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After years of waiting, the Black River Fields in Chester are once again open for recreational use, officials said. Vianella Burns, Patch Staff|Updated Tue, May 2, 2023 at 11:35 pm ETCHESTER, NJ — After years of waiting, the Black River Fields in Chester are now officially open for recreational use once again.On April 21, local youth lacrosse players joined Mayor Mike Inganamort, County Commissioner John K...
Vianella Burns, Patch Staff
|Updated Tue, May 2, 2023 at 11:35 pm ET
CHESTER, NJ — After years of waiting, the Black River Fields in Chester are now officially open for recreational use once again.
On April 21, local youth lacrosse players joined Mayor Mike Inganamort, County Commissioner John Krickus, Councilman Tim Drag, Environmental Commission member Charles Happel and Parks Consultant Bill Foelsch at the fields for a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the occasion.
"This project was a long time coming. It’s great to finally have level playing fields for Chester’s young athletes. The days of playing soccer on a hill are over," Inganamort said. "This project also greatly expanded the capacity for field usage, with two new fields at the back-most section of the property. This should significantly ease the scheduling process."
The beginnings of the project stem back to 2017, when the township began negotiations with the West Morris Central Regional High School District to purchase the 45-acre property, which is located off North Road, across from Telcordia Park and next to the Black River Middle School and Chester Area Pool.
Morris County approved a $416,250 Open Space grant for the township in November 2019 to purchase the 45-acre property.
For more than 50 years, the fields have been used to support youth sporting organizations from Chester Township and Chester Borough, as well as neighboring Mendham Township and Mendham Borough.
Along with the Black River Field project, parents and other community members in both Mendham and Chester have expressed their desire for better recreational facilities for local children.
In December 2022, the township council voted 3-2 to transfer nearly $1.2 million from the Black River Fields Project to Highlands Ridge Park, as a potential spot for a future turf field.
The project was supported by then-Mayor Marcia Asdal and councilmen Tim Drag and John Butkus, while Mayor Michael Inganamort and Joseph DiPaolo voted against it.
Asdal argued that the ordinance names Highlands Ridge Park because it is the most logical location for a turf field in Chester, but that if the council wanted to broaden it, it could always be amended later. "The advantage of Highlands is that we own it, it's not in the preservation area like the Black River Fields was across the street or where Chubb Park is."
While many residents were opposed to the unknown financial and traffic burden that adding the fields would impose on the township, others were enthusiastic about the potential new addition.
One of the supporters was an upcoming sixth-grade Mendham and Chester lacrosse player who stated that a turf field would be beneficial because teams are currently unable to practice on days when the field is frozen.
In Mendham Township, there have been ongoing conversations about funding potential upgrades to Mosle Field, including new lighting on the football field, baseball field and parking lot.
Mosle Field is currently used by the Twin Boro Bears football and cheerleading program and the Mendham Chester Patriots baseball/softball program, which both serve over 500 youth athletes.
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Two Mendham Borough sites were recommended to receive a portion of the county's Preservation Trust Fund. Vianella Burns, Patch StaffMENDHAM, NJ — The Morris County Board of County Commissioners is adding their support to the preservation of two historic sites in Mendham Borough.The board was asked earlier this week to approve $3.6 million in grants from the county's Preservation Trust Fund to help restore, preser...
Vianella Burns, Patch Staff
MENDHAM, NJ — The Morris County Board of County Commissioners is adding their support to the preservation of two historic sites in Mendham Borough.
The board was asked earlier this week to approve $3.6 million in grants from the county's Preservation Trust Fund to help restore, preserve, and protect 23 historic sites in 15 towns throughout Morris County.
Among these were the Phoenix House and Scott Farm Barn, both in Mendham Borough.
Approximately 88 percent of the funding recommended by the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board is directed toward construction grants for 17 of the projects.
These grants will pay for design and specification work for future construction on four sites, preservation planning for one, and research and development for another in order to submit a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
The borough applied for $214,029 in funding for the Phoenix House and $129,572 for the Scott Farm Barn.
The Phoenix House, built in 1820, is a Federal-style inn on the Washington Turnpike. In 1840, the portico was added, and in 1936, it was listed as a Historic District by the Historic American Buildings Survey. The property is currently used as the municipal building for the Borough of Mendham.
