SOMERVILLE, NJ – Mayor Dennis Sullivan desires to completely divert every day generate-by Key Road visitors to Veterans Memorial Push and designate the alternate roadway as Route 28/Business.
Shifting the bulk of targeted traffic from downtown Somerville to Veterans Memorial Drive, which parallels Main Street and the NJ TRANSIT Raritan Valley tracks, would empower the borough to far better manage things to do planned in the downtown restaurant and searching district that entice function-oriented site visitors and their enterprise to Somerset County’s downtown.
These activities demand that the avenue be free of charge of vehicular targeted traffic.
Since Key Avenue is a designated stretch of Route 28, a point out freeway, the New Jersey Office of Transportation will have to approve any plans to shut down the roadway. There is precedent for all those requests, with the NJDOT shifting site visitors to Veterans Memorial Push for the annual Memorial Day Weekend Tour of Somerville bicycle races spring and fall avenue fairs, the Central Jersey Jazz Pageant in September, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March and other firemen’s parades.
However, the borough was denied authorization to shut down Route 28 on pick weekend days and evenings this summer season the Downtown Somerville Alliance was hoping to produce a Primary Road eating plaza for dining establishments to give out of doors seating and increase profits in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sullivan introduced the initiative at the Jan. 1 Borough Reorganization assembly.
“As a new initiative, we need to start a dialogue with the Department of Transportation to designate Veteran’s Memorial Drive as Condition Freeway 28 Enterprise,” Sullivan stated in his organized remarks.
“This will permit us to reclaim Principal Street as a purely area street underneath our sole jurisdiction. That way we will no extended have to beg Trenton’s authorization to close Major Avenue for occasions that provide strength and commerce to city. This motion will enhance the attempts of the Downtown Somerville Alliance and our service provider community to foster action and prosperity to industrial qualities whose success is so crucial to Somerville’s tax foundation,” Sullivan included
“The Borough Council and I will enlist the help of numerous associates in this endeavor, and I will preserve you informed on strategies you can assistance us realize our aim,” the mayor said.
Sullivan also shown quite a few ongoing initiatives common to residents – initiatives to gather taxes, or payments in lieu of taxes, on a lengthy listing of properties specified as non-earnings or that are county-owned closure of the condition Motor Motor vehicle Commission business office on Roosevelt Area that has spawned complications in the bordering household neighborhood and drained borough means and building of a photo voltaic farm on the web page of the borough’s previous landfill together Route 206.
This is the text of Sullivan’s remarks:
“Dear Somerville Local community,
“Welcome to the 1st, and ideally very last, digital reorganization meeting of the Somerville Borough Council. When we met on the Substantial School stage a temporary 12 months ago, who could have predicted the stormy path our ship of condition would have to navigate in 2020? Nevertheless that perilous journey has introduced us to this day to reflect on the earlier and ponder the upcoming.
“A amusing thing occurred as I ready these remarks. I located myself at a loss for terms, and if you know me, that doesn’t happen incredibly often.
“Soon after a couple fruitless tries at my laptop or computer keyboard, I appeared for a change of landscapes to ideally offer some inspiration. I went to Borough Hall and sat near the gallery of former Mayor’s portraits on the second ground, and I questioned what they might say to us as we start out 2021.
“Just after all, these previous leaders guided Somerville by Environment Wars, the Excellent Depression, and the horrible flu epidemic of 1918. These problems tested the toughness of our good group, and as is
the scenario right now, Somerville tackles adversity with a collective spirit we can all be very pleased of.
“From its beginnings as a Borough less than Mayor Charles Kenyon back again in 1909 to now, Somerville Powerful is genuine.
“We all keep in mind the darkest times of the spring period deserted streets, empty grocery shelves, darkened shops and faculties, roped-off playgrounds. Yet we banded alongside one another to fight back to regain some normalcy in our life.
“Little ones realized, men and women shopped, households worshipped, and critical companies ongoing. With the prospect of widespread vaccinations on the horizon, Somerville commences the new year in a cautiously optimistic mood.
