Great things happen in Hanover!
And 2015 was no exception. The year saw many accomplishments in the areas of communications, infrastructure, economic redevelopment, and the launch of new, engaging programs to enhance quality of life and foster community involvement. These milestones were achieved through the collaborative efforts of municipal staff, boards and commissions, and partnerships with civic organizations and in some instances, the township’s business neighbors.
As part of a larger, ongoing goal to broaden communications, the township added three new publications to help the public stay connected with what’s happening in our community. We cordially invite residents to “Like” our two new Facebook pages, one maintained by our Department of Recreation and Park Administration, and the other by our Substance Awareness Council. Those who want to hear about our best and brightest programs can now sign up to receive our “Great Things Happen In Hanover E-blast,” the most recent addition to our family of publications. Launched in January, the monthly e-blast serves as on on-line community bulletin board with links for those who would like to read more about a particular item.
The year 2015 witnessed the start of an ambitious road resurfacing program using a mill and pave strategy that does not require curb or sidewalk reconstruction. Among the roads done were Cedar Knolls Road from Ridgedale Ave. to South Jefferson; Mount Pleasant Ave. from Parsippany Rd. to the entrance of the Pine Plaza Mall; Legion Place and Eden Lane from the Whippany River Bridge to Whippany Rd. Griffith Dr., Hamilton Court and Hendricks Dr. were also resurfaced and the long awaited realignment of Whippany and Parsippany roads, including the extension of Bayer Boulevard became a reality. Expanding on last year’s momentum, the township plans during 2016 to mill and pave Troy Rd., Birch Hill Dr., Beech Terrace, Mt. Vernon Way, Malapardis Rd. from Route 287 to the cul-de-sac, and McNab Ave. from Slope Drove to Poplar Drive, Erna Place and Baldwin Court. In addition, the township plans to resurface Ridgedale Ave. from Malapardis Rd. to Cedar Knolls Rd. An NJDOT 2015 Municipal Aid grant will help fund a portion of the cost to resurface this roadway.
The soon to be completed redevelopment of the former ATT and Lucent Whippany Rd., home to Bayer’s North American Headquarters and future home of MET Life, is a significant infusion of ratables that has helped restore Hanover’s financial stability. Additionally, the construction brings many offsite improvements, enhancing not only traffic flow and safety, but also quality of life through landscape beautification along Whippany Rd. and construction of a bicycle/jogging/walking sidewalk system fronting the campus to Eden Lane to support access to Hanover’s Connectivity Trail. The Connectivity Trail, a project to interconnect the entire township through Patriots Path and a system of on and off road trails eventually connecting to Morris Plains and Morristown, will kick into high gear in the spring of 2016 with the implementation of the first project phases.
In addition to Connectivity, the township initiated several other programs to offer the public recreational, educational, and community involvement. The “Stoney Brook Farm,” a community farm and garden for growing fresh vegetables for local food pantries and for residents to grow their own produce, is well underway with the 2015 organization of a Steering Committee. During 2016, the Steering Committee will focus on establishing by-laws, rules and procedures for the development, operation and maintenance of the farm and garden, while overseeing construction and the eventual operation. The Community Farm and Garden will be completed in 2016 and available to residents for the Spring 2017 growing season.
The Substance Awareness Council applied for and received a generous grant from Bayer in 2015 to bring former Professional Basketball Player, Chris Herren, to Hanover Township to share his poignant and inspiring journey from drug addiction to recovery and ongoing commitment to helping battle substance abuse. The event, co-sponsored by the Hanover Township School District, the Hanover Park Regional High School District and the local branch of the NJEA, is set to be held Mon., Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Junior School Auditorium. The township Committee joins the Substance Awareness Council and Board of Education in urging all parents, teachers, coaches – and any other members of the public concerned about keeping kids and other loved ones safe from substance abuse – to be there for what promises to be an unforgettable evening. Additional information, including how to register for this event, is available on the homepage of the township’s website at www.hanovertownship.com.
Complementing the outstanding programs Recreation offers each year, was the addition in 2015 of a “Healthy In Hanover” initiative. In 2016, opportunities for fitness, better nutrition and fun have been rolled into a series of free classes and events including, “Walk with the Mayor,” “Family Kickball,” and healthy “how to” cooking and meal planning classes. Residents are cordially invited to check the township’s website, E-blasts, newsletter, and Recreation’s Facebook page for upcoming events.
The Township Committee looks forward to expanding the initiatives begun in 2015, and sincerely thanks the municipal staff, our volunteer board and commission members, our business neighbors, and the members of the public who have all contributed to making 2015 such a successful year. We’re confident that 2016 will continue to showcase that “Great Things Happen in Hanover,” and illustrate what makes our community such an ideal place to live, work and play!