Mayor’s Message: Welcome to 2019

Mayor Louis Manzo discusses changes and projects expected to take place this year

By LOUIS MANZO

Mayor

Welcome to 2019! Your township committee wishes you and your loved ones all possible blessings for the coming year. As a community, this will be a big year, for sure. We kick things off with our annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 7 with Don Heim and me being sworn in to new three-year terms on committee and taking the oaths as deputy mayor and mayor, respectively, for 2019. I know I speak for Don in saying we are honored to serve in those roles.

We also enter the year with a new, but familiar, face on committee. John Williams was recently appointed to serve out this last year of Vince Gangemi, Sr.’s term, after Vince stepped off committee in early December. Don, John and I, along with committee members Jeff Jacques and Julie DeLaurentis are poised to stay the course of all the great things happening in town; as well as address some issues facing our community going forward.

2019 will see the completion of the new Inspira Medical Center, with a projected opening date of late November. The progress of the main hospital building is obvious to anyone driving by, but most of you don’t realize that there is already a second phase included in that construction. Inspira received approvals for their new Cancer Center building in 2018, which will be directly adjacent to the hospital. Construction has commenced, and this exciting addition is slated to open simultaneously with the hospital in November.

The Routes 322 and 55 interchange is emerging into the natural hub it was expected to be, as we finalize our Joint Redevelopment Plan with Mantua Township and Glassboro. This will include a large data analytics and warehouse project on the south side of Rt. 322, likely to break ground in the spring. The plan also allows for the MOTUS athletic and entertainment complex on the north side. They are awaiting their final approval for N.J. Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) funding, which should be confirmed by February. All these projects will come before our Joint Land Use Board for approvals in the coming months.

True North Church recently received their approvals to build a new facility on Aura Road in Richwood and we are excited to see that project come to fruition.

We are also in the process of finalizing details on several other projects, including the relocation of a cold storage facility to Tomlin Station Commerce Center, a large solar field project and a beautiful age-restricted housing project; all of which would move forward this year.

As for Richwood, I will provide a detailed update on that project in a separate article. Admittedly, we have been frustrated by the failure of this project to move forward over the years, but in hindsight, we are pleased nothing has happened until now. The landscape for commercial and residential development has evolved greatly in recent years, setting the stage for more viable and desirable version of the vision in Richwood. I will keep you posted as these details crystalize in the coming months.

Needless to say, these are eventful times in Harrison Township.