“Possibility proceeds to be the cornerstone of our two sq. miles. I satisfied a lot of new homeowners this past calendar year who chose Somerville for its universities, its downtown, and its neighborhoods. Private sector buyers are bullish on Somerville, as you can see by the lots of new initiatives below development or lately completed.
“Small business homeowners want to be a element of our accomplishment, too, with new storefronts opening inspite of
uncertain financial moments. The Borough Council and I acknowledge and value the self-assurance demonstrated in the potential of Somerville, and we pledge our ongoing attempts to safeguard and nurture the hopes and goals so quite a few persons provide into town.
“As the calendar turns and we enter 2021, the Borough Council sets objectives and priorities for the upcoming 12 months. I problem this year’s Council to carry on the confirmed record of fiscal responsibility revealed by previous Councils in crafting a municipal spending budget that balances the need for high-quality products and services with taxpayers’ capacity to pay out.
“Producing new income is the vital to stable taxes, and we have to keep on to take a look at artistic approaches to lessen the tax load on household residence proprietors.
“Somerset County owns house in Somerville that would produce practically $3,000,000 in taxes were being it in private arms. Certainly some of our county tax dollars could be returned to us for necessary infrastructure advancements.
“Similarly, house owned by Somerset Healthcare Middle would fork out just about $5,000,000 in taxes but for its non-gain standing. True revenue like that could accelerate the setting up of our a great deal-necessary
Unexpected emergency Products and services Sophisticated. Let’s start off discussions with these critical entities appropriate absent.
“Also, we should carry on doing work with the State of New Jersey on matters of mutual interest. We have to strengthen our partnership with the Division of Environmental Safety for funding and technical assistance as we rework the now-fallow landfill into a point out-of-the-artwork photo voltaic farm. Thoroughly clean energy and true revenue will movement into the Borough as this fascinating challenge moves from notion to truth.
“We must go on to pressure the Motor Car or truck Fee to lastly shut their facility on Roosevelt Put the neighbors have been additional than affected individual, and way too quite a few Borough sources have been expended ready for the DMV to act responsibly.
“We ought to go on to lobby New Jersey Transit to expand just one-seat-ride opportunities into Manhattan, and we will operate intently with our condition and federal legislators to safe the funding necessary to make that come about.
“And last but not least, as a new initiative, we must commence a dialogue with the Department of Transportation to designate Veteran’s Memorial Drive as Point out Highway 28 Business. This will allow for us to reclaim Key Avenue as a purely local road under our sole jurisdiction. That way we will no extended have to beg Trenton’s permission to shut Most important Street for functions that deliver energy and commerce to city.
“This action will enhance the efforts of the Downtown Somerville Alliance and our merchant local community to foster action and prosperity to business homes whose good results is so very important to Somerville’s tax base. The Borough Council and I will enlist the assist of different associates in this
endeavor, and I will keep you educated on means you can aid us attain our intention. 2021 will be a busy yr in town, and I look ahead to doing the job with the Borough Council as together we chart Somerville’s foreseeable future class.
“As we close the guide on 2020 and glance confidently into the long run, I would request each and every of you to don’t forget the numerous lives touched by the COVID virus, in particular the seven families proper here in Somerville that have missing a liked just one. Terms simply cannot convey the sorrow shared by our fellow Us citizens all over the land, but I present this poem written by Henry Stevenson Washburn in 1861, just as the American Civil War was beginning, to provide dwelling the grief we collectively share as a country and as a group.
‘The Vacant Chair”
We shall meet but we shall miss him.
There will be just one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev’ning prayer.
Even though 1 year ago we collected,
Joy was in his gentle blue eye.
Now the golden cord is severed,
And our hopes in wreck lie.
We shall satisfy but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
Although we breathe our ev’ning prayer.
“Around time, the suffering and sense of loss brought by the Civil War would diminish as American culture healed in the spirit of reconciliation and renewed countrywide dedication to its founding principles. So too will Somerville return to the vivid local community we all cherish.
“As we shift beyond our latest problems, may well the new 12 months provide peace and joy to you and to all you hold expensive, and might God bless Somerville as we keep on to treatment for one particular a different. Thank you.”