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Latest News in Chester Borough, NJ

Next Steps For Glenlora Site Development Underway In Chester Township

The Chester Township Council has moved forward with the Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop the Glenlora site with the public's input. CHESTER, NJ — In the ongoing process of redeveloping the Glenlora site on Route 24, the Chester Township Council has recently opened the Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop the Glenlora site on the township website.The township purchased the former Glenlora nursing home site in 2005 as a suitable location for affordable housing, which is mandated by the State of New Jersey.I...

The Chester Township Council has moved forward with the Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop the Glenlora site with the public's input.

CHESTER, NJ — In the ongoing process of redeveloping the Glenlora site on Route 24, the Chester Township Council has recently opened the Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop the Glenlora site on the township website.

The township purchased the former Glenlora nursing home site in 2005 as a suitable location for affordable housing, which is mandated by the State of New Jersey.

In a newsletter back in 2018, former Chester Township Mayor Marcia Asdal explained that Chester Township concluded litigation with Fair Share Housing in 2018, which “brought the discussion about what to do with the Glenlora site out from closed sessions to the public arena where it belongs,” she said.

Asdal stated that governing bodies in neighboring towns ended up settling in court on the constitutional mandates for affordable housing, whereas Chester Township not only reduced its legal expenditures but also allowed locals to participate in project ideation.

Now, over five years after Chester Township finished its affordable housing dispute, the RFP is being released, transferring decision-making for affordable housing commitments from the courts, where negotiations were private, to the town council, where the public may provide comments.

Find out what's happening in Mendham-Chesterwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

"Notably, this change in venue brought with it a significant reduction in legal expenses," township officials said.

Over the years, Chester Township, along with the community, decided on the following criteria for the future site:

Now that the RFP is online, a new procedure begins that will last many months and will eventually result in the planning board creating the official redevelopment agreement.

Township officials indicated that the Planning Board and Council sessions, like always, encourage public participation.

Read more here about Glenlora from the Chester Historical Society.

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Deer Hunting Closes Down Chester Township Park

CHESTER, NJ — As part of its efforts to control the white-tailed deer population in its 700 acres of parkland, the “controlled deer hunting program” in Chester Township has begun in its parks, according to the township.The Morris County Parks Commission recently announced that the firearm portion of the season has begun at the Black River Facilities, including Cooper Gristmill, Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center, Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center and Willowwood Arboretum.As a result, the parks and trail...

CHESTER, NJ — As part of its efforts to control the white-tailed deer population in its 700 acres of parkland, the “controlled deer hunting program” in Chester Township has begun in its parks, according to the township.

The Morris County Parks Commission recently announced that the firearm portion of the season has begun at the Black River Facilities, including Cooper Gristmill, Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center, Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center and Willowwood Arboretum.

As a result, the parks and trails at those locations will be closed to the general public on the following dates: Dec. 7 and 15, Jan. 11 and 18.

According to Chester Township, the hunting schedule varies depending on whether the park is run by the township, county, or state, with all hunters required to have a permit to attend.

Evans Family Forest Preserve, Tiger Brook Park, MacGregor Preserve, Highlands Ridge Park, Parker Rd. Preserve, and Tannersbrook Preserve are among the township parks.

The goal of the deer hunt is to keep deer populations low enough to allow for the restoration of native plant communities within the parks. According to the commission, studies have found that at high densities, deer browsing can hurt forest communities. Overbrowsing can eliminate understory herbaceous plants, shrubs, and saplings, leaving only adult canopy trees in the forest.

"In selected parks of this nature, the MCPC continues to work towards reducing populations to levels that will allow for successful habitat restoration, both natural and assisted. Other parks exhibit little damage from deer and contain lower-density populations. In these parks, the goal is to maintain the deer population at levels that allow healthy habitats to continue to thrive," MCPC said.

The white-tailed deer is a species with a high rate of population growth. Females can reach reproductive maturity as young as one year old and can give birth to up to three fawns per year.

The lack of natural predators in this area, combined with supplemental feeding by well-meaning homeowners, contributes to a constantly expanding population.

To limit the rapid population growth that deer are capable of, the MCPC applies continuous pressure on the deer population by allowing for limited hunting on an annual basis.

More information can be found on the Morris County Parks Commission website.

Starbucks Opening New Location In Mendham Borough

Just two months after the grand opening of the new Dunkin' on Main Street, Mendham Borough is getting another coffee chain. MENDHAM, NJ — Another coffee chain giant is coming to Mendham Borough.In the last week, a sign has gone up at the former Pet Valu shop, located in the shopping center on East Main Street, notifying the public that a Starbucks is coming in its place.Pet Valu closed down in Mendham Borough in 2020 after the company "commenced a wind down of its operations due to severe impact from COVID-1...

