MILLBURN, NJ - Mayor Ted Bourke gave an update on Stop and Shop and the vacant Saks building on Millburn Avenue. The Essex County Board of Freeholders will consider the fate of the Saks building on the Millburn-Springfield border at their meeting on April 27th. Most of the property resides in Springfield. However, Millburn occupies a 20 foot strip of the land.
Essex County was contemplating widening Millburn Avenue in the 1950’s. The border between Millburn and Springfield was shifted by 20 feet and gave Springfield the vast majority of the land.
Stop and Shop bought the property in the early 1990’s. Due to Millburn’s disapproval with Stop and Shop’s intentions, Millburn Township has not granted the 20 foot strip of land to Stop and Shop for use and has therefore prevented the start of construction.
Stop and Shop has informed the Courts that its goal is to strip Millburn of their 20 foot share, and grant it to Essex County allowing Stop and Shop to settle in as an establishment in Springfield.
Many residents have stated that it’s in Millburn’s best interest to prevent Stop and Shop from opening in the vacant lot because of the safety and traffic problems that could come with the establishment of a large commercial food store.
“It is property of Springfield. It is a road of the county. It is our residents, our quality of life that is at risk. The plan right now would require all traffic to utilize Millburn Ave. as the access point,” said Mayor Bourke.
Millburn’s Board of Adjustment denied Stop and Shop’s application for the land usage in 2014, and will continue to do so, delaying construction.
Assistant Business Administrator, Alex McDonald and Mayor Bourke presented the 2016 Budget Introduction. As of now the total 2016 township budget is $56,664,750.00, a small increase from last year due to the need to replenish unanticipated infrastructure projects from 2015 and the Short Hills Hilton tax appeal of $2.2 million in total.
Prior to the Stop and Shop talk, Gail Schob and Heather Jenquine announced the Family Meal Week Plan initiative during Alcohol Awareness Month (April). The two encourage Millburn citizens and business owners to support the movement by eating dinner with their families every night.
“National research shows that children and teens who eat regularly with their family do better in school, have better relationships with family and friends, and are less likely to engage in risky behavior such as under aged drinking or drug use,” said Township Clerk, Christine Gatti.