The needler in the haystack.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Armory: A better proposal?

An undated vintage postcard view of the Armory.
As Mayor Robinson-Briggs finally brings her proposal for the Armory before the Council this evening (only six months after she promised to do so 'by the end of the month'), taxpayers may want to mull another, common-sense proposal.

Community activist Nancy Piwowar noted in an email a couple of weeks ago another idea that has at least as much to recommend itself as the Mayor's, if not more.

Here is Nancy's suggestion --

My thought on the Armory is that a discussion should be made with appropriate state officials to see if the Armory could be used as the site for the New Jersey Fire Museum. The State of New Jersey owns the Ernie Day Collection of Fire Apparatus and Memorabilia, and the original siting was for Allaire State Park.

The Plainfield Armory would be a better location:

  • It is centrally located;
  • A building is already built and owned by the state;
  • There are parking and storage areas;
  • It is close to the Netherwood Fire Station;
  • And to the Netherwood Train Station.
Location of the museum here would certainly enhance Plainfield by encouraging cultural tourism and economic development. Students from Plainfield could benefit by learning the equipment restoration process.

Ernie Day, whose collection was donated to the State, was an area resident whose business in fire protection was located on Washington Avenue near Route 22.

North Plainfield has a Fire Museum (on Somerset Street) with antique Plainfield and North Plainfield equipment. South Plainfield and Piscataway already have firefighter memorial sites. All of this would tie in nicely with a state fire museum.

The first thing that recommends itself about Nancy's idea is that Plainfield taxpayers would not be on the hook for anything -- ownership, upkeep or payments to the State.

A Fire Museum, to which the state has already made a commitment, would be a state-owned and run facility.


No more so than Mayor Robinson-Briggs' proposal, and without the shadowy financial risks for Plainfield taxpayers.

-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

Leave it to Nancy to come up with a great idea. I think it is worth considering.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't you and Nancy getting it? The mayor's plan isn't about the armory itself, its about solidifying another charter school and getting a performance center (and maybe with a little gospel thrown in). It's about doing what she feels will be best "for the children". It's about nurturing her flock, not pleasing the the development hawks.

Bob said...

Since good ideas from our mayor seem few and far between, this idea is great. I hope someone listens.