Center will offer something for all- NJ.com
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 By MIKE NEAVILL BERKELEY HEIGHTS -- The Township Council last week passed a $10 million bond ordinance, with $8.6 million earmarked for the construction of a community center designed to satisfy the needs of residents ranging in age from youngsters to seniors. The center will be located on 4.5 acres owned by the town on Stanford Drive. The property is adjacent to a 14-acre tract owned by Union County. Mayor David Cohen said the county will spend $6 million to construct a lighted, multi-purpose, synthetic turf field and an adjacent baseball-softball field. Many other improvements are also planned, he said. Although detailed architectural plans are yet to be developed, a preliminary floor plan has been shared in a series of public meetings conducted by Mayor Cohen and an architect. The structure will contain almost 38,000 square feet. The Senior Citizens Club, which has sought a permanent home, will be provided dedicated facilities with a separate entrance. The seniors will have about 4,200 square feet, providing for a lobby, lounge, game room, library, an office, an arts and crafts room and bathrooms. Seniors will also have access to a 5,300-square-foot general meeting room. Mayor Cohen said the room would accommodate 350 people. The Recreation Department will relocate to new offices at the center. A 2.300-square-foot teen center is in the preliminary plan, as well as a 900-square-foot lecture room and a similar sized arts and crafts room. Sports enthusiasts will also benefit. A gymnasium will hold two 80 by 42 foot basketball courts. There will be a separate room for a fitness center and another room for wrestling, dance and aerobics. The remainder of the $10 million bond will finance the purchase of two fire trucks, a street sweeper and improvements to township recreational facilities. Rather than bond out the projects separately, Mayor Cohen said significant bond origination expenses could be saved by incorporating all the needs in one bond. The mayor added that the approval of the new bond comes at a propitious time. "We have $900,000 coming off bond service at the end of the year," he said. The service on the new bond will be less, he said. There's a state requirement of a fixed percent down payment, which in this case would amount to $500,000. Mayor Cohen said the state had waived the requirement due to the town's AAA rating from Moody's.
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#1 Oct 5, 2007
You can't believe everything Mayor Cohen says. And why didn't you ask others in opposition? There is plenty to be suspicious about.
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