EMERSON, N.J.– Emerson's mayor and council are moving forward with the acquisition of 58 Locust Ave., located directly across from Borough Hall.
Mayor Lou Lamatina signed a contract last week for the purchase, secured by a $425,000 bond. The closing of the home, formerly owned by the Church of the Assumption, will take place in March or April, the mayor said.
The governing body also approved an appraisal for 64 Locust Ave., a residential home located next door to the recently purchased property. Lamatina expects the appraisal will be about $360,000.
By purchasing both, there’s a possibility of creating a new public safety complex and what the mayor called a “much needed” community center, the mayor said.
“I think there is consensus to move forward in making that purchase,” Lamatina said.
The borough is sending out Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) for architects to identify buildings that need repairs and to help design a new municipal building.
Lamatina said relocating the police and ambulance buildings is a top priority.
The current borough hall, which contains the police department, opened in 1938 and is in need of repairs. The plan is to erect a structure to serve residents of all ages, he said.
Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the borough’s downtown are due by Tuesday. Lamatina said that the borough received over 20 requests “and we anticipate more responses.”
Currently, the ambulance corps building is part of the RFP. Lamatina said the borough would work in partnership with a builder, who would have to relocate the complex if it gets knocked down as part of the RFP.
“The timing is very good,” said Lamatina, noting that he hopes to “get a re-developer involved and move quickly.”
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