Township Council Takes First Step Toward Youth Center

Kimberly Francois

Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois said the proposed youth center will host a “myriad of activities.”

The Township Council Feb. 9 took the first step in creating a youth center when it introduced an ordinance permitting the acquisition of a Lewis Street property.

The property is located at 429 Lewis Street, which was the home of the Somerset Community Action Program before it moved to Hamilton Street.

The ordinance, which will have its final vote at the council’s Feb. 23 meeting, mandates that the township pay fair market value as determined by an appraisal already completed.

Th ordinance also gives the council the power to acquire the property through Eminent Domain if a price cannot be negotiated.

Once purchased, the building will be razed and a new youth center will be built, said Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois (D-At Large).

Francois, as well as other council members, has long advocated for a youth center to be built in the township. She said after her last election victory in November 2015 that getting the center built would be her priority during this term.

“The township had the vision and foresight to recognize … that we have a need for a youth center,” she said Feb. 9.

The center, she said, will “improve the quality of life for 0ur community.”

“This is something very much needed in that area,” Francois said. “We plan on having a myriad of activities for that site.”


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