Chester Mayor Recaps 2021 Accomplishments

·3 min read

CHESTER, NJ — Residents, employees and volunteers were recently recognized in Chester Township Mayor Marcia Asdal’s first message of 2022.

In it, she recapped the township’s 2021 accomplishments and what’s ahead for 2022, especially the unknowns because of COVID.

She also reminded residents that they have an important role in the town’s government.

“Every meeting is open to you and every board, committee and commission welcomes your input and attendance,” she said.

When she took office in January 2017, Asdal said she wanted to be sure that there was a “very basic outcome,” which she summed up as, “Happy residents, living in a well-run, highly desirable town.”

“I believe we – the council, the administration, our employees, the volunteers who serve on our boards, committees, commissions - have accomplished much towards this goal,” she wrote.

“I will continue to preserve and protect Chester Township and respect its history and ensure that future generations will continue to Choose Chester,” she continued.

In addition to sharing how she looked forward to serving again in 2022, Asdal welcomed the township’s newest Council Member John Butkus, a small business owner who owns and operates the Old Mill Tavern with his family.

She recognized township employees, who she said “do the heavy lifting of running our town.”

Asdal also said the township is fortunate to have a “tremendous roster of volunteers, all generously contributing their knowledge and varied experiences in our town.”

She recapped the township’s accolades from 2021, with some below:

  • Increase of 0.5 percent for municipal taxes

  • Tax collection rate of 99.4 percent, the highest ever

  • $400,000 American Rescue Plan Funds were applied to offset 2022 tax increases

  • Solar panel project returns Combe South Landfill property to tax rolls

  • Glenlora affordable housing project proposals being developed, with a meeting between the planning board and council on Wednesday

  • Town Hall and Police Station new roof and siding

  • New traffic light at Furnace Road and Route 206

  • Multiple resurfacing projects with more ahead in 2022

  • Patio installed at Highlands Ridge Park Barn

  • Chubb Park Baseball field converted to youth softball field

  • Pickleball courts experienced record-breaking use.

  • Ground broken to reconstruct Black River Fields

  • New Recreation Director

  • Several in-person events held

  • Worker and public safety during COVID pandemic

  • $100 savings per participant over 16-month timeframe in Hunterdon Area Energy Cooperative

  • Lifetime healthcare benefits eliminated for new, non-contract hires

  • 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony hosted

  • Four hybrid-electric police vehicles purchased

  • Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) hosted at Chester Schools

  • Police transitioned to use of body-worn cameras

  • COVID responses coordinated with Washington Township

  • Chester Community Garden stayed open during pandemic

What are some of the challenges ahead for 2022 that Asdal addressed?

  • COVID-related costs are still unknown including the rising costs of technology for remote meetings, regular and retiree healthcare costs, insurance costs for workers compensation and liability and future Health Department contract.

  • Gas and diesel costs have also doubled, which leaves another future cost unknown.

To read Asdal’s full message, click here. To contact Asdal directly, email her at masdal@chestertownship.org or 908-310-2787.

Questions or comments about this story? Have a news tip? Contact me at: jennifer.miller@patch.com.

This article originally appeared on the Mendham-Chester Patch

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