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Latest News in Chatham Borough, NJ

Concept Plans For Post Office Plaza Project Unveiled In Chatham

The all-affordable two-and-a-half-story building will have 10 two-bedroom apartments, three three-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units. CHATHAM, NJ — The official Post Office Plaza redevelopment plan, dubbed the "Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project," was presented to the public in Borough Hall after months of uncertainty.On Dec. 6, several Chatham officials, including Chatham Borough Planner Kendra Lelie, held an open house presentation with representatives from redeveloper Bergen County United Way (BCUW...

The all-affordable two-and-a-half-story building will have 10 two-bedroom apartments, three three-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units.

CHATHAM, NJ — The official Post Office Plaza redevelopment plan, dubbed the "Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project," was presented to the public in Borough Hall after months of uncertainty.

On Dec. 6, several Chatham officials, including Chatham Borough Planner Kendra Lelie, held an open house presentation with representatives from redeveloper Bergen County United Way (BCUW) on the preliminary site plan for the 15-unit building.

During the hour-long informal meeting, Tom Toronto, president of BCUW, and architect Mike Scro gave borough residents an overview of the project and addressed concerns from the public.

The proposed building would be two and a half stories tall, with ten two-bedroom apartments, three three-bedroom units, and two one-bedroom units. The 15 units in the building would be for families and individuals with low and moderate incomes.

The structure will be constructed on.55 acres at Post Office Plaza, with both frontage and access to Bowers Lane, according to Lelie.

Both Toronto and Scro claimed to have prior experience working on residential projects, with the architect firm, Z+ Architects, having previously worked in Chatham, and this was taken into account when developing the design concept.

"We have a good track record, with a lot of funding partners based on the quality of the projects that we build, the quality of the architecture and the acceptance and support that we have from the municipalities that we build in," Toronto said.

According to Lelie, the Chatham Historic Commission will review the plans and make recommendations to the Chatham Borough Planning Board, which will give final approval to the site plans.

Following the presentation, residents were given the opportunity to ask Toronto and Scro questions during the open forum.

One concern raised was the lack of parking that would result from the new development. Under the current plan, the goal of the borough is to maintain approximately 59 parking spaces in the surrounding area.

The project is expected to be put on the agenda by the planning board this spring, with construction beginning in 2024 and lasting one year. After the site plan is approved, funding for the project will be discussed and selected in 2023.

"This is a long process. It's not extremely long, but it takes some time to go through approvals, financing and then construction. From a parking perspective, we're going to come up with some solutions in the meantime, it's not something that is going to happen tomorrow," Lelie said.

Bob Weber, a local resident, spoke up, inquiring about the applicant screening process and how it would work. In response, Toronto stated that when the construction is about 50 percent complete, applications will be available on the BCUW website.

"We will also be following what is known as an affirmative marketing plan, which is a requirement when building affordable housing. We are going to widely circulate the availability of the application…We're going to be pretty aggressive," Toronto said.

Before being approved for a housing spot, all applicants will be subjected to a standard background check as well as a round of personal interviews.

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Study Shows Probable Decline In Chatham Enrollment Rates

According to a study presented to the board of education, a declining birth rate is contributing to the projected drop in school enrollment.CHATHAM, NJ — The enrollment figures in the School District of the Chathams have been declining, and it is not anticipated that they will increase any time soon, according to a statistical forecasting presentation made at the December board of education meeting.Enrollment has been declining in all of New Jersey's traditional public schools. According to new enrollment data from the ...

According to a study presented to the board of education, a declining birth rate is contributing to the projected drop in school enrollment.

CHATHAM, NJ — The enrollment figures in the School District of the Chathams have been declining, and it is not anticipated that they will increase any time soon, according to a statistical forecasting presentation made at the December board of education meeting.

Enrollment has been declining in all of New Jersey's traditional public schools. According to new enrollment data from the state Department of Education, enrollment has dropped by about 15,000 in the two years since the pandemic caused school closures and other classroom disruptions.

Richard S. Grip, Executive Director of Statistical Forecasting LLC., presented his study on the future demographics of the school district to the public.

Grip's presentation broke down the historical and current populations of both Chatham Borough and Chatham Township in order to get a better idea of future population trends. Currently, Chatham has a combined total of approximately 21,000 residents.

Enrollment in the School District of the Chathams has been steadily declining for the last five years. "When I came here four years ago, there had been a period of big enrollment increases in the school district and I was projecting an enrollment decline, and that has happened in the last four years," Grip said.

While it's unclear how much the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions contributed to the district's enrollment drop, Grip did report a 309 student drop during the 2020-2021 school year.

Another factor contributing to the decline is a lower birth rate in both the borough and the township. According to Grip, there were a total of 272 births in Chatham in 2007, whereas there will be 156 in 2020.

These figures correspond to the declining kindergarten enrollment rates that have occurred over time.

