WATCHUNG, NJ - Johnson Soils Company presented its findings on a possible library site at a special meeting of the Borough council last week. Lisa Mahle-Greco PE presented the geotechnical engineering report for soil borings taken at the potential 9000-9500 square foot library site at the upper gravel parking lot behind the Municipal Building and the Exempt Fire Hall at 15 Mountain Boulevard.


The conclusion? It’s buildable. 


The other possibility being discussed is for a new library/community center at the Exempt Fire Hall. Watchung Mayor Keith Balla said at the meeting that he planned to meet with the exempts on Monday. In an email Thursday, he said that he is expecting a response Friday.

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The $125 million Library Construction Bond Act was approved in 2017.


“In the last week of May 2019 we have reached a major milestone,” the NJ State Library said. “On May 30, the DRAFT Library Construction Bond Regulations were officially received by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on a timeline appropriate for publication in the July 1 Register. July 1 marks the beginning of a 60-day public comment period, to be followed by a 30-day response period, and then within several weeks the adoption and reposting of the final regulations and an announcement of the solicitation for proposals. The application window will allow 90 days for submission. The State Library anticipates grant applications being due early in calendar year 2020.”

For updates from NJ State Library click here.


The soil test performed by the Johnson Soils Company provides information on the conditions of the soil in the area for use by the Borough of Watchung. Four borings were taken at the identified four corners. Greco said in response to a question from a resident that if the site shifted slightly, results would be similar based on the location. She also said in response to a question from Council President Robert Gibbs regarding the bearing capacity, that it could bear a multiple story building. An 11 page detailed report was provided to the Borough by Johnson Soils.



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