For Immediate Release –
Contact: Jeff Richardson, 609-689-9960 x16
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]amilton, NJ – March 9, 2017 – Mayor Kelly A. Yaede, the first female Mayor in the history of Hamilton Township, delivered her annual State of Hamilton Township Address on Thursday afternoon at a MIDJersey Chamber luncheon event. The Mayor addressed a sold-out crowd of nearly 250 business executives, public officials and township personnel. New Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Rocco was also in attendance for the speech, as well as longtime Mayor Jack Rafferty.
The Mayor spoke of a healthy local economy and improving jobs market. She discussed an array of new projects expected to generate major investment and increase tax rateables for the municipal budget. That number, $44.5 million according to the Mayor, can be attributed to the purchase and redevelopment of township properties. More than 39 businesses opened in the Township in 2016 resulting in some 2,000 jobs being added to the local economy.
Redevelopment is underway at various vacant sites across the 40 square-mile Township. The Independence Plaza recently added a Regal Cinemas Movie Theater to its growing list of tenants. During their opening weekend, Regal Cinemas donated all ticket sales to three non-profit agencies, totaling $21,000. The Mayor expressed having corporations who value citizenship and social responsibility as those she looks to attract to Hamilton, like the Cinema.
In addition to Independence Plaza, the Route 130 corridor and Route 33/Nottingham Way have been at the center of development. The Super Walmart, which opened in late November, has filled a major void at Suburban Plaza while generating close to 300 jobs. The Mayor also disclosed plans for the former car dealerships on Route 33, which closed following the economic collapse of 2008-2009. Those plans include an Aldi Grocery Store, Panera Bread and AAA Car Care Center, lifting an eyesore which has persisted for several years. Route 33 is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the Township of 90,000 residents.
The Route 130 Corridor has seen unprecedented economic development in the last several years. It has become a magnet for developers and a coveted spot for hospitality and shipping companies. FedEx recently acquired property on Route 130 for their distribution center. Residence Inn by Marriott has followed a trend of hotels opening on the stretch of roadway that includes the Shoppes of Hamilton and Hamilton Marketplace, popular shopping destinations. The Homestead at Hamilton Retirement Community, a sponsor of the event, has been approved by zoning and will open in fall 2017 at 2560 Kuser Rd according to their website. These three projects in particular are expected to net close to 1,000 new jobs.
The former Congoleum site, situated on Quakerbridge Road, and Genesis Properties are others which are pending sale and commercial redevelopment. All of the sites are in the Mayor’s vision of a vibrant community and a resilient local economy.
Also addressed in the speech was the Community Energy Aggregation Program, a program that allows a community to conduct the “bulk purchase” of energy supply (i.e. electricity) on behalf of its residents. It was recently implemented after being passed by the town council. This plan, which residents had the opportunity to opt out of, will reduce electricity costs and save “more than $250 over 21 months” for families in Hamilton Township. That savings will lead to more discretionary income and more consumer spending to support local business.
The Mayor stressed the importance of business partnerships in Hamilton, including Shop Hamilton, Hamilton Partnership and the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce. The Mayor holds these relationships in high regard, stating we have “unrelenting leadership through key partnerships” in the business community. “We work well together” she said. Business partnerships have been instrumental in promoting and supporting the local economy. The Mayor has partnered with local healthcare providers to hold a Job Fair on April 4th.
Mayor Yaede was recognized last year as being “one of the 15 most effective Mayors in New Jersey” according to her biography. She is serving her second term in office, receiving overwhelming reelection in 2015. She has consistently held high approval ratings from her constituents.
Proceeds from the luncheon were donated to The Overdose Prevention Agency Corporation (TOPAC), a Hamilton non-profit which provides overdose prevention and treatment to those battling drug addictions.
The luncheon was made possible due to sponsorships from: Doctors Express Urgent Care, ELEC 825, First Bank, Nottingham Insurance, PSEG, AR&C Self-Storage, Borden Perlman, Homestead Hamilton, Shop Hamilton and Spiezel Group.