The proposed grant will cover exterior restoration projects such as masonry repairs, new porch roofing, and porch extensions.
In 2003, the borough received $100,000 in grant funding to repaint the building, $15,808 for preservation plan updates in 2014, and in 2020, $32,050 for construction documents. In 2017, the county gave the borough building its historic marker.
Scott Farm Barn, a banked English barn built in 1825, is a fine example of a 19th-century banked barn with a forebay. It is part of the individually listed Stephen Cary House property and was continuously farmed until the 1990s.
It is also known as the Cary Barn, officials said.
According to the commission, the recommended grant will help with barn rehabilitation, which is expected to cost $845,490 and will include structural upgrades and a front foundation wall.
"I want to commend the staff and all the volunteers. They do a phenomenal job evaluating these applications and making recommendations on how to invest our dollars. People often thank the Commissioners for the money, but it ultimately comes from the taxpayers, who always overwhelmingly support these programs and it’s fortunate that they do," Commissioner Stephen Shaw said.
Since 2003, when grants were first issued for protecting historic sites through Morris County's Preservation Trust Fund, Morris County has awarded 512 grants totaling nearly $46 million to assist in the preservation, protection, and restoration of 122 historical properties.
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Next meeting scheduled for Oct. 2CHESTER — Two historic buildings on the Larison's Turkey Farm property face demolition to make way for a mixed-use development that includes housing, low income housing, a new restaurant, pharmacy and office space.The project, discussed at Tuesday night's council meeting, will help the borough meet its state requirements for low-income housing, Mayor Janet Hoven said."The most current list of what each municipality has, as far as affordable housing, shows we ne...
CHESTER — Two historic buildings on the Larison's Turkey Farm property face demolition to make way for a mixed-use development that includes housing, low income housing, a new restaurant, pharmacy and office space.
The project, discussed at Tuesday night's council meeting, will help the borough meet its state requirements for low-income housing, Mayor Janet Hoven said.
"The most current list of what each municipality has, as far as affordable housing, shows we need 111 units of affordable housing," Hoven said. "This is not just about Chester borough. Every municipality has to do this."
Story continues below the gallery.
During the public portion of the meeting, concerns voiced by residents included environmental-impact issues and increased traffic along the West Main Street portion of Route 202. A new traffic light would be placed at the main entrance to the new development across the road from the ShopRite-anchored Chester Shopping Mall.
West Main Street resident Stacy Rogers told the council traffic is already a problem in the area.
"In the fall, you can't exit or enter," she said, referring to seasonal weekend traffic down the road at Alstede Farms, a popular ecotourism farm. "The traffic doesn't want to budge."
The development, a product of lengthy discussions between borough officials and the developers, would include a new 6,500-square-foot restaurant on the corner of routes 206 and 202, which would replace the iconic Larison's Turkey Farm Inn restaurant.
The restaurant closed in 2000, and has been unsuccessfully revived three times since, the last one closing in 2009.
Turkey Farm Acquisitions LLC is teaming with the owners of an adjoining Route 24 property known as the Mill Ridge tract, where 20 market-rate town homes would be built as part of the project.
The proposal includes a 14,498-square-foot CVS pharmacy, a 20,000-square-foot medical office building, a 5,000-square-foot office building and 36 affordable housing units that would be built and paid for by the developers.
"The CVS is on the smaller side of what they like to build," said Henry Kent-Smith, attorney for the developers.
Story continues below gallery
Critics of the proposal included officers of the Chester Historical Society, who urged developers and the council to consider adaptive reuse of two buildings on the 25-acre tract: a circa 1873 residence known as Sunnyside and the circa 1800 Isaac Corwin House, which became part of the Larison's Turkey Farm restaurant that opened in 1945.
Chester Historical Society Vice President John Pfaff challenged Kent-Smith's assertion that the society had been told it could take possession of Sunnyside if it could pay for the expenses involved.
"At the mayor's suggestion, the society reached out to the owners of the property and asked to look at what we could do to save Sunnyside," Pfaff said. "I never dreamed we'd have to look at what we can do to save the Irwin Corwin House. The fact is, nobody ever got back to us and they totally ignored our input."
