Residents, officials make it their business to spur Main St.
By JESSICA D’AMICO via Sentinel Edison/Metuchen
METUCHEN — Brainy Borough residents and officials recently put their heads together to address issues regarding commerce in town. And while no definitive answer emerged, an abundance of ideas aimed at bettering the downtown await execution.“Metuchen’s downtown is at a crossroads,” Mayor Thomas Vahalla told a large audience of residents at the March 17 Borough Council meeting.
A discussion of the borough’s downtown became an agenda item after residents took to social media in recent weeks, forming a group called Take Back Metuchen’s Main Street on Facebook. The forum has provided a place for residents to voice grievances, ask questions and suggest actions to address the state of the downtown business community, which many say is suffering.
Vahalla pointed out actions being taken by borough officials to bring greater vitality to Main Street.“Over the last six years, we have simplified the process for opening a business — reducing time [and] costs, and making applications easier, speedier and less costly,” he said.
A recent meeting with the heads of the planning and zoning boards, Development Commission and Chamber of Commerce, along with the borough’s engineer and planner, targeted the issues of building heights and uses, as well as parking requirements, in the downtown area, he said.