Mayor: 'State of Our Township is Good'

Mayor Daniel Hayes recounts 2013's accomplishments, thanks volunteers and workers.

Bridgewater Mayor Daniel Hayes Jr. delivered his State of the Township address at Monday's Township Council reorganization meeting. Credit: John Patten
Bridgewater Mayor Daniel Hayes Jr. delivered his State of the Township address at Monday's Township Council reorganization meeting. Credit: John Patten
During the annual reorganization meeting Monday, Mayor Daniel Hayes Jr. gave his "State of the Township" speech and proclaimed the township to be a good state.

"We continue to thrive as a community and be recognized as a leader in both the county and the state," he said.

The speech, he noted, affords him the opportunity to "thank those whose daily contributions continue to make Bridgewater the great community it is today."

Among those he cited was group of residents working to help redevelop the Sanofi research facility, which was purchased by Advance Realty. Mayor Hayes said the group, which includes Economic Advisory Committee Chairman John Schmitt, Planning Board member James Franco, Township Planner Scarlett Doyle and resident Shakar Vamparella, has been meeting with Advance Realty CEO Peter Coccoziello to develop plans for mixed suburban uses at the site.

He also recognized the steering committee working with Pfizer and the EPA on the ongoing cleanup of the American Cyanamid Superfund land.

And he took time to note the retirements of longtime township employees and volunteers, including former DPW head John Langel, Chief of Police Richard Borden, Capt. Eric Goleskie, and Joanne Kane, Carl Schultz and Ellen Chiofre.

Mayor Hayes said the township has made strides in meeting four goals set out when he became mayor on 2012: being in the lowest quartile for municipal tax rates in the county; being vigilant in land use; improving infrastructure; and delivering essential services.

He said the township has worked to maintain a low tax rate with shared services, such as the switch to county emergency dispatch service and shared municipal court services with Somerville Borough, while a new agreement with BRI maintained bulk trash disposal for residents without increased fees.

Mayor Hayes also noted the impact the recently-announced plans for Valeant Pharmaceuticals to locate the world headquarters for Bausch and Lomb in the Somerset Corporate Center.

"When Valeant's acquisition of Bausch and Lomb was announced...I contacted Valeant and had our Economic Development Officer work with them to find a suitable home in our township," he said, adding the company received a $39 million state grant, which led the company to stay in New Jersey and expand in Bridgewater. "The result: retention of 274 New Jersey jobs plus an additional 550 more jobs to the Bridgewater location and a lease of 310,000 square feet of Class A office space."

He noted the redevelopment of the Weyerhauser property underway, and the construction of the Bridgewater Medical Complex, at Finderne Avenue and Route 28.

"Everyone wins as Somerset Medical Center and their partners locally provide cutting-edge research and medicine," he said.

In 2013, Bridgewater completed road improvement projects on Gilbride, Garretson, Glenn, Sarasota, Crest and Van Holten Roads, Mayor Hayes said, with work on Hillcrest, Vossellor, Country Club, Dellwood, Vanderveer, Meadow and Somerville roads slated for 2014. The township also completed sewer projects on the North Branch trunk line, resulting in substantial savings.


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