If you live in one of these towns, you might have to be merging with some other NJ town

Above: Flemingtonians know the borders, but they might be going away.
What are the New Jersey municipalities that might be forced to merge? List below. 
Read the draft: Suggested Recommendations Submitted by Economic & Fiscal Policy Working Group.


Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group: Four months ago, Sen. Steve Sweeney created a legislative working group to research the possibilities to improve on government efficiency, spending, and taxation, including the perennial issue of high property taxes and residents leaving in search of cheaper places to live. Sweeney put Senate Budget chair Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) in charge along with Sen. Steven Oroho (R-24), a member of that committee, and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) (full list here). They’re out today with a draft report, which includes revenue-generating ideas like more tolls, and cost-saving suggestions like shifting public employees to 401K-style retirement benefits instead of a pension, raising the retirement age of some state employees from 65 to 67, and capping pensionable salary for nearly all government workers and further reduce health care benefits public workers. Public employees and their unions will of course have their say on all this, and not all items in the draft will make it into the final document.

But this is the big one: New Jersey is a home-rule state, with 565 municipalities and even more school districts (see also Alan Karcher’s book New Jersey’s Multiple Municipal Madness). So it’s no surprise the group addressed that. But even the draft, non-binding as it is, will be causing some heartburn today – because it gets specific, if the state takes their advice and requires municipalities with less than 5,000 people to merge with an adjacent town. That would force almost 200 of NJ’s 565 separate burgs to merge. That won’t go down easy everywhere.

Princeton merged 5 years ago, but you can make the argument that that was a blend that made sense. Princeton Boro & Township – similar average income, population demographic, chief employer. Everything was already called Princeton – borough, township, chief employer (the university). How residents feel about their town and the towns nearby can have a impact on how the idea’s embraced. Princeton made sense. Flemington (my town) and Raritan Township? Less sense. They used to be the same town till 1910, but it’s they’re further apart than the Princetons since then. Flemington has roughly half the average income of the township so perhaps different priorities. Very different demographics; the township is much whiter. And the relationship can sometimes be uneasy. Raritan Twp’s government refers to Flemington as the “donut hole” – a common but fairly offensive description of Main Street towns (donut holes are where there’s nothing). A public meeting teetered into racist and classist discussions of Flemington. It works both ways; some Flemingtonians see Raritan Township’s zoning as predatory; locating big box stores and fast-food joints in a tight ring around the mile-square borough, thoughtlessly choking Main Street commerce, distancing ugly commerce from its priciest housing stock. Raritan Township voted against a merger study.

Here are the communities that could be eliminated if the state Legislature followed through on the proposal to merge towns, and their populations. Do you live on this list, Blue Jersey?

