Hunterdon County grant will help High Bridge streamline downtown district rules

The Hunterdon County Council of Commissioners approved a grant to High Bridge designed to help develop the borough’s economy.

The $ 9,162 grant will be used to work with borough planners to develop rules that can stimulate investment in the downtown business district.

To do so, local authorities say they intend to prepare an ordinance amending the master plan of the upper deck in the downtown shopping area, which will streamline the examination process by clarifying the standards for potential applicants. and eliminating unnecessary requirements.

Hunterdon commissioners say they like what the plan can do for small businesses in the community, according to a press release.

“Streamlined planning rules mean a cheaper, less time-consuming and less tedious process for expansion-conscious traders and those looking to invest in High Bridge,” Commissioner Matt Holt, also one of the liaison officers of the advice on economic development, mentioned. “This is one hundred percent in line with the commissioner’s goals for the economic development initiative.

“High Bridge becomes the tenth community in Hunterdon County to receive a county economic development grant aimed at reducing regulatory burden on small businesses and the fourth to specifically target a Main Street business district. “

Borough officials say the High Bridge Planning Board adopted a master plan review report on March 15. The report identified several areas of the master plan that needed clarification and updating with respect to the downtown shopping area, including addressing unnecessary burdens on an applicant’s sections. code that does not provide a sufficient definition to guide applicants.

“If we want the downtown business district to thrive, we need to make it easier for businesses to invest in themselves and in High Bridge. These changes will do just that, ”said High Bridge Mayor Michele Lee.

The mayor added that despite the pandemic, the borough has seen the opening of new businesses such as The Forge Tavern and Solitude Station Cafe over the past year, in addition to the expansion of existing downtown businesses. , such as Scout’s Coffee.

“We would love to see this trend continue and we certainly think these changes will help. High Bridge is definitely open for business, ”said Lee.

According to Hunterdon County Economic Development Director Marc Saluk, High Bridge’s efforts are very consistent with the county’s economic development initiative.

“We started the Hunterdon Main Streets effort with the idea of ​​not only promoting our wonderful historic Main Streets and all there is to do and experience, but also to help these Main Street businesses thrive. and to develop. Efforts like this strongly support this goal.

The Economic Development Grants program is administered on an ongoing basis throughout the year, with funds allocated to eligible city projects on a first come, first served basis. Those interested in learning more about this program or the Hunterdon Main Streets program can contact Saluk at 908-399-1108 or [email protected]