Saturday, December 9, 2023

Knowlton’s Town Hall Needs TLC

At a February 13th township committee meeting, officials read a laundry list of issues of varying importance with the municipal building they would like to see addressed in the near and distant future as funds permit.

“In particular, the parking lot needs repaving,” Mayor Frank Van Horn said. “Its’s going to be pretty significant. But yeah, I think we need to go to bid on that.”

Deputy Mayor Debra Shipps suggested getting bids the same time bids for repaving the basketball court and walking path at Tunnel Field are solicited. The township is currently moving forward with improvements to the park on Route 94.

Among the other concerns are the windows in the building.

“The windows that have the moisture between the panes,” Shipps said. “There is rotting wood on the outside.”

Shipps said there are also problems with the doors to the building. She said it was difficult to keep the building secure during business hours, and that people can walk inside unattended.

Van Horn said the building’s furnace was an issue.

“It’s been patched many, many times,” Van Horn said. “We might have a huge expense of needing a new furnace, and new heating system. We’ve patched a lot of pipes.”

Other infrastructure concerns include the building’s electrical system.

“We have 18 pages of electrical things that we have to fix,” Van Horn said.

Van Horn suggested the committee put together a list of priorities to get an estimate on short- and long-term expenses.

The municipal building was converted from a two-room schoolhouse, which was closed during the 1970s. Many of the features of the school were retained when the building was adapted for municipal use including blackboards and fixtures such as lights.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.