  1. Pine Valley, Camden County 4
  2. Walpack Township, Sussex County 6
  3. Tavistock, Camden County 9
  4. Teterboro, Bergen County 86
  5. Loch Arbour, Monmouth County 202
  6. Cape May Point, Cape May County 214
  7. Mantoloking, Ocean County 276
  8. Shiloh, Cumberland County 349
  9. Harvey Cedars, Ocean County 430
  10. Corbin City, Atlantic County 484
  11. Allenhurst, Monmouth County 496
  12. Millstone, Somerset County 498
  13. West Wildwood, Cape May County 500
  14. Barnegat Light, Ocean County 574
  15. Rockleigh, Bergen County 588
  16. Andover, Sussex County 598
  17. Rocky Hill, Somerset County 618
  18. Stockton, Hunterdon County 620
  19. Fieldsboro, Burlington County 629
  20. Deal, Monmouth County 708
  21. Greenwich Township, Cumberland County 712
  22. Roosevelt, Monmouth County 748
  23. Wrightstown, Burlington County 764
  24. Bloomsbury, Hunterdon County 774
  25. Interlaken, Monmouth County 806
  26. Washington Township, Burlington County 815
  27. Branchville, Sussex County 846
  28. Ship Bottom, Ocean County 880
  29. Hi-Nella, Camden County 895
  30. Stone Harbor, Cape May County 925
  31. West Cape May, Cape May County 955
  32. Stow Creek Township, Cumberland County 991
  33. Far Hills, Somerset County 991
  34. Audubon Park, Camden County 993
  35. Port Republic, Atlantic County 1004
  36. Longport, Atlantic County 1006
  37. Beach Haven, Ocean County 1022
  38. Bay Head, Ocean County 1054
  39. Shrewsbury Township, Monmouth County 1066
  40. Elsinboro Township, Salem County 1131
  41. Surf City, Ocean County 1166
  42. Downe Township, Cumberland County 1209
  43. Hampton, Hunterdon County 1229
  44. Milford, Hunterdon County 1271
  45. Sea Bright, Monmouth County 1333
  46. Califon, Hunterdon County 1340
  47. Elmer, Salem County 1408
  48. Frenchtown, Hunterdon County 1409
  49. Avalon, Cape May County 1421
  50. Woodland Township, Burlington County 1439
  51. Lake Como, Monmouth County 1463
  52. Bass River Township, Burlington County 1464
  53. Farmingdale, Monmouth County 1479
  54. Eagleswood Township, Ocean County 1483
  55. Pemberton, Burlington County 1511
  56. Alpine, Bergen County 1522
  57. Winfield Township, Union County 1545
  58. Hardwick Township, Warren County 1575
  59. Chester, Morris County 1577
  60. Island Heights, Ocean County 1613
  61. Victory Gardens, Morris County 1623
  62. Seaside Park, Ocean County 1635
  63. Chesilhurst, Camden County 1639
  64. Glen Gardner, Hunterdon County 1663
  65. Newfield, Gloucester County 1668
  66. Lebanon, Hunterdon County 1693
  67. Sea Girt, Monmouth County 1697
  68. Estell Manor, Atlantic County 1699
  69. Mannington Township, Salem County 1775
  70. Oldmans Township, Salem County 1830
  71. Avon-by-the-Sea, Monmouth County 1846
  72. Folsom, Atlantic County 1859
  73. Lower Alloways Creek Township, Salem County 1868
  74. Hope Township, Warren County 1870
  75. Allentown, Monmouth County 1890
  76. Hopewell, Mercer County 1904
  77. Sea Isle City, Cape May County 1905
  78. Sandyston Township, Sussex County 1929
  79. Laurel Springs, Camden County 1950
  80. Brooklawn, Camden County 1954
  81. Sussex, Sussex County 1976
  82. Lavallette, Ocean County 2026
  83. Ocean Gate, Ocean County 2060
  84. Gibbsboro, Camden County 2157
  85. Wenonah, Gloucester County 2163
  86. Essex Fells, Essex County 2164
  87. Englishtown, Monmouth County 2189
  88. Pine Beach, Ocean County 2211
  89. Quinton Township, Salem County 2235
  90. Alpha, Warren County 2249
  91. Helmetta, Middlesex County 2314
  92. Frelinghuysen Township, Warren County 2356
  93. Lafayette Township, Sussex County 2386
  94. Ogdensburg, Sussex County 2424
  95. Oxford Township, Warren County 2522
  96. Beverly, Burlington County 2538
  97. Harmony Township, Warren County 2559
  98. Pennington, Mercer County 2567
  99. Peapack and Gladstone, Somerset County 2588
  100. Swedesboro, Gloucester County 2606
  101. Belvidere town, Warren County 2621
  102. Lakehurst, Ocean County 2673
