To the editor:

We created our business and chose Flemington for its location 37 years ago.

It was a town with a great central New Jersey location, midway between New York and Philadelphia, with easy access from many towns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Flemington was vital. At times we felt we could hold court in our dining room; it was filled with attorneys, clients, professional business people and wonderful tourists, shoppers and destination customers. We even had celebrities from Manhattan and all over the world that became regulars when they were on route to their country homes.

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Our customer base grew each year and we became a strong successful business. We are very educated in our profession and have worked extremely hard with constant dedication to our profession and our customers.

In the mid-90s, each year business and town traffic started to show a decline. Never did we ever think town would continue each year to get worse and end up in the very bad business climate it is in today.

We watched over the years, while many had their heads in the mud with small town mentality and very little vision on the future of our town. Those of us who have persevered with dedication, extreme hours of hard work and eternal positive attitudes, have witnessed and participated in so many approaches to the revitalization of Flemington. We have seen failure after failure, with good intentions, but usually “Band Aids” to the real problems.

Sometimes, the old must be replaced with the new. It is often a hard decision to do this, but in Flemington’s case, we feel it is the only way for its revitalization and ultimate survival. Passion is often the motivator behind a business entrepreneur, but finances dictate survival. It is degrading and extremely frustrating to have put so many hours, professionalism and a good part of one’s life into a town that has basically failed us. Our customers wonder over and over how we’ve been able to survive in the current business environment of Flemington - one that has been heading in the wrong direction for at least 20 years.

As business and property owners we have had to support a failing town with higher and higher taxes – an extreme hardship financially – with no positive return.

We need to support the Cust family and the Courthouse Square project now, before we are all too old to see a true revitalization of Flemington. As property owners we all have a great financial investment in our property and need to see town become vital again. All over the state and country, towns are revitalizing and showing extreme success. Flemington must become one of those towns. We need to move forward with the “Flemington Fresh” concept.

The Cust family has shown success in many of their business endeavors. Diamond Nation brings educated, sophisticated, cultured families to the Flemington area. We know firsthand as they come to dine in our restaurant and return upon their next visit. It’s so refreshing to see this!

Let’s finally “Raise the Bar” and  support the Cust Courthouse Square project with positive energy.

The Cust family has offered important compromises to saving the Union Hotel and 90 Main Street buildings. Soon Flemington will be history if it continues in its present direction.

It’s been way too many years of the wrong direction. Let’s make Flemington a success now!

Norman Todd

owner, Market Roost restaurant