Hightstown Votes Down Study of Lucas Electric for Borough Hall

Only two council members voted "yes" to the feasibility study of Lucas Electric as a potential Borough Hall location.

The Hightstown Borough Council voted down a resolution authorizing Borough officials to investigate the feasibility of permanently relocating the Borough office at their Council meeting Tuesday night.

At the moment, the Hightstown Borough Hall offices have been relocated to the public works building at 156 Bank Street since the offices were flooded by Hurricane Irene in August 2011.

This resolution proposed conducting a feasibility study for relocating the offices to the Lucas Electric property at 415 Mercer Street, but was voted down in a 4-2, NJ.com reported. The Hightstown Borough Police Department has also been relocated to the Lucas Electric building since the flood waters from Irene rendered the building unusable.

The Borough Council discussed the possibility of using the Lucas Electric facility at a Borough Hall Workshop meeting in October 2012 among other locations, including the vacant rug mill on Bank Street.

In November 2012, the Council approved a resolution stating a plan to rebuild the Borough Hall at it's current location and rebutting the Planning Board’s recommendation to not build the offices within a flood zone.

The resolution presented Tuesday night presented the option of further exploring the possibility of using the Lucas Electric facility without repealing any previously adopted resolutions, stipulating that a feasibility study would not undo the Council's previous decision.

Council President Larry Quattrone and Councilwoman Susan Bluth voted ‘yes’ to the resolution, NJ.com reported, in an effort to further explore alternatives.

Great Potential February 22, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Councilwoman Susan Bluth cited Hurricane Sandy as a reason for a yes vote. Huh?You want to keep Borough Hall in the downtown after it floods in one hurricane, but want to move it after it doesn't in another hurricane. And a Mayor & Administrator draw up a resolution to conduct another feasibility study? What have you actually done over the last two years, except throw temper tantrums & run out of meetings like a cry baby. Assuming that neither the Mayor or Adminstrator actually did anything and wrote the resolution, they wasted taxpayer money on having Borough professionals do so. I bet if the mayor exerted some profesionalism & leadership from the outset, he could have actually convinced Council to go along with the Lucas Plan. And the comedy of follies continue.
JP Gibbons February 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM
June of 2012 Hightstown Council voted to keep Borough Hall Complex in a downtown location. Only Larry voted against that resolution. The Mayor and Administrator were told to have a study done on the downtown options available and cost for each option. What the Council received was an expensive report comparing renovating the Lucas property compared to rebuilding the complex at the current location. That report was dated 7/17/12. It estimated the cost over $2,000,000.00 plus purchase price for Lucas and less than $2,000,000.00 for rebuilding. The Mayor and Administrator still have not delivered any written report to the Council on alternatives for relocating the administrative offices downtown. The focus of Steven and Mike along with our tax money for the past 18 months has gone to justifying the purchase of the Lucas property. That is the history. Now these are the facts. Rebuilding at the current location will cost the taxpayers approximately $125,000.00 for a NEW or totally refurbished and code compliant building worth $2,000,000.00 to $4,000,000.00 with the insurance company and FEMA paying the balance. OR the taxpayers would need to pay approximately $2,000,000.00 plus the insurance settlement money for the Lucas location. All the rest of this is just Smoke and Mirrors. Time to move on and rebuild. Maker HIGHTSTOWN complete again. Have you also noticed that they are no longer referring to it as the Lucas property. It is now 415 Mercer St.
Dave Bell February 23, 2013 at 01:57 PM
If we wait long enough the Borough Hall can move into the post office, they are going under pretty quickly. The property is already tax exempt, it's close to down town, and away from the water.
JP Gibbons February 23, 2013 at 03:26 PM
With our luck Janice will want us to keep the PO and pay for her new Township Complex.after they rename it the EW OP.
big dog February 24, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Stop dragging EW into your joke of a town's issues. Have fun with all your surveys, resolutions, etc. We'll be having this conversation 2 years from now. Trust me, EW doesn't want anything to do with Hightstown.
Eugene E Sarafin February 24, 2013 at 06:06 PM
The present Borough Hall site was a garage and gas station in 1954 and sold Buick's from what remember as a teenager. In 1954 we had Hurricane Hazel , October 15 , followed by Hurricanes Connie, August 12-13, and Diane, August 18-19. The garage was inundated with three feet of water from Connie and Diane during that August. Hurricane Hazel wiped out Wilkes Barre, East Stroudsburg, and Scranton. There is a reason not to build in a flood plain. After the 1955 flood at the present Borough Hall site the garage went out of business and remained an eyesore. The old Borough Hall was located on the second floor of a building on the site of the Allen & Stults parking area.
Eugene E Sarafin February 24, 2013 at 09:55 PM
So Milt Cunningham mayor and a town pharmacist owner saw the opportunity along with the redevelopment of Mercer Street to build a new Borough Hall. it was not an easy process since his Council fought him on the design and cost. I always thought the building should have been named after Milt for getting the facility built. Interesting enough is the location was not part of downtown since it was on the north side of the railroad bridge and not very visible.


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