LINDEN, NJ - The Linden City Council convened on Tuesday and a few of the items discussed were developments throughout the city, increased police presence, and COVID-19 and how it will impact this year's Halloween festivities.

“We’ve been in discussion with a potential developer for a battery energy storage system,” said Mayor Armstead during the October Council Meeting.  The desired location would be the property adjacent to our landfill and a series of solar panels will also be installed. “We are looking forward to having an additional source of revenue for our city, so we can continue to lower taxes."

The Mayor’s Report included site plan approval for drive-thru Starbucks and a medical building in the new Legacy Square Shopping Center near the Super Wal-mart.

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“It’s very comforting and exciting to know we have businesses coming into the development,” he says. In that same breath, other areas may and have suffered economically due to relocations.

“When we talk about growth we need to talk about change,” Mayor Armstead continued. “As our city continues to grow, older businesses become antiquated, such as the case with the former Walmart property." When Wal-mart left its former location in the Avenue C shopping center, it essentially left the mall dry. A new developer is applying for site plan approval to build a warehouse. Mayor Armstead recognizes the potential hesitation, but assures that, “From a long term financial point of view the future of warehousing continues to look brighter as e-commerce is steering the direction forward.”

Safer Neighborhoods with a Larger Police Force

Councilwoman Hickney recalled an incident where a neighbor in her ward felt their safety was threatened one night.

“We need officers on the street,” she asserts. “Our residents want to see police cars going down their street on patrol and to know that they are safe and it’s unfortunate that it’s not happening right now.”  She mentions how money is going to other areas, but the safety of our residents needs to be higher on the list of priorities.

Coronavirus and Halloween Etiquette

The month of October saw an uptick in confirmed cases among the City of Linden. There were 117 confirmed cases, which is the highest it has been since May. There have been no new deaths this month.

Access to real-time COVID-19 data as it relates to Union County and Linden can be found here.

Trick or Treat in the times of coronavirus can be a tough call. But there have been no announcements calling off the fun, kid-focused holiday this year. The Council advises extreme caution for children.

Mayor Derek Armstead suggested the following protocols:

  • Participants must wear proper face masks, regardless of if a costume has a mask with it
  • Limit total number of houses children visit
  • Travel only with immediate family
  • Comply with social distancing guidelines
  • Give out treats in a way that prevents children reaching into the same bowl
  • House that are not participating should turn their lights off and not have decorations up

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