Edgewater Park, New Jersey
100 years in the making
A Jewel in the Garden State, Edgewater Park shines a bright path ahead
Nestled along the beautiful banks of the mighty Delaware River you will find the charming community of Edgewater Park, N.J. Its riverside location is the origin of the name, and Edgewater Park’s elevation is just 33 feet above sea level. Officially classed as a township, this small city will celebrate its centennial next year.
We recently caught up with Mayor Mike Trainor and Edgewater Park Administrator Tom Pullion. They told us more about what makes this fabulous Philadelphia suburb (just 20 minutes away from its downtown), home to some 9,000 folks, all that it is.
Pullion brings up the township’s upcoming birthday.
“We’re planning a big celebration for the event,” he says, citing a June date about pleasant weather and good timing at the beginning of vacation season.
Whilst historically a community-based in agriculture (and one lone farm does remain in Burlington County, as Pullion reveals), driving Edgewater Park these days is a combination of commercial and industrial activity, including a huge, new warehouse (nearly a million square feet) just built on the site of what was once a farm of some 66 acres.
“That of course,” says Pullion, “has contributed a lot to our tax base.”
He also points out several other projects in the works. They include two new self-storage unit locations and, just recently approved, two new distribution centers for legal cannabis-based drugs.
Further, the city is also enjoying residential growth as well. Two new housing developments are currently being developed. In addition, when drawing attention to Edgewater Park’s master plan, says Pullion, redevelopment projects are on the horizon that are aimed at transportation hubs.
This would involve the rail line that serves communities situated along the Delaware River and runs from Camden to Trenton. The railroad is also a major conveyance of commuters to and from work.
On top of that, as Pullion reveals, there are also 159 new market-rate apartments on the way. Trainor also spoke upon that subject.
“We have a lot of units coming online,” he says. “One of the things that Edgewater Park has tried to do, historically, is balance our residential versus commercial zoning with our school systems. As you know, any residential development has a direct impact on our schools. In the past 15 and 20 years, we have made substantial improvements to our schools to be able to accommodate additional children of residents.”
Working in close contact with the Burlington County Board of Education helps coordinate such efforts, as Trainor explains. Commercial development won’t bring in more kids, but residential development will, of course, so such efforts are very important.
“We have to make sure that our schools can accommodate that bottom line,” the Mayor declares, “while still being able to give our residents what they need and what they want and what they don’t even know that they want.”
As a point of clarity, Pullion notes that Edgewater Park’s schools go only from kindergarten through the eighth grade. The city’s older kids go elsewhere for high school, so this makes the concerns the Mayor points out rather more significant.
Trainor adds that as mayor, he simply wants to make Edgewater Park an even better place to live. It is, he says, a great place to raise a family, possessed of attractive parks, fun recreational opportunities, and a whole lot more.
Also of significant news in the city is a brand-new facility for police and courts. Congress awarded Edgewater Park almost $4.5 million for this complex. It is a much-needed improvement, as Pullion points out, as the Edgewater Park Police Department has spent the past 50 years in the basement of the City’s administrative building.
“They’re very eager to get out of there,” he adds.
Trainor notes that this new law-enforcement facility will feature many improvements. They will include better accommodations for the incarcerated and new facilities specific to the needs of female police officers. As well, police staffers will benefit from new and bigger conference rooms and even an on-site gymnasium.
“We’ll have plenty of room for all the officers to handle all their business,” as the Mayor reveals, “and it will be very much nicer to look at––much more aesthetically pleasing.”
Further, there’s a new community center in the works that will be the first of its kind for the community. Possessed of cutting-edge resources, it will serve local seniors and also function as a shelter in the event of emergencies, such as cold-weather situations wherein people have lost their homes’ heating capacities, as Trainor points out.
“It’s going to be a really beautiful community center,” the Mayor adds.
Both the law enforcement and court facility and the community center will be on the cutting edge of proper energy-conscious techniques. Both structures will have geothermal heating capabilities. Their parking bays will be covered with solar panels, as Trainor points out. All of this will result in some significant cost-saving rewards.
How technology helps
Trainor continues that technology has been an immeasurable help for Edgewater Park. Even as recently as five years, he says, citing but one example, city council members would receive paper agendas.
