West Amwell Township, New Jersey

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West Amwell Township, New Jersey
Township of West Amwell
West Amwell Township Municipal Building
West Amwell Township Municipal Building
Map of West Amwell Township in Hunterdon County. Inset: Location of Hunterdon County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of West Amwell Township in Hunterdon County. Inset: Location of Hunterdon County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of West Amwell Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of West Amwell Township, New Jersey
West Amwell Township is located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey
West Amwell Township
West Amwell Township
Location in Hunterdon County
West Amwell Township is located in New Jersey
West Amwell Township
West Amwell Township
Location in New Jersey
West Amwell Township is located in the United States
West Amwell Township
West Amwell Township
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°22′45″N 74°53′16″W / 40.379051°N 74.887735°W / 40.379051; -74.887735Coordinates: 40°22′45″N 74°53′16″W / 40.379051°N 74.887735°W / 40.379051; -74.887735[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Hunterdon
IncorporatedApril 6, 1846
Named forAmwell Township / Great and Little Amwell, Hertfordshire
Government
 • TypeTownship
 • BodyTownship Committee
 • MayorJames Cally (R, term ends December 31, 2020)[3][4]
 • Municipal clerkMaria Andrews[5]
Area
 • Total21.84 sq mi (56.58 km2)
 • Land21.65 sq mi (56.07 km2)
 • Water0.20 sq mi (0.51 km2)  0.90%
 • Rank129th of 565 in state
12th of 26 in county[1]
Elevation315 ft (96 m)
Population
 • Total3,840
 • Estimate 
(2019)[11]
2,739
 • Rank420th of 566 in state
15th of 26 in county[12]
 • Density177.9/sq mi (68.7/km2)
  • Rank517th of 566 in state
22nd of 26 in county[12]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)609[14]
FIPS code3401978230[1][15][16]
GNIS feature ID0882181[1][17]
Websitewww.westamwelltwp.org

West Amwell Township is a township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 3,840,[8][9][10] reflecting an increase of 1,457 (+61.1%) from the 2,383 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 132 (+5.9%) from the 2,251 counted in the 1990 Census.[18]

West Amwell was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 6, 1846, when Amwell Township was split, also creating East Amwell Township at the same time. Portions of the township were taken to form Lambertville town on March 1, 1849.[19] In 1896, the township annexed portions of Delaware Township, East Amwell Township and Raritan Township.[20] The township was named for Amwell Township, which in turn was named for Great Amwell/Little Amwell, Hertfordshire in England.[21]

History[edit]

The earliest settlers of the area were the Delaware Native Americans, who had a path through the woods from Lambertville through Mount Airy, Ringoes and Reaville to Newark which would later become the route followed by the Old York Road.[22]

In 1935, local farmers signed a declaration against the Potato Control Law, which established federal controls on the growth of the crop, stating "[t]hat we protest against and declare that we will not be bound by the 'Potato Control Law,' an unconstitutional measure recently enacted by the United States Congress. We shall produce on our own land such potatoes as we may wish to produce and will dispose of them in such manner as we may deem proper."[23]

Geography[edit]

The northern areas of West Amwell are in Amwell Valley, while the southern sections are in The Sourlands region. The Delaware River separates West Amwell from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 21.84 square miles (56.58 km2), including 21.65 square miles (56.07 km2) of land and 0.20 square miles (0.51 km2) of water (0.90%).[1][2]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Alexauken,[citation needed] Bowlryville, Bowne, Linvale, Mount Airy, Oakdale and Rocktown.[24]

The township borders Delaware Township, East Amwell Township and Lambertville in Hunterdon County; Hopewell Township, in Mercer County; along with New Hope and Solebury Township across the Delaware River in Bucks County in Pennsylvania.[25][26][27]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18501,175*
18601,089−7.3%
18701,030−5.4%
18801,0390.9%
1890866−16.7%
1900839−3.1%
19108663.2%
1920735−15.1%
19307887.2%
194097523.7%
19501,21324.4%
19601,68338.7%
19702,14227.3%
19802,2997.3%
19902,251−2.1%
20002,3835.9%
20103,84061.1%
2019 (est.)2,739[11][28]−28.7%
Population sources:
1850-1920[29] 1850-1870[30]
1850[31] 1870[32] 1880-1890[33]
1890-1910[34] 1910-1930[35] 1930-1990[36]
2000[37][38] 2010[8][9][10]
* = Lost territory in previous decade.[19]

Census 2010[edit]

The 2010 United States census counted 3,840 people, 1,102 households, and 839 families in the township. The population density was 177.9 per square mile (68.7/km2). There were 1,157 housing units at an average density of 53.6 per square mile (20.7/km2). The racial makeup was 82.58% (3,171) White, 13.39% (514) Black or African American, 0.05% (2) Native American, 1.46% (56) Asian, 0.05% (2) Pacific Islander, 1.12% (43) from other races, and 1.35% (52) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.84% (186) of the population.[8]

Of the 1,102 households, 30.9% had children under the age of 18; 66.9% were married couples living together; 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present and 23.9% were non-families. Of all households, 19.5% were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.95.[8]

