stove (Kenilworth Historic Society), $70,000.00.

Mountainside

Deacon Hetfield House: Upgrade electrical system and replace hot water heater (Mountainside Restoration Committee), $5,396.00.

Plainfield

Lampkin House and Barn: Acquire the property located at 850 Terrill Road, perform high priority repairs, and develop a preservation plan (City of Plainfield), $70,000.00.

Plainfield

George A. Strong Residence: Repair active roof leaks, restore masonry at chimney, restore deteriorated elements of port cochere (Ducret School of Arts), $35,000.00.

Plainfield

Nathaniel Drake House: Restore or repair slate roof, gutters, porch, and chimney, and build new accessible restroom. Project includes scaffolding. (Historical Society of Plainfield), $30,000.00.

Rahway

Merchants and Drovers Tavern: Restore or repair gutters, siding, eaves, masonry fireplace and foundation, doors, fire escapes, and other building elements, and paint existing trim, doors and windows. Project includes scaffolding (Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum Association), $65,000.00.

Summit

Reeves-Reed Arboretum and The Clearing: Repair and repaint wood, replace storm windows, and install new walkway for safer access to main house (Reeves-Reed Arboretum), $43,000.00.

Union

Liberty Hall Museum Carriage House: Complete replacement of the slate roof (Liberty Hall Museum, Inc.), $60,000.00.

Union

Caldwell Parsonage: Install a ductless air conditioning system, main panel and power shut off (Union Township Historical Society), $6,112.50.

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Berkeley Heights

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July 10, 2018

The Berkeley Heights Municipal Complex project is the largest and most expensive local public project we will likely witness as Berkeley Heights residents. It is a vast responsibility. Therefore, it was concerning to learn that the Township Council and Mayor placed an ordinance on the agenda June 26 for an additional $4 million for the municipal complex without much regard to time.

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17 Years Running and the Pizza is still Hot!! The Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza is July 25, 2018

July 16, 2018

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Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1, a Pearl Jam  tribute band, taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

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Union County Students Invited to Experience a Unique Silent Party

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Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for Berkeley Heights Tuesday Afternoon

July 3, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union County until 2:30 p.m. and a flash flood warning until 5 p.m.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding,” the service warned. “Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

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Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

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Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

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Senior Summer BBQ at the Summit YMCA

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