Just two months after the grand opening of the new Dunkin' on Main Street, Mendham Borough is getting another coffee chain.

MENDHAM, NJ — Another coffee chain giant is coming to Mendham Borough.

In the last week, a sign has gone up at the former Pet Valu shop, located in the shopping center on East Main Street, notifying the public that a Starbucks is coming in its place.

Pet Valu closed down in Mendham Borough in 2020 after the company "commenced a wind down of its operations due to severe impact from COVID-19."

According to Lisa Smith, the Planning and Land Use Coordinator, V-Fee Realty Investment submitted a Change of Use/ Occupancy application that was ultimately approved by the borough's zoning officer and engineer.

The news of the new coffee chain comes only two months after the anticipated Dunkin' on Main Street opened its doors to the Mendham community after years of planning.

Find out what's happening in Mendham-Chesterwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The coffee shop, which has been described as a "next-generation Dunkin' restaurant," was first approved for 25 East Main Street in December 2018, following initial public objections to the commercial business.

The store, which opened in late August, was specifically designed to be historically consistent with the borough's standards, something that Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner and other residents said was very important to the community.

Since the announcement of the Starbucks location, residents have voiced concerns about the addition of another commercial business in the borough. "And the floodgates are open! McDonalds and White Castle are next," one resident wrote on Facebook.

There is no official word on an opening date or timeline for the new Starbucks, but the sign says "coming soon."

Starbucks did not respond to Patch's request for a comment on the new location.

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More from Mendham-Chester

$15,000 Checks Delivered To Chester Small Businesses

Morris County Commissioners’ Visit to Chester Borough Highlights Grant ProgramTwo owner-operated shops in Chester Borough were hand-delivered checks for $15,000 each today, as the Morris County’s Board of County Commissioners and Morris County Chamber of Commerce continued to invite more small businesses to apply for grants under the Morris County Small Business Grant Program.Apply Now. Go to: ...

Morris County Commissioners’ Visit to Chester Borough Highlights Grant Program

Two owner-operated shops in Chester Borough were hand-delivered checks for $15,000 each today, as the Morris County’s Board of County Commissioners and Morris County Chamber of Commerce continued to invite more small businesses to apply for grants under the Morris County Small Business Grant Program.

Apply Now. Go to: morriscountysmallbusinessgrant.com

“The challenges were great for anyone operating a small business during the pandemic, and the businesses continue to be under pressure. Morris County designed this program, using our allotment of federal American Rescue Plan dollars, to help small shops and nonprofits to hopefully recoup some of their expenses over the past year. We hope more will take advantage of this opportunity,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen.

He was joined by Commissioners Stephen Shaw and Thomas Mastrangelo, as well as Morris County Chamber of Commerce Vice President Michael Stanzilis and Chester Mayor Janet Hoven, in delivering checks for $15,000 to Barbara Chupick at You’re Not in Kansas Anymore and Susan Nagel of Winky’s Pet Boutique. Both Perry Street businesses in Chester cited expenses they incurred overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, qualifying them for the maximum grant amount possible under the program.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. As a small business owner, myself, I know how difficult it is running a successful small business in New

Jersey. Two years of a pandemic made it that much more difficult. This program can be the boost many businesses can use to get over the hump as they deal with recovery, staffing and supply chain issues,” said Commissioner Shaw. “We still have millions of dollars not yet committed. I encourage small business owners to apply. There is no cost, so there is nothing to lose. As Mrs. Chupick at You’re Not In Kansas Anymore explained to us, she applied regardless of the fact that she was told by others she would not qualify. She now has $15,000 to invest back into her business.”

Susan Nagel at Winky’s said she has touted the program to other Chester businesses, and that she knows many have not yet applied. Operating Winky’s since 2007, she recalled that during the pandemic, the streets of Chester – lined with small businesses – were empty for months.

“I built my small business from the ground up, and fortunately I have remained successful. But I know other businesses that closed, and many others continue to suffer. This grant program can make the difference in whether some places can continue, so business owners should check it out, at the very least. Go to the website, read the plain-English information and submit an application,” said Commissioner Mastrangelo.

The program, launched on Valentine’s Day under the slogan “Morris County Loves Small Business,” has received 550 applications to date, with 150 already approved and most others still under review. The Commissioners dedicated $10 million to the effort.

Most of applications heading for final approval will provide each of the qualified businesses and nonprofits the maximum grant amount of $15,000. While the remaining applications are still being reviewed, the program remains open to new applications. Businesses as well as non-profits are urged to take advantage of the grant offer. There is no cost to apply.