16.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 30.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.8 years. For every 100 females, the population had 155.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 165.5 males.[8]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $101,094 (with a margin of error of +/- $16,403) and the median family income was $115,595 (+/- $19,328). Males had a median income of $86,875 (+/- $26,080) versus $53,438 (+/- $17,350) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $54,485 (+/- $9,741). About 4.2% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.[39]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 2,383 people, 949 households, and 696 families residing in the township. The population density was 109.7 people per square mile (42.4/km2). There were 984 housing units at an average density of 45.3 per square mile (17.5/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 98.07% White, 0.63% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71% of the population.[37][38]

There were 949 households, out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.3% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.93.[37][38]

In the township the population was spread out, with 21.1% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.2 males.[37][38]

The median income for a household in the township was $73,380, and the median income for a family was $79,605. Males had a median income of $49,539 versus $33,333 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,877. About 0.6% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 1.2% of those age 65 or over.[37][38]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

West Amwell Township is governed under the Township form of New Jersey municipal government, one of 141 municipalities (of the 565) statewide that use this form, the second-most commonly used form of government in the state.[40] The governing body is comprised of a three-member Township Committee, whose members are elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one seat coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle.[6][41] At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor for terms of one year.[42]

As of 2020, members of the West Amwell Township Committee are Mayor Zachary T. Rich (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2022; term as mayor ends 2020), Deputy Mayor Stephen Bergenfeld (R, term on committee ends 2021; term as deputy mayor ends 2020), John C. Dale (R, 2020), Gary Hoyer (R, 2021) and Lucas Lyons (2022).[3][43][44][45][46][47][48]

After voters passed a non-binding referendum in November 2014 supporting the expansion of the Township Committee from three to five members, the Township Committee addressed the process of following through with the expansion, which would involve gathering petitions of 147 voters after which the committee could approve the expansion or a referendum could be put on the ballot.[49] In February 2016, the Township Committee voted to approve the expansion by ordinance.[50]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

West Amwell Township is located in the 7th Congressional District[51] and is part of New Jersey's 15th state legislative district.[9][52][53] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, West Amwell Township had been in the 23rd state legislative district.[54] Prior to the 2010 Census, West Amwell Township had been part of the 12th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[54]

For the 117th United States Congress. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Tom Malinowski (D, East Amwell Township).[55] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027)[56] and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).[57][58]

For the 2022–2023 session, the 15th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Shirley Turner (D, Lawrence Township, Mercer County) and in the General Assembly by Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D, Trenton) and Anthony Verrelli (D, Hopewell Township, Mercer County).[59]

Hunterdon County is governed by a Board of Chosen Commissioners comprised of five members who are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held each January, the commissioners select one member to serve as the board's Director and another to serve as Deputy Director, each for a one-year term.[60][61] As of 2022, Hunterdon County's Commissioners are Commissioner Director John E. Lanza (R; Raritan Township, term as commissioner and as director ends December 31, 2022),[62] Deputy Director Zachary T. Rich (R; West Amwell Township, term as commissioner and as deputy director ends 2022),[63] Jeff Kuhl (R; Raritan Township, 2024; appointed to serve an unexpired term)[64] Susan Soloway (R; Franklin Township, 2024),[65] and Shaun C. Van Doren (R; Tewksbury Township, 2023).[66][67][68] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Mary H. Melfi (R; Flemington, 2026),[69][70] Sheriff Fredrick W. Brown (R; Alexandria Township, 2022)[71][72] and Surrogate Susan J. Hoffman (R; Kingwood Township, 2023).[73][74][61][75]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,071 registered voters in West Amwell Township, of which 498 (24.0%) were registered as Democrats, 830 (40.1%) were registered as Republicans and 741 (35.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.[76]

In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 52.3% of the vote (827 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 46.4% (733 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (20 votes), among the 1,587 ballots cast by the township's 2,178 registered voters (7 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 72.9%.[77][78] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 50.8% of the vote (878 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 47.1% (814 votes) and other candidates with 1.4% (24 votes), among the 1,730 ballots cast by the township's 2,101 registered voters, for a turnout of 82.3%.[79] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 55.6% of the vote (899 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 43.2% (698 votes) and other candidates with 1.1% (22 votes), among the 1,616 ballots cast by the township's 1,940 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 83.3.[80]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 70.9% of the vote (675 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 26.2% (249 votes), and other candidates with 2.9% (28 votes), among the 979 ballots cast by the township's 2,149 registered voters (27 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 45.6%.[81][82] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 56.7% of the vote (764 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 34.3% (462 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 6.6% (89 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (6 votes), among the 1,348 ballots cast by the township's 2,074 registered voters, yielding a 65.0% turnout.[83]

Education[edit]

The South Hunterdon Regional School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade from Lambertville, Stockton and West Amwell Township.[84] Each of the three municipalities had their own school through sixth grade, until the Stockton school was closed after the 2017-18 school year;[85] public school students in seventh through twelfth grades attend a shared high school in Lambertville.[86] As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of three schools, had an enrollment of 925 students and 108.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 8.6:1.[87] Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[88]) are Lambertville Public School[89] with 225 students in grades PreK-6, West Amwell School[90] with 224 students in grades K-6 and South Hunterdon Regional High School[91] with 458 students in grades 7-12.[92][93]