Although the study only looked at data up until 2020, the presentation projected through the year 2027, which one resident claimed is not the most accurate reflection.

"I was a little bit bummed that the cut-off was 2020, because, we're seeing record numbers this past year so I'm really interested to see how we are projecting forward," local resident and maternity nurse Sharon Roché said.

At the end of the presentation, Grip stated that although the enrollment trend won't be getting much better within the next five years, the biggest change is going to come from increased housing developments.

Typically, communities will see population growth through home sales, but according to Grip that won't be the case in Chatham.

"Most likely housing turnover is not going to be the issue that causes enrollment to increase here. Other things such as housing developments, birth rate changes are going to be the things that modify your enrollment," Grip said.

The trend of enrollment decline may be reversed in part by the recent increase in housing developments planned for the Chathams.

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Chatham Borough Council Votes to Say Goodbye to Green Garbage Bags; Switch to Automated 'One-Armed Bandit' Pickup in 2024

Chatham Borough Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen presented a power-point presenation on the options for garbage removal servicesChatham Borough Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen explained the pros and cons of keeping green bags or going with the automated system of collectionIn 2024, Chatham Borough residents will be able to choose between 35 gallon, 65 gallon and 95 gallon garbage bins that will be owned and provided by the boroughChatham Borough Council member J...

Chatham Borough Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen presented a power-point presenation on the options for garbage removal services

Chatham Borough Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen explained the pros and cons of keeping green bags or going with the automated system of collection

In 2024, Chatham Borough residents will be able to choose between 35 gallon, 65 gallon and 95 gallon garbage bins that will be owned and provided by the borough

Chatham Borough Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen presented a power-point presenation on the options for garbage removal services

Chatham Borough Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen explained the pros and cons of keeping green bags or going with the automated system of collection

CHATHAM, NJ -- The Borough of Chatham Council voted, 5-1, on Monday night at its regular meeting to eliminate the "Green Bag" garbage collection system currently in use and switch to an automated system in which a mechanical "one-armed bandit" would empty bins into the garbage truck.

The "Green Bag" system would remain in place through the end of 2023 and the new system would start in January 2024.

The recycling program that is run through the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority is separate and will not change.

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Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen gives an overview of the automated system

Council member Len Resto was the lone dissenting vote on the change, which was approved by Irene Treloar, Jocelyn Mathiasen, Carolyn Dempsey, Karen Koronkiewicz and Frank Truilo.

According to Resto, Chatham is one of five municipalities in the entire state to still use the "pay as you go" green garbage bag system. Residents for and against the move, mentioned that the amount of recycling residents will do could possibly decrease with the move to the automated system since residents may just choose to fill up the automated bin.

The council also voted, 5-1, to award a 5-year contract to Suburban Disposal, Inc., for the waste collection disposal services. The current contract with Suburban runs out at the end of March 2023.

The new system would provide borough owned garbage bins that are 35, 65 or 95 gallons (see below) and residents would pay according to the size of the receptacle they choose. Collection would be once a week instead of the twice-weekly pickup that is now in place.

Bulk pickup will remain the same through 2023, but changes are on the table leading into 2024.

In her presentation, Mathiasen pointed out that the automated system would cost the borough less money than maintaining the current system. She also noted that there had been a 70% increase in collection fees since 2019.

The complete PowerPoint presentation on the garbage collection options presented at the meerting can be viewed HERE

Girls Basketball: Results, recaps, photos, and links for Monday, Jan. 23

ESSENTIALSFEATURED GAMESSpotswood 44, Metuchen 27COUNTY TOURNAMENT SCOREBOARDTOP 20 SCOREBOARDSTATEWIDE SCOREBOARDMonday, Jan. 23BCSLPemberton 51, Burlington Township 48 - Box ScoreBIG NORTHCAPE-ATLANTICOur Lady of Mercy 66, Cape May Tech 24 - ...