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners has committed $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars toward the program, which is designed to provide grants of up to $15,000 to reimburse small businesses and nonprofit organizations for specific pandemic recovery expenses. The expenses must have been incurred on or after March 3, 2021 – a timeline established under ARPA guidelines.

The Small Business Grant Program eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to:

Read the Qualifications & Apply: morriscountysmallbusinessgrant.com

Federal guidelines covering the grant program will determine exactly which expenses qualify for coverage under the grant program and which applications may be approved.

The grants are capped at $15,000 per applicant. However, business owners and nonprofits are encouraged to submit applications that include all costs they believe may qualify for the grant, even if the total amount of a single claim exceeds $15,000.

A final review may determine that some costs submitted for consideration are not covered under the program guidelines. However, by submitting all expenses that may qualify, applicants increase the possibility of getting the maximum amount of grant dollars possible.

Photos:

Top Right: Commissioner Director Selen (right) hands $15,000 Small Business Grant Program check to Barbara Chupick of You're Not In Kansas Anymore.

Top Left: Susan Nagel of Winky’s Pet Boutique (center) receives her $15,000 Small Business Grant check with (l-r) Morris County Chamber of Commerce Vice President Michael Stanzilis, Chester Mayor Janet Hoven, Director Selen and Commissioner Shaw.

Center Right: Commissioner Mastrangelo talks about the challenges faced by small businesses with Susan Nagel of Winky’s Pet Boutique.

Center Left: Stanzilis of the Morris County Chamber selects an outfit at You're Not in Kansas Anymore for Mayor Hoven, with boutique owner Barbara Chupick, Director Selen and Commissioner Shaw standing by.

Bottom Right: (l-r) Commissioners Selen, Mastrangelo and Shaw outside Winky’s Pet Boutique.

Morris County & Chester Township Break Ground on Black River Fields

Published on May 17, 2021Open Space Trust Fund Helps Township Preserve Historic Sports GroundsMorris County Board of County Commissioners Director Stephen Shaw joined state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-25), Chester Township Mayor Marcia Asdal and many other local officials in breaking ground on an improvement project at the Black River Fields, which the township is officially purchasing with Open Space funds approved by Morris County.“Since the Open Space program began in Morris County more than ...

Published on May 17, 2021

Open Space Trust Fund Helps Township Preserve Historic Sports Grounds

Morris County Board of County Commissioners Director Stephen Shaw joined state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-25), Chester Township Mayor Marcia Asdal and many other local officials in breaking ground on an improvement project at the Black River Fields, which the township is officially purchasing with Open Space funds approved by Morris County.

“Since the Open Space program began in Morris County more than 20 years ago, we have preserved more than 17,600 acres – which is almost as large as the entire Township of Chester,” said Director Shaw. “I always want to remind everyone that this money doesn’t come from the county or the commissioners. It comes from the taxpayers of Morris County, who have overwhelmingly supported open space preservation in Morris County, and we thank all of them today.”

Morris County approved a $416,250 Open Space grant for the township in November 2019 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. A segment of Patriot’s Path also runs through the land.

The Black River Fields are owned by the West Morris Regional High School District, and have been leased by the township for recreational use for two decades. The groundbreaking involves work needed to improve playing fields and recreational accommodations already built by the township over the years.

“We are happy to have people here today who helped us along the way,” said Mayor Asdal. “This area has been the premier focus for youth sports in Chester Township.”

She noted the fields have been used for more than 50 years to support youth sporting organizations from the both Chester Township and Chester Borough, as well as neighboring Mendham Township and Mendham Borough. The Open Space dollars will preserve the land for that purpose.

“What a great project and great effort by two branches of government coming together,” said Sen. Bucco. “This is a great opportunity,”

Joining the groundbreaking ceremony were Chester Township Council Members Tim Drag, Joe DiPaolo, Brian Curely and Mike Inganamort, along with Morris County Parks Commissioner Edward McCarthy, former Township Council Member Jacki Spinelli, Former Mayor Ben Spinelli and Don Storm of the West Morris Regional High School District Board of Education. Many Chester Township residents and township employees also attended.

Top Photo: (l-r) Director Shaw, Mayor Asdal and Sen. Bucco

Middle Photo: (l-r) Sen. Bucco, Council Members Inganamort and DiPaolo, Director Shaw with his own shovel, Council Member Curley and Mayor Asdal.

Bottom Photo: (l-r) Council Members Drag, DiPaolo and Inganamort; Director Shaw, Mayor Asdal, Sen. Bucco, former Council Member Spinelli and Council Member Curley.

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