In a special election held in September 2013, voters from Lambertville, Stockton and West Amwell Township passed referenda to dissolve the South Hunterdon Regional High School District and to combine the three existing school districts from each municipality (Lambertville City School District, Stockton Borough School District and West Amwell Township School District), with majorities in each community passing both ballot items. A single combined regional PreK-12 district was created, with property taxes levied under a formula in which 57% is based on property values and 43% on the number of students. The executive county superintendent appointed an interim board of education for the new regional district, which was responsible for implementing the merger.[94]

Eighth grade students from all of Hunterdon County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Hunterdon County Vocational School District, a county-wide vocational school district that offers career and technical education at its campuses in Raritan Township and at programs sited at local high schools, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.[95]

Transportation[edit]

US 202 northbound in West Amwell

Roads and highways[edit]

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 56.52 miles (90.96 km) of roadways, of which 37.75 miles (60.75 km) were maintained by the municipality, 8.43 miles (13.57 km) by Hunterdon County and 10.34 miles (16.64 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[96]

Route 29 passes through the southwestern part of the municipality, but without any roads that connect to the heart of the township.[97] Route 31 passes along the eastern border with East Amwell.[98] Route 179[99] and U.S. Route 202[100] pass through around the northwestern part of the municipality. Major county roads that go through the township include CR 518[101] and CR 579.[102] The closest interstate highway is Interstate 295 which is outside the township in neighboring Hopewell.

Public transportation[edit]

NJ Transit offers bus service to Trenton on the 608 route.[103]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b c Township Committee, Township of West Amwell. Accessed March 12, 2020.
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  30. ^ Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 268, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed July 22, 2013. "West Amwell township was formed from Amwell in 1856 [sic] and contained in 1860, 1,089 inhabitants; and in 1870, 4,872."
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  83. ^ 2009 Governor: Hunterdon County Archived October 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 31, 2009. Accessed November 15, 2012.
  84. ^ South Hunterdon Regional Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, South Hunterdon Regional School District. Accessed June 29, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through twelve in the South Hunterdon Regional School District. Composition: The South Hunterdon Regional School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of the City of Lambertville, Stockton Borough, and West Amwell Township."
  85. ^ Rizzo, Olivia. "Small schools in this rural part of N.J. are under threat", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 28, 2018, updated January 30, 2019. Accessed November 20, 2019. "And next month Stockton Borough Elementary School, part of the South Hunterdon Regional School District, will be closing its doors for good at the end of this school year after nearly 200 years. It has a single, combined fifth and sixth grade class this year, and enrollment has fallen to about 50 students in recent years."
  86. ^ South Hunterdon Regional School District 2015 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 29, 2020. "Bordering the Delaware River and located in the culturally rich and rural region of Southern Hunterdon County, South Hunterdon Regional School District serves the communities of Lambertville, Stockton, and West Amwell."
  87. ^ District information for South Hunterdon Regional School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  88. ^ School Data for the South Hunterdon Regional School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  89. ^ Lambertville Public School, South Hunterdon Regional School District. Accessed June 29, 2020.
  90. ^ West Amwell School, South Hunterdon Regional School District. Accessed June 29, 2020.
  91. ^ South Hunterdon Regional High School, South Hunterdon Regional School District. Accessed June 29, 2020.
  92. ^ 2019-2020 Public School Directory, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Accessed January 29, 2020.
  93. ^ New Jersey School Directory for the South Hunterdon Regional School District, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
  94. ^ Tredrea, John. "Lambertville: Schools turn how to make merger work; After historic vote, decisions on buildings, contracts need to be made", The Beacon, October 2, 2013. Accessed October 15, 2013. "Now that the two referendum questions on merging the Stockton, West Amwell, Lambertville and South Hunterdon Regional High School districts into one pre-k to grade 12 district have been overwhelmingly approved, the process of implementing the regionalization can begin."
  95. ^ Heyboer, Kelly. "How to get your kid a seat in one of N.J.'s hardest-to-get-into high schools", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 2017. Accessed November 18, 2019. "Hunterdon County's vo-tech district has three academies for high-achieving students, all operating in partnerships with local high schools.... The academies are open to all students in the county. Students in the 8th grade are required to submit an application, schedule an interview and take a placement exam."
  96. ^ Hunterdon County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 18, 2014.
  97. ^ Route 29 Straight Line Diagram, New Jersey Department of Transportation, updated July 2014. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  98. ^ Route 31 Straight Line Diagram, New Jersey Department of Transportation, updated May 2017. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  99. ^ Route 179 Straight Line Diagram, New Jersey Department of Transportation, updated April 2016. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  100. ^ U.S. Route 202 Straight Line Diagram, New Jersey Department of Transportation, updated May 2017. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  101. ^ County Route 518 Straight Line Diagram, New Jersey Department of Transportation, updated October 2012. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  102. ^ County Route 579 Straight Line Diagram, New Jersey Department of Transportation, updated October 2012. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  103. ^ Hunterdon County Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 26, 2010. Accessed November 15, 2012.

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