"Mr. Kent-Smith, stated that the developers had offered to give Sunnyside to the Chester Historical Society and that we did not answer," said Chester Historical Society President Edward Ng. "That is the opposite of what happened. I sent their lawyer at the time, the owners, and members of Chester's Land Use Board, a letter offering to work with the owners to apply for a historic preservation grant, but we needed their active cooperation. I got no response from them and the deadline for the grant expired."
Kent-Smith also said Sunnyside had deteriorated to the point where it was not salvageable. Ng said Sunnyside would be "much harder" to save, but continued to urge preservation and adaptive reuse of the Corwin House.
Demolishing the Corwin House, Ng said, would be akin to demolishing the Publick House, another 19th century building repurposed into a restaurant, a drawing of which dominates the borough seal.
"It's one of the iconic buildings in Chester's historic district, a state-recognized historic district," he said.
"In the discussions, the majority of the council said they were fine if the Larison-Corwin House was demolished in order to build a new restaurant," Hoven said. "In talking with the developers and owners, they were very sensitive to that building and the meaning it has to the community."
Hand-hewn beams and other elements of the Corwin House would be preserved to incorporate into the new restaurant building.
Existing stone walls would be incorporated into the design, Hoven said. Developers, the mayor said, have already received interest in the leasing of the new restaurant. One of the interested parties, Hoven said, has offered to have Adirondack chairs outside, just as Larison's had.
"They are paying homage to Larison's by maintaining some of that old-time Larison's feel, but in a new restaurant," Hoven said.
Emboldened in 2015 by the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision to move oversight of Mt. Laurel housing obligations from the Council on Affordable Housing to municipal courts, the owners in 2016 originally submitted a new development plan that included a 144-unit apartment complex, 28 units of which would have been designated as affordable housing under Mt. Laurel.
The negotiated proposal, Hoven said, also relieves the borough of a legal obligation to bond for the building of low-income housing to meet its obligation to build affordable housing. Those bonds would have been paid for by taxpayers.
Instead, the cost will be covered by the developers, Hoven said.
The council also will appoint a committee to assist the developer in designing building and other elements that would complement the existing streetscape and character of the borough.
No action on the matter was taken at the meeting. Hoven said the next step would be for the council to participate in a settlement discussion at its Oct. 2 meeting.
Any approved plan would then have to clear several hurdles before approval, including submitting plans for review by the land use council and complying with regulations set by the New Jersey Highlands Council.
Staff Writer William Westhoven: 973-917-9242; [email protected].
The Food Trucks are rolling into Chester Borough! Join us for a delicious day of Food! Beer! Music! Fun! ! It’s a fun filled family day!20 Gourmet Food Trucks, Live Music from 3 bands, beer, sangria & margarita garden, kids activities, axe throwing, inflatables, vendors & more!Bring your friends, family, appetite, lawn chairs, pups and blankets.Sign Up for FREE Morristown NewsletterGet local news you can trust in your inbox.This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google ...
The Food Trucks are rolling into Chester Borough! Join us for a delicious day of Food! Beer! Music! Fun! ! It’s a fun filled family day!
20 Gourmet Food Trucks, Live Music from 3 bands, beer, sangria & margarita garden, kids activities, axe throwing, inflatables, vendors & more!
Bring your friends, family, appetite, lawn chairs, pups and blankets.
Sign Up for FREE Morristown Newsletter
Get local news you can trust in your inbox.
Event is a Benefit for the Chester First Aid Squad & The Chester/Mendham Food Pantry
***We are also asking all attendees to bring a non-perishable canned or boxed item to help support the food pantry. Please help those less fortunate.
