Rahway State of the City 2018
03.22.2018 | Rahway
03.22.2018 | Rahway
This year’s State of the City was an informative address by the new Mayor, Raymond Giacobbe, and included spirited performances by students from Rahway High School and Rahway Academy. Student performed selections from the upcoming productions of “A Chorus Line” (March 23-25th at the High School) and “Legally Blonde”. This year’s Fearless Icon winner, Taye McQueen, performed “I’m a Star”. McQueen will star in the upcoming production of Rent at the Hamilton Stage.
In addition, the State of The City honored the city’s new hires in the Police and Fire Departments.
Two local business were recognized for their long history in town: Leo Records for 25 years in Rahway, and the Academy of Music for 30 years in Rahway.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to resident Marlene Hamm, who had spearheaded a project to clean up Milton Lake Park.
The Artist of the Year Award went to Linda Grant for creating the beautiful and vibrant yarn art scattered around downtown and the train station plaza.
The Senior of the Year Award went to 98-year-old Joseph Horling Sr., who told stories of Rahway throughout the years.
Assemblyman and former Rahway Mayor James Kennedy introduced Giacobbe, who was appointed in January. Giacobbe spoke of the progress that the city has made in the past year, and also outlined goals and plans for 2018. These initiatives included installing cameras downtown linked to the Police Station, a program providing free Wi-Fi access downtown, a shared bike/car lane downtown, and a grant program for senior citizens in Rahway that would allow them to make necessary repairs on their homes.
The Mayor also spoke of the current redevelopment taking place downtown, which includes the Willows on Central Ave., a 58 unit affordable housing complex that gives preference for applicants who are artists, which is expected to open sometime April. Another project well on its way to completion is the Gramercy, a 42 unit building on E. Cherry St., with retail space and a coffee shop on the first floor, which should begin leasing in late summer. The newest project to break ground is Main and Monroe, a 208 unit rental building along Main Street and E Cherry St. Construction will also soon begin on a 219 unit rental building at what was formerly Center Circle on Main Street.
Mayor Giacobbe also touched on efforts to expand programs at the Recreation Center, noting the importance of supporting our youth with programs and facilities that provide positive outlets. He also stated that construction on Madden Field, a multi-purpose sporting complex with a football field and two baseball fields, will begin later this year.
In addition, Giacobbe said that more than a dozen new businesses opened up this year and that several new businesses are opening soon, including a spa on Central and a new Carribean restaurant on E. Cherry.