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Hunterdon freeholders tour Milford Riverfront Park site


The Hunterdon County Freeholders’ Economic Development sites tour in New Jersey continued last week when Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren and Freeholder Matt Holt gained a first-hand update from Milford Mayor Henri Schepens on economic and tourism projects moving forward in the riverfront borough.

Van Doren, Holt and Mayor Schepens, joined by County Economic Development Director Marc Saluk, walked the site of the future county riverfront park, which anticipates a connecting trailway to Frenchtown, and discussed how the project fit into Milford’s larger development plans, as well as discussing the boroughs’ plans to utilize a recently awarded county economic development grant.

“Milford is ideally positioned for the tourism initiative. The proposed park will provide a beautiful place for residents and tourists alike to relax along the Delaware, while enjoying one of our charming river towns,” commented Van Doren. “And the connecting trail to Frenchtown will make it easy to explore yet another Hunterdon community.”

The Hunterdon Freeholder Board approved a contract to purchase the 6.2-acre site in June. When the sale is completed, the park would stretch along the river south from Bridge Street.

The Freeholders’ economic development sites tour is highlighting projects funded through the county economic development municipal grant program and agri-tourism locations along the new Hunterdon 579 Trail. A previous stop on the tour was the Old Salem Vineyards in Alexandria, part of the 579 Trail.

Mayor Schepens also walked the freeholders through the town’s main business district, highlighting the lack of vacancies and discussing how local business has successfully adapted this year to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schepens detailed the town’s plans to use a recent county economic development grant to work with planners to review local ordinances and procedures, in an effort to implement changes designed to encourage business growth. A portion of the grant will also be utilized to expand the Bridge Street business district out along Water Street to the Milford Borough Hall.

Mayor Schepens also discussed the recently completed cleanup of the former Curtis Paper Mill site, noting that there are already developers interested in the site and that it may be on the market soon after years of EPA-mandated environmental work by International Paper and Georgia Pacific.