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West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi Releases Proposed Plans for Ridgeway Property

Cynthia Cumming

Thursday, May 16, 2013 • 11:59pm

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Mayor Robert Parisi released the design plans on May 16 for the Ridgeway Avenue property, which would create a passive recreation space on four acres of the property. The park layout is also in tandem with  a proposal to create an open space area in the St. Cloud neighborhood,

The First Reading Bonding Ordinance to approve the ORDINANCE 2375-13 - BOND ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PARK AT RIDGEWAY AVENUE IN AND FOR THE TOWNSHIP OF WEST ORANGE, IN THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW JERSEY,APPROPRIATING $500,000 THEREFORE AN AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $475,000 BONDS OR NOTES TO FINANCE PART OF THE COST THEREOF was passed at the May 7 Town Council Meeting.  If approved at the May 21 Town Council Meeting after Second reading, the project is expected to begin immediately, with completion anticipated in August.

Funding for the project is being supplied by the Open Space Trust Fund. The Open Space Commission approved the allocation of Trust Fund resources through the process that began on May 7. 

The township acquired the property on May 31, 2006 from Northfield Mass Associates LLC. Several meetings with St. Cloud residents generated recommendations from a neighborhood subcommittee that held neighborhood meetings and interviews with residents about what they wanted on the property.

According to Parisi's press release, "Improvements will include pedestrian access along walking pathways from three adjoining streets including Ridgeway Ave., Highland Blvd. and Arverne Rd. Lighting will be installed throughout the park. Additionally, the stone wall will be reconstructed and an existing gazebo will be restored. Landscaping includes new lawns and trees."

Two buildings remain on the property and the subcommittee and administration have not yet determined their fate.  The buildings are not part of the proposed plan.

“It is our hope that this space will become a beautiful addition to the neighborhood that will be enjoyed for many years to come,” Parisi said.

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