  103. Clinton (town), Hunterdon County 2679
  104. Woodbine, Cape May County 2690
  105. East Newark, Hudson County 2717
  106. South Hackensack Township, Bergen County 2724
  107. Riverton, Burlington County 2736
  108. Weymouth Township, Atlantic County 2752
  109. Moonachie, Bergen County 2756
  110. West Amwell Township, Hunterdon County 2783
  111. Liberty Township, Warren County 2868
  112. Seaside Heights, Ocean County 2881
  113. Lawnside, Camden County 2923
  114. Woodlynne, Camden County 2955
  115. Spring Lake, Monmouth County 2973
  116. Knowlton Township, Warren County 2977
  117. National Park, Gloucester County 3012
  118. Woodbury Heights, Gloucester County 3027
  119. Long Beach Township, Ocean County 3051
  120. Franklin Township, Warren County 3104
  121. Deerfield Township, Cumberland County 3108
  122. Hamburg, Sussex County 3194
  123. South Harrison Township, Gloucester County 3203
  124. Wildwood Crest, Cape May County 3210
  125. Franklin Township, Hunterdon County 3231
  126. Saddle River, Bergen County 3241
  127. Lawrence Township, Cumberland County 3241
  128. Netcong, Morris County 3248
  129. Monmouth Beach, Monmouth County 3249
  130. Pohatcong Township, Warren County 3254
  131. Fredon Township, Sussex County 3266
  132. Springfield Township, Burlington County 3363
  133. Tuckerton, Ocean County 3367
  134. Alloway Township, Salem County 3387
  135. Upper Pittsgrove Township, Salem County 3428
  136. Haworth, Bergen County 3446
  137. Stanhope, Sussex County 3457
  138. Green Township, Sussex County 3524
  139. Cape May, Cape May County 3529
  140. Woodstown, Salem County 3548
  141. High Bridge, Hunterdon County 3564
  142. Mine Hill Township, Morris County 3634
  143. South Toms River, Ocean County 3731
  144. Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County 3768
  145. Merchantville, Camden County 3771
  146. Montague Township, Sussex County 3778
  147. Cranbury Township, Middlesex County 3803
  148. Lambertville, Hunterdon County 3841
  149. Bordentown, Burlington County 3874
  150. Harding Township, Morris County 3881
  151. Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County 3917
  152. East Amwell Township, Hunterdon County 3930
  153. North Wildwood, Cape May County 3943
  154. Oaklyn, Camden County 4000
  155. Shrewsbury, Monmouth County 4000
  156. Stillwater Township, Sussex County 4011
  157. Medford Lakes, Burlington County 4081
  158. Pilesgrove Township, Salem County 4098
  159. Elk Township, Gloucester County 4134
  160. Ho-Ho-Kus, Bergen County 4139
  161. Riverdale, Morris County 4206
  162. Westville, Gloucester County 4233
  163. Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County 4243
  164. Bradley Beach, Monmouth County 4272
  165. Mountain Lakes, Morris County 4287
  166. Garwood, Union County 4315
  167. Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth County 4318
  168. Magnolia, Camden County 4321
  169. Boonton Township, Morris County 4346
  170. Delaware Township, Hunterdon County 4506
  171. Delanco Township, Burlington County 4513
  172. Hopewell Township, Cumberland County 4518
  173. Allamuchy Township, Warren County 4519
  174. Buena, Atlantic County 4534
  175. Point Pleasant Beach, Ocean County 4594
  176. South Bound Brook, Somerset County 4613
  177. Mount Ephraim, Camden County 4639
  178. Spring Lake Heights, Monmouth County 4646
  179. Flemington, Hunterdon County 4663
  180. Brielle, Monmouth County 4745
  181. Neptune, Monmouth County 4758
  182. White Township, Warren County 4776
  183. Harrington Park, Bergen County 4790
  184. Northvale, Bergen County 4801
  185. Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County 4826
  186. Greenwich Township, Gloucester County 4870
  187. Franklin, Sussex County 4888
  188. Highlands, Monmouth County 4900
  189. Clementon, Camden County 4924
  190. Salem, Salem County 4931
  191. Penns Grove, Salem County 4985

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