This week the South Plainfield Democratic Candidates for Borough Council, Cassie Capparelli and Roberto Sayers, discussed some of their plans to get things done for South Plainfield, including the development of South Plainfield’s portion of the Middlesex County Greenway, development of South Plainfield’s downtown area along South Plainfield Avenue, Front Street and Hamilton Boulevard, development of a “pocket park” on the south side of the Borough, and Green Energy initiatives aimed at achieving savings for the borough.

Roberto Sayers stated, “The Middlesex Greenway is an open space resource within the communities of Metuchen, Edison, and Woodbridge. Situated on a historic portion of Lehigh Valley rail corridor, this 3.5 mile long, 42-acre corridor was purchased by the County of Middlesex in 2002 as a rails-to-trails project for recreational use.  The Greenway provides paths and trails suitable for walking, biking and jogging.  Multiple entrances provide access along the entire length of the trail, connecting a diverse array of neighborhoods to area parks, schools and shopping.  The Greenway is a wonderful open space and recreational resource that South Plainfield should support. If we could continue the Greenway in South Plainfield, we could bring users to the environmentally unique Dismal Swamp and connect to County-preserved properties in the Dismal Swamp and Spring Lake Park and the Borough-owned Memorial Park.”

Cassie Capparelli continued, “As a life-long resident of South Plainfield, it is evident that the south side of the Borough is lacking in park facilities.  Although Shady Side Park is great, it is quite distant from a lot of residents on the south side.  It would be great if the Borough could build an additional park on south side.  The Borough should investigate acquiring property and turning it green – with a walking path, benches for seating, a children’s playground and layers of landscaping.  This would be a great addition to our Borough.  Homeowners would also benefit financially as studies have shown that pocket parks of this nature have a positive impact on nearby property values.”

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Roberto Sayers continued, “For years, people have talked about rejuvenating the downtown area.  There is a great deal of potential in our downtown area, and our goal is to engage the businesses, people and public entities to invigorate that area.  Can we make this area an Urban Transit Hub for buses running to New York which would be eligible for tax credits?  Can we connect the downtown to the redeveloped brownfield area at the former Hamilton Industrial Complex? These are the questions that we should be asking.  There are plenty of assets that can be engaged without great cost to the taxpayers such as the Bloustein School and Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers which has extensive outreach programs to assist towns with expertise in transportation, green building, energy, environment and safety.  Let’s use these resources and make this long-hoped-for revitalization a reality.  We have these great assets, but we can do better.”

Cassie Capparelli concluded, “A few years back, the Democrats authorized an audit of the Borough’s street lighting that found that a number of street lights were in locations that are not useful or necessary anymore.  The simple turning off of these lights resulted in a savings of thousands of dollars each year. The Borough should look to implement projects which will increase efficiency, apply conservation measures, and cut out waste that will reduce our energy costs. In these challenging times we need to be innovative and forward thinking.  Old problems need to be looked at with a new perspective.  The Democrats are committed to continuing to improve the quality of life of the residents of South Plainfield.  The plans that Roberto Sayers and I support are just some of the ways we will get things done for South Plainfield.”