ESSENTIALS

FEATURED GAMES

Spotswood 44, Metuchen 27

COUNTY TOURNAMENT SCOREBOARD

TOP 20 SCOREBOARD

STATEWIDE SCOREBOARD

Monday, Jan. 23

BCSL

Pemberton 51, Burlington Township 48 - Box Score

BIG NORTH

CAPE-ATLANTIC

Our Lady of Mercy 66, Cape May Tech 24 - Box Score

COLONIAL

CVC

GMC

Wardlaw-Hartridge 32, Mother Seton 13 - Box Score

Highland Park 52, Carteret 44 - Box Score

Piscataway Magnet 46, South Amboy 32 - Box Score

HCIAL

Passaic Charter 46, Snyder 32 - Box Score

Ridgefield Park 38, Memorial 28 - Box Score

BelovED Charter 26, McNair 23 - Box Score

Union City 66, St. Dominic 41 - Box Score

North Hunterdon 71, Hoboken 42 - Box Score

NJAC

St. Elizabeth 45, Mountain Lakes 39 - Box Score

Villa Walsh 42, Parsippany 39 - Box Score

Hackettstown 51, High Point 43 - Box Score

Hanover Park 41, Parsippany Hills 30 - Box Score

Kittatinny 38, North Warren 33 - Box Score

Lenape Valley 70, Hopatcong 38 - Box Score

NJIC

Elmwood Park 48, Hawthorne 13 - Box Score

Eastern Christian 57, Leonia 41 - Box Score

Paterson Arts 33, Manchester Regional 28 - Box Score

Garfield 30, Mary Help of Christians 29 - Box Score

Northern Highlands 63, Dwight-Englewood 47 - Box Score

OLYMPIC

Rancocas Valley 50, Moorestown Friends 25 - Box Score

SEC

SHORE

Trinity Hall 66, Manalapan 22 - Box Score

St. John Vianney 90, Freehold Borough 27 - Box Score

St. Rose 47, Neptune 22 - Box Score

Wall 44, Ranney 35 - Box Score

Manasquan 60, Point Pleasant Boro 40 - Box Score

Long Branch 57, Raritan 40 - Box Score

Rumson-Fair Haven 50, Red Bank Regional 32 - Box Score

Middletown South 40, Middletown North 33 - Box Score

Howell 49, Freehold Township 33 - Box Score

Southern 47, Jackson Liberty 31 - Box Score

Toms River South 39, Brick Township 36 - Box Score

SKYLAND

North Hunterdon 71, Hoboken 42 - Box Score

TRI-COUNTY

Lenape 45, Williamstown 43 - Box Score

Overbrook 41, Pennsauken Tech 29 - Box Score

Gloucester Catholic 55, Agnes Irwin (PA) 37 - Box Score

Woodstown 44, Haddon Township 28 - Box Score

Pennsville 51, Salem Tech 37 - Box Score

UCC

Brearley 37, Sayreville 34 - Box Score

Union Catholic 39, Summit 34 - Box Score

Independent

Veritas Christian 46, Trinity Christian 12 - Box Score

Overbrook 41, Pennsauken Tech 29 - Box Score

LEAP Academy 57, Camden Academy Charter 33 - Box Score

Paterson Arts 33, Manchester Regional 28 - Box Score

Stuart Day 51, Solebury (PA) 24 - Box Score

Passaic Charter 46, Snyder 32 - Box Score

Garfield 30, Mary Help of Christians 29 - Box Score

Rancocas Valley 50, Moorestown Friends 25 - Box Score

Gloucester Catholic 55, Agnes Irwin (PA) 37 - Box Score

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Chatham Residents Hear Presentation on 'Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project' that will be Built at Post Office Plaza

Mike Scro of Z+ Architects presented the Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project conceptual plans at Tuesday's meetingConceptual plan for the 15 all-affordable housing units known as the "Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project" that will be built at Post Office PlazaTom Toronto, president of Bergen County United Way, the developer for the Bowers Lane Affordable Housing ProjectTom Toronto, president of Bergen County United Way, the developer for the Bower...

Mike Scro of Z+ Architects presented the Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project conceptual plans at Tuesday's meeting

Conceptual plan for the 15 all-affordable housing units known as the "Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project" that will be built at Post Office Plaza

Tom Toronto, president of Bergen County United Way, the developer for the Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project

Tom Toronto, president of Bergen County United Way, the developer for the Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project

Mike Scro of Z+ Architects presented the Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project conceptual plans at Tuesday's meeting

Conceptual plan for the 15 all-affordable housing units known as the "Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project" that will be built at Post Office Plaza

CHATHAM, NJ -- What Chatham Borough Planner Kendra Lelie has dubbed the "Bowers Lane Affordable Housing Project" was presented to the public on Tuesday night in Borough Hall.

Lelie, Tom Toronto, president of developer Bergen County United Way and architect Mike Scro gave Chatham Borough residents an overview of the project and answered questions from the public during the informal meeting.

Lelie said that the next step is for the Chatham Historic Commission to review the plans and make recommendations to the Chatham Borough Planning Board, which will give final approval to the site plans. The planning board is expected to put the project on its agenda in February.

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The 15-unit, all-affordable 2 1/2 story building will include 10 two-bedroom apartments, three 3-bedroom units and two 1-bedroom units. It will be built on .55 acres at Post Office Plaza, with the frontage and access to Bowers Lane.

Toronto's Bergen County United Way has completed 35 affordable housing projects in New Jersey and has 22 more that are in the works. He encouraged (see below) Chatham residents to check out one of BCUW's completed project, "Independence Way at the Green" in Florham Park.

The overhead view of the project (see below) shows that the parking for the building will be located near the railroad tracks. Scro estimated that there would be approximately 18 parking spaces for the residents of the building. There will be four EV charging stations.

There will be an open application period for those wishing to live in the units, which will include verification of income and assets and an in-person interview. A non-affiliated third party will make the selections.

The power-point presentation can be viewed HERE

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