While multiple new businesses set up shop in Summit in 2013, pharmaceutical giant Merck announced plans to close its Summit campus by 2015. Mayor Ellen Dickson and Common Council members have been working with Merck officials to find a new occupant for the 88-acre campus, which generates about $9 million in taxes annually.
2014 will see the continued development of a 35,000-square-foot building at 466-474 Springfield Avenue. The project's anticipated completion is scheduled for first quarter 2015.
While the Village Green Pedestrian Improvement Project, which began in September, saw the installation of newly-aligned walkways and lighting enhancements, residents expressed their ongoing concerns for pedestrian safety.
The new year will likely see continued debate regarding the proposed helipad at Overlook Medical Center. On Wednesday, Nov. 27, the hospital filed an application with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to move ahead with the project, which hospital officials said is necessary in order to advance the hospital's stroke center.
Donna Miller, of Citizens Against the Helipad, said the grassroots group has been galvanized by the recent action. At its mid-December meeting, the Summit Common Council voted 7-0 to inform the DOT that it opposes Atlantic Health System's recent application to build the helipad atop Overlook Hospital.
A widespread power outage in mid-December was caused by a raccoon interfering with Summit Substation equipment on Franklin Place. Approximately 3,000 customers lost power and Brayton Elementary was closed for the day. Mayor Ellen Dickson said she and City officials have been meeting with JCP&L and representatives from the Board of Public Utilities, which regulates the electrical utility industry, to address the status of Summit’s electrical grid.
“I will continue to work with JCP&L to improve the reliability and robustness of the present infrastructure,” Dickson reiterated. “But it is not an easy fix.”Summit dad David Shanker has made multiple requests to have Summit Board of Education meetings televised. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nathan Parker said he has discussed the cost of televising meetings with HomeTowne TV and has several options that he would like the Communications Committee to examine in January.
What changes would you like to see in Summit in the new year? Tell us in the comments section.