Committeeman Manuel Figueiredo of the Township of Union was sworn into his third term as committeeman and his second year as Mayor on New Years Day.
“It is not only my goal, but that of the entire Committee, to make the Township of Union a place where each one of you want to raise a family,” he said.
As part of his address he lauded his staff and administration for a host of accomplishments in 2015- including a 6% decrease in crime, and announced that 2016 will focus on building in the areas of infrastructure, and redevelopment, while simultaneously making strides in the areas of taxes, transit, parks and direct communication with residents.
Of utmost priority in 2016, Figueiredo, along with other area mayors on the Rahway River Watershed Flood Control Mayors Council will continue to lobby and advocate for the completion of the Orange Reservoir study by the Army Corps of Engineers.
He will also continue to lobby for the expansion of “one seat ride” service to New York City, to include peak hours. Last year, the Township of Union and other towns along the Rarity Valley Line celebrated a milestone as the service was finally granted during off-peak hours.
In the area of redevelopment, the Mayor announced that this year will see the start of construction on a mixed use building on Stuyvesant Avenue, near Stop and Shop, which will house 5-6 retail units and 30 residential units above.
Union will also bring the ground breaking of two new luxury housing units, one on Clermont Terrace- a blighted property rehabilitated and cleaned for residential use- and the other in the vicinity of Union Train Station, of which both are projected to add more than 270 residential units. Completion of these projects is estimated for 2017.
“We are a Township with over 56,000 residents,” the Mayor said, “Better solutions in housing and infrastructure are needed to address changing and growing demographics.”
In terms of infrastructure, those solutions include work that will be done in the area of Liberty Avenue and Springfield Road where, through public/private partnership the Township will endeavor to mitigate and improve the flow of traffic in the area of Bed Bath and Beyond.
They will also continue laying the foundation for the Stuyvesant Avenue road improvements. This project will be designed in 2016, bidding in January 2017, with project completion sometime later in the year.
His initiatives were then rounded out with a coming property tax reward program, a beatification project in Union Center, and continuing work with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders for a proposed park on Green Lane, which will include a dog park.
Lastly, he emphasized the importance of communication with residents announcing the launch of the Township’s new mobile application which will be available for download in the early Spring.
“It has been said that when we interact with people, more often and more meaningfully, we can promote innovation, democracy, inclusiveness, and unity,” Figueiredo said. “Moreover, it is something that is essential if we wish to see Union continue to move in a positive direction.”
In addition to his selection as Mayor, the Reorganization Meeting featured the swearing in of Committeewoman Michele Delisfort, and the selection of Deputy Mayor Suzette Cavadas.
For the full text of the Mayor’s speech, including accomplishments from 2015, please visit http://www.uniontownship.com/133/Township-Committee.