“We were using three, four, or five reams of paper for this,” the Mayor reveals.
Yet now, says Trainor, there’s no more waste of paper, printer toner, and extra electricity. City council agendas and many other such relevant documentation are now available on the new city-issued Tablets (handheld computer devices).
Elsewhere, Edgewater Park Public Works Director Jim Bernard (“He does an outstanding job of finding grants for anything and everything!” the Mayor enthuses) is working with Pullion to realize improvements across multiple areas. These include heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (or HVAC), security cameras, infrastructure, technology, and other important areas requiring Bernard’s expertise, says Trainor.
“We are looking for digital solutions at every level,” he adds, citing placing cameras in the city’s parks and other such areas wherein security is of paramount importance, as well as wi-fi access in the parks, thus getting the community “as close to current trends as possible.”
Trainor extols Pullion for his efforts, including always looking at Burlington County’s efforts or those of other communities to see whether corresponding applications may be realized for Edgewater Park.
One example is the close co-operation between the Township of Edgewater Park and the County in their public works departments. From such simple matters as pruning trees to more complicated, longer-lasting efforts, such as stormwater improvements and other such infrastructural matters, this sort of work and sharing of resources between the personnel of the Township and the County only makes for good neighbors and good business sense, as Pullion points out.
A positive culture
Per capita, Trainor reveals, Edgewater Park has the largest Turkish population in America. This, he adds, is a mutually enriching experience, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Edgewater Park, as the Mayor emphasizes, is a place known for equality. Having resided in the city for 26 years, Trainor says he can truly say he has never seen or known of any incidence of racism or any other form of bigotry in the community. Children of CEOs and common laborers play soccer together. It’s a harmonious place.
“We’re all just regular people here,” he observes. “It’s a very diverse population. Honestly, it’s just an incredible place to live, and everybody just gets along, because we’re all regular people.”
Further, not only is there Philadelphia’s proximity but there’s also the nearness of New York City. It’s just an hour away, as Trainor reveals.
“We have a great location,” he remarks.
Plus, Edgewater Park’s municipal government does all it can to keep taxes low. Trainor said this year’s budget had no tax increase at all.
Then there’s the environment. The people of Edgewater Park are quite keen on that, says Pullion, and they support the City’s efforts to expand local walking trails. He adds that he has himself been tasked with exploring the feasibility of a “green committee” within the Township next year, the purpose being to place an even greater focus on all things environmental.
How does Edgewater Park market itself to get out the good word to the public, generating awareness of all the positive things it has going on? One way is through the media and various publications.
Trainor shared his friend’s assessment. Positive marketing is a must for the community, and the Township is currently looking at marketing companies.
“Edgewater Park,” the Mayor declares, “is on the brink of becoming bigger and better!”
AT A GLANCE
Edgewater Park, New Jersey
What: a charming, small city along the Delaware River
Where: about 20 minutes out of Philadelphia
Hoover Truck & Bus Centers – www.hoovertruckandbuscenters.com
HOOVER TRUCK CENTERS IS SO PROUD TO DO
BUSINESS IN EDGEWATER PARK
Edgewater Park is a very business friendly Town and have a great group of residents who are involved in making Edgewater Park Great Hoover Truck and Bus Centers is a family owned and operated business founded by Robert and Fern Hoover in 1966. Beginning in the heavy construction industry, the Hoover’s worked construction during the day, and on their trucks at night. Based on their experience of operating on the anatomies of their own trucks, the Hoovers saw a need to purchase parts for their own vehicles. In 1973 they opened a parts warehouse. The first truck franchise was Diamond Reo. In 1983 they switched to Western Star. In 2002 the Sterling franchise joined the family and in 2009 Freightliner rounded out the Daimler dealership trio. In 2012 Hoover Truck Centers became Hoover Truck and Bus Centers by taking on the Blue Bird Bus franchise for all of New Jersey. In 2020 the Hoover’s saw an opportunity to bring new life to an aging strip mall in Edgewater Park, NJ. Seeing the potential, the area had and the willingness of the town administration to welcome new businesses, the start of a successful working relationship and Hoover Plaza began.