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Township Council: Theodore Chase, Jr. (D)

Name: Theodore Chase, Jr.

Street Address: 159 Georgetown Rd.

Section of Town You Live In: Southern end, receives mail with Princeton address

If incumbent, how many years have you served: 4 years

Do you belong to any civic organizations:

  • Planning Board 1996-to date
  • Environmental Commission, 1996-2009 (now Council liaison to)
  • Open Space Committee, 2001-2009 (now Council liaison to)
  • New Jersey Conservation Foundation, trustee, elected summer 2013
  • Advisory committee on D&R Canal Commission Master Plan, 2013-to date

What do you see as your three top issues, and how do you plan on dealing with them:

1) I have been working on the problem of the old and fragile water main along Rte 27 from Rte 518 to Little Rocky Hill for the last three years.  Application of more than 20 lb/square inch pressure causes the pipe to blow, so residents have little water pressure for use on second stories, and hydrants are unusable.  After examining other alternatives, the Council has given the go-ahead for design engineering of a replacement main.  Larger pumps at the Rte 27/Rte 518 intersection will also improve water service along Rte 518.  This is part of a larger initiative to update the township’s water system, finding leaks, and replacing the oldest, most leak-prone sections.  We must maintain our infrastructure, but not further extend it, since this could lead to additional high density development that would change the quality of life in the rural areas of the First Ward.

2) Development of playing fields for active recreation at Catalpa Farm, as recommended by the Recreation  Needs Assessment study.  Concept plans have been drawn and are circulating through committees (Open Space, Recreation), after which they will come before Council for approval of a contract for full engineered plans for bidding.  This is part of a long term plan to develop township recreation facilities as recommended by the Recreation Needs Study.  This will be funded by what is popularly known as the Open Space Tax, approved by the voters of the town, which also allows use of the money to develop recreation and preserve historic sites.  Over the first ten years of the Open Space Tax it was used almost exclusively to buy land or buy the development rights of farmland, but by now most of the target lands have been preserved.  But I also watch over plans for the use of Open Space Tax money, trying to ensure that it is used as efficiently as possible.

3) A current issue is minimizing the bad effects of the NJ Water Supply Authority dredging of the D&R Canal upon neighboring property owners.  Neighbors of the proposed site for dewatering of the sludge from the canal bottom, at 1391 Canal Rd., are understandably concerned.  It has been suggested that the sludge from the bottom of the canal could be pumped all the way to the site if its eventual use, the American Cyanamid site in Bridgewater, just across the Raritan River.  I support this proposal if it is technically feasible.  I have suggested other sites for the dewatering, but there have been technical reasons why they were rejected.

These are the 1st ward issues I am currently working on.  Others will undoubtedly appear over the next four years.  More general issues are: bringing the township budget into balance, so that we are no longer spending down our “surplus”, in effect our savings account; and developing safe routes to school by building sidewalks where children can then safely walk to school (better for their health), saving the Board of Education money now spent on school buses.  We will seek Federal grants for this program.

Your Thoughts

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