Franklin adds cash to fight

By: Joseph Harvie , Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 10/07/2004

Agrees to help fund battle against Rt. 92.

In a sign of solidarity among neighbors, Franklin Township has agreed to give $10,000 to a defense fund set up by South Brunswick to fight Route 92.

In a work session Tuesday night, the Franklin Township Council unanimously approved amending the township budget to allow the $10,000 to be given to the defense fund, said Franklin Township Manager Ken Daly.

South Brunswick and Franklin townships both have opposed Route 92, a proposed 6.7-mile toll road that would connect the N.J. Turnpike at Exit 8A with Route 1 at Ridge Road.

The Army Corps of Engineers released a Draft Environmental Impact Study in April that said construction of a new east-west highway would improve east-west traffic and provide an alternative for traffic moving north and south.

A full text of a May 20 public hearing on Route 92 is available for sale and for download at the Army Corps of Engineers' Web site.

Last week, the Princeton Environmental Commission said that the Princeton Borough Council and Princeton Township Committee should reconsider their position favoring Route 92 because all other options were not looked at.

The Princeton Environmental Commission said an extension of Route 522 would serve as a viable alternative to Route 92.

South Brunswick has had a long history of opposing Route 92 because of concerns residents have with the amount of traffic the road would generate.

Kingston residents have been worried because they say Route 92 traffic would be dumped onto Ridge Road, which leads to Kingston.

South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese said Wednesday he was pleased to hear that Franklin agreed to donate money.

"I am very happy about that. So far no one has really contributed to the defense fund and Franklin shares a part of the historic village of Kingston with South Brunswick," Mayor Gambatese said. "It is very important to both South Brunswick residents and Franklin residents that Route 92 not go through."

Mayor Gambatese said the township will continue its fight against Route 92, no matter how long it takes.

"We will continue this fight. I think things are going along good, and we'll see when the new governor comes in, what he can do about it. It is time to put this to bed," Mayor Gambatese said. "It has been here since I have been here and it has not gone away. We are not going to run out of patience on this I can tell you that."

Mr. Daly said Franklin expects to give the money to South Brunswick in December.

The Franklin Township Council was responding to concerns of Kingston residents, who made a presentation Tuesday to the council supporting the defense fund, he said.

Mr. Daly said Franklin Township has long opposed Route 92 along with South Brunswick and that its stance will not change.