August 2022: Milltown’s Iconic Landmark Water Tower and Smokestack to be Demolished!

August 2022: Milltown’s Iconic Landmark Water Tower and Smokestack to be Demolished!

While it may be said by some that this headline is utterly untrue, the fact is that without public outcry today these structures are in the direct path of the Milltown Ford Avenue Redevelopment Authority’s (MFARA) current legal framework. As of right now the current Ford Avenue Redevelopment Plan as amended in 2021 includes the following language with regard to open space…

            “Delivery of Open Space and Development Parcel: Demolition of

Buildings and Structures. Any and all structures or buildings, parking lots,

sidewalks, walkways, asphalt or concrete pads, and any abandoned below grade

piping, conduit or utility appurtenances, situated on the Open Space Parcel, shall

be removed and/or demolished by Developer. The cost of the demolition on the

Open Space Parcel and Development Parcel shall be shared 50/50 between the

Developer and the County….”

Looking at the conceptual plan it was reasoned and confirmed at a recent meeting of MFARA that one of the proposed building sites would sit at the location of the landmark structures in question.

It is true that there are numerous paths forward to save these structures. Options include the immediate creation of a Historic Preservation Commission to give authority over the designation of historic properties in the borough, the amendment to the four-party agreement, State Historic designation, and or lobbying of your elected officials. It is my opinion that it is too burdensome for the developer to keep the structures and maintain them. With the political will of both local Borough officials and the Middlesex County Commissioners who have the absolute authority to approve the location of the Open Space boundary. It is reasonable for them to ensure that not all structures within the county Open Space are demolished. Such a decision would benefit the residents of the State of New Jersey, Middlesex County, and the Borough of Milltown, as they could retain these landmarks, while also reducing the cost burden of the developer to unnecessarily demolish such iconic structures and the last remaining vestige of Milltown cultural contribution to the United States rubber industry and its own working-class roots.

For a timed video of the recent Milltown Ford Avenue Redevelopment Authority’s meeting where this was discussed see below for a YouTube link.

To contact your local leaders follow the links below.

Middlesex County commissioners.

https://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/government/board-of-county-commissioners

Milltown Ford Ave Redevelopment Agency

http://www.milltownnj.org/261/Ford-Ave-Redevelopment-Agency


Written by: Randy Ruth – August 2022

One thought on “August 2022: Milltown’s Iconic Landmark Water Tower and Smokestack to be Demolished!

  • August 16, 2022 at 12:02 pm
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    With the speed that this site is being “redeveloped”, you can build a brand new smokestack and it will be too old by the time this site is redeveloped. This nonsense has been going on for 30 years. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Reply

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