VERNON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Monday joined with local leaders to announce a more than $3.4 million federal investment clawed back from Washington for the Township’s critical expansion of the existing sewer mains into business and residential areas.
This new investment will help connect commercial properties in the town center and residential properties — helping grow the town center, protect our environment, and improve utilities for small businesses and families.
There are currently vacant commercial properties across Vernon — many in the town center — that have not been bought or developed because the properties would have to run on individual septic systems, which comes with a long list of costs and liabilities.
Expanding sewer services in Vernon will:
- Help connect 75 properties — including vacant properties in the town center — and expand sewer system service to more than 500 homes currently with septic systems.
- Increase the value of homes and help grow the local economy and small business jobs in Vernon.
- Help Vernon be an even more attractive location for businesses of all sizes to call home, which will make life better for residents and increase the town’s revenue — helping ease the property tax burden off of families.
- Increase access to new small businesses in Vernon.
- Eliminate existing septic systems that can leak into the ground and our drinking water — posing a pollution and public health risk.
Engineers have already started working to expand the main line to the town center.
The more federal tax dollars clawed back to Northern New Jersey, the less pressure on town budgets and taxpayers.
“Septic to sewer is a win-win-win. More economic growth, better quality of water and daily life, safer for the environment. Vernon will now be an even more attractive location for businesses of all sizes to call home, which will make life better for our residents and increase the town’s revenue — helping ease the property tax burden off of families. Yes, that will mean lower taxes,” Gottheimer said. “Soon enough, those vacant properties downtown will be a thing of the past, and our families can have access to new small businesses. Plus, if you look at what’s happened in other communities, home values will likely increase after being connected to sewer. This new expanded system will also be much cleaner and safer for our environment.”
“Just as he has always done from the very first day that he became our congressional representative, the Honorable Congressman Josh Gottheimer again looked out for the best interest of Vernon Township by making sure that we received some of these federal Community Project Funds. The Community Project Funding that Congressman Gottheimer worked so hard, and so diligently, to get for Vernon is for a significant amount — it totals $3.5 million,” Vernon Mayor Howard Burrell said.
The investment builds on Gottheimer’s broader Clean Water Action Plan, which includes action taken to help towns, schools, and water treatment facilities remove dangerous lead and forever chemicals from children’s drinking water, stop waste dumping in the area, and provide greater transparency to families about drinking water in our schools.