UNION, NJ – The first of four Master Plan Community Meetings took place Monday morning at the Union Senior Center to a crowd of about 80.

“This is the first of our community meetings,” said Union Mayor Michele Delisfort.  “We are getting a lot of valuable input from our senior community.  The level of input they are providing is very sound, and we are hearing things we hadn’t considered in the past.  We really appreciate their participation.”

The crowd, mostly senior citizens who are members of the Senior Center’s Monday Club, were broken into four groups, facilitated by Delisfort and representatives from Maser Consulting PA, to provide input on the following topics:

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  • Economic Development
  • Community Facilities; Storm Water Management; Sustainability
  • Land Use/Housing
  • Parking/Circulation

Input from the participants on the parking/circulation issue included poor lighting on Morris Avenue behind the Municipal building, the loss of parking spaces at the Senior Center, train station parking limitations, and problems at the Route 22 extension onto the Chestnut/Fairway Drive area.

Brainstorming ideas for community facilities included a public pool and a bowling facility, improvements to Jefferson Park, extended bus service hours, an updated recycling center, and internet classes at the Senior Center.

Participants discussing Land Use/Housing suggested linking housing to transportation, adding a variety of housing for all age levels, access to affordable and senior housing, and housing with a ‘community feel’.

While discussing economic development, participants listed needs such as national/chain restaurants, a parking deck, store variety, movie theater renovation, transportation options to Union Center, and better promotions of businesses. 

“Today’s meeting was devoted to where Union is going in the future,” said Union Senior Center’s Active Retirees Club President Allen Collins.  “The town is getting the input of the seniors here, what they think, and what they’ve seen happen over the years.”

The three remaining meetings will be held:

  • October 1, 7:00 p.m. - Crossroads Church, 2815 Morris Ave.
  • October 23, 7:00 p.m. - Donald M. Payne Vauxhall Meeting Center, 333 Russell St. Vauxhall
  • October 29, 7:00 p.m. - YMCA 5 Points Branch, 201 Tucker Ave.