Beer & Sangria Garden: • Lone Eagle Brewing • Señor Sangria - Red & White • Regular & Strawberry Margaritas
The Music Line Up: 11am-1:30pm - October Rose Music 1:30-4pm - Rock Bottom 4pm-7pm - Atlanta Cafe Band
Participating Food Trucks:
• All the Pastabilities • Angry Archies • Arctic Ice • Chef J's Latin Dragon • Chick Wings & Things • Cold Stone Creamery • El Lechon De Negron • Fossil Farms • Hold My Knots • House of Cupcakes • Jersey Curbside Eats • Joey's Pizza Truck • Johnny Zeppoli • Mac Truck NYC • Mozzarepas • Revolution Taco • Rolling Pita • Senor Tacos • Shake It Up Desserts • Snatch Yo Soul Food • Taste of Philly • Uncle Sals Egg Rolls
11am to 7pm Admission: $5 • Kids under 5 FREE Municipal Field 134 Main Street • Chester, NJ
Editor's Note: This advertorial content is being published by TAPinto.net as a service for its marketing partners. For more information about how to market your business or nonprofit on TAPinto, please visit TAPintoMarketing.net or email [email protected]. The opinions expressed herein, if any, are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.
EPA Finalizes Plan to Remove Contamination Source and
Expand Groundwater Treatment at the Combe Fill South Landfill
Superfund Site in Chester Township, N.J.
(New York, N.Y. – October 11, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has finalized a plan to address a newly identified contaminant and enhance treatment of contamination at the Combe Fill South Landfill site located in Chester Township in N.J., an inactive municipal landfill covering 65 acres. EPA’s cleanup plan includes expanding and enhancing the existing groundwater treatment system that is currently operating at the site in addition to excavating and removing an area of materials that are a contributing source of contamination.
“This cleanup targets a deeper layer of groundwater contamination by expanding and enhancing on-site treatment capabilities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “The enhancements to groundwater cleanup at the Combe Fill South site will provide further protections to Chester residents and underscores EPA’s commitment to addressing toxic legacies such as non-compliant landfills and open dumps.”
The cleanup targets the landfill’s impact on a deeper layer of groundwater that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including 1,4 dioxane. The current system extracts and treats mostly shallow groundwater directly under the landfill, along with a limited amount of deeper groundwater from the bedrock aquifer below the landfill. EPA will make improvements to this treatment system, including, the addition of deeper groundwater extraction wells to capture more contamination. In addition, EPA will make improvements to the plant to handle the additional groundwater and effectively treat 1,4-dioxane, a contaminant that has recently been detected at the site but not treated by the current groundwater treatment system. Additionally, EPA will remove waste materials from a portion of the landfill that is contributing to the contamination of the deep groundwater. EPA’s cleanup plan also includes long-term monitoring of deep groundwater contamination in areas outside the Combe Fill South Landfill Superfund site.
EPA held a public meeting in August 2018 to explain its cleanup proposal, discuss the other
cleanup options that were considered, and to solicit public comments. To read the EPA’s
selected cleanup plan, please visit: https://epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/combefillnorth
For a direct link to the Record of Decision, visit: https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/02/550182
The Combe Fill South Landfill, in Morris County, NJ, served as a municipal landfill from the 1940s until 1981. Soil and groundwater at the site were contaminated by volatile organic compounds from the landfill. Combe Fill Corporation went bankrupt in 1981 and the landfill was not properly closed. The original cleanup plan for the site included capping the landfill, installing a landfill gas collection system, pumping and treating the shallow groundwater beneath the site, and installing storm water runoff controls. By 1997, these actions were successfully completed. The system to treat shallow groundwater continues to operate at the site.
Starting in the early 1990s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection began providing in-home water treatment systems to residents whose wells were potentially impacted by contamination coming from the landfill.
In 2015, EPA extended a water line to provide a permanent safe source of drinking water to 73 homes and businesses threatened by contaminated groundwater from the site. With the water line extension providing a permanent safe water supply to the neighborhood around the landfill, homes and local businesses no longer needed treatment systems.
The Superfund program has been providing important health benefits to communities across the country for more than 35 years. Superfund cleanups also strengthen local economies. Data collected through 2017 shows that at 487 Superfund sites in reuse, approximately 6,600 businesses are generating $43.6 billion in sales and employ 156,000 people who earned a combined income of $11.2 billion.
Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill and strengthen EPA’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment.
On the one-year anniversary of the EPA’s Superfund Task Force Report, EPA announced significant progress in carrying out the report’s recommendations. These achievements will provide certainty to communities, state partners, and developers that the nation’s most hazardous sites will be cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.
EPA’s “Superfund Task Force Recommendations 2018 Update” is available at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations-2018-update.