ANDOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ - The Township of Andover was founded in 1864 and included Andover Borough. In 1904, Andover Township and Andover Borough split into their separate towns.
Andover Township has nearly 6,500 residents and is a great town for local businesses to start. Newton-Sparta Road is the most heavily traveled road in Sussex County, making it a perfect location for a small business.
According to Mayor Mike Lensak, who moved to Andover Township several years ago from Wayne, the township provides a good quality of life with its rural atmosphere, along with its proximity to Route 15 and 80.
When Mayor Lensak moved to Andover, the town reminded him of what Wayne had been 40 years ago.
“Andover is a great town and a great community with great people,” Lensak said. “It has lots to offer to businesses and families.”
Andover Township also has as greatly diversified community with its farmers, business people and entrepreneurs.
“Because it is a small town, it is known for its great volunteer spirit where the police and volunteer squads really care about the community as a whole,” Lensak said.
Councilman Tom Walsh grew up in Andover Township and has lived in the town for over 50 years. He attended Long Pond School when it was Andover School and has great memories of his childhood there.
"I had the best childhood in this town, and I wanted the same thing for my children,” Walsh said. “It’s great hearing them share the same memories and loving the same things that I loved when I was growing up.”
Walsh raised his family in the same house he grew up in.
"I don’t know why, but I just love it here,” he said.
Walsh began coaching basketball when his son was in kindergarten and enjoyed getting to know the different families in the town. “I found so many good people here,” he said. “Of course, there are good people in every community that you meet as you really get involved.”
When asked why he became involved in local politics, Walsh said, “If you’re going to do something, do it all the way or not at all. I try to go all out.”
He knew that while owning his own business, getting involved in politics would make some enemies. But when asked to run for the committee he realized the areas where he could be a help to the community.
Lensak felt similarly toward community politics.
"My father always to me to give back in life and don’t look for any kind of recognition,” Lensak said. “Give of yourself and through that you’ll be rewarded in other ways.”
Lensak also expressed the balance within Andover Township government between their desire for environmental sustainability and community development. The town plans to preserve the agricultural history and land, but encourages its people to support local business growth.
Andover Township offers many different opportunities for residents to be involved. Whether through Sustainable Andover, the economic development committee, little league or the different volunteer squads, every resident can find a way to influence their community in a good way. “If you just ask, we can find something for you to be involved in,” Lensak said.
When asked about the major issues the community should be aware of, both Walsh and Lensak mentioned the Energy Tax Receipts. The Energy Taxes effect everything in the budget.
“If we had received the $350,000 we should have been given, we would have been able to keep taxes flat or even lower them,” Lensak said.
To read more on this issue, visit http://thealternativepress.com/articles/andover-township-discusses-energy-tax-and-shared
Interesting facts about Andover Township
· Lake Aeroflex, located on Limecrest Road in Andover Township, is one of the deepest lakes in the New Jersey.
· In a darker part of the town’s history, Lake Iliff and the Hillside Park barn were part of a Nazi-supporter retreat and camp.