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For the municipality formerly called Chester Township in Burlington County, see Maple Shade Township, New Jersey. See also Chester Borough, New Jersey Chester Township —  Township  — Chester Township highlighted in Morris County. Inset map: Morris County highlighted in the State of New Jersey. Census Bureau map of Chester Township, New Jersey Coordinates: 40°46′51″N 74°41′10″W / 40.78083°N 74.68611°W / 40.78083; -74.68611Coordinates: 40°46′51″N 74°41′10″W / 40.78083°N 74.68611°W / 40.78083; -74.68611 Country United States State New Jersey County Morris Incorporated April 1, 1799 Government[1]  - Type Faulkner Act (Small Municipality)  - Mayor William A. Cogger Area  - Total 29.3 sq mi (76.0 km2)  - Land 29.3 sq mi (76.0 km2)  - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2) Elevation[2] 712 ft (217 m) Population (2007)[3]  - Total 7,795  - Density 248.3/sq mi (95.9/km2) Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)  - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4) ZIP code 07930 Area code(s) 908 FIPS code 34-12610[4][5] GNIS feature ID 0882199[6] Website Chester Township is a township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2000 United States Census, the township population was 7,282 (2008 estimate: 7,761).[7] Chester Township is an affluent community in Morris County, about 40 miles (64 km) west of New York City. It comprises Victorian style homes and palatial estates, new and old. Throughout the year there are craft fairs, Victorian house tours during the holiday season, jazz concerts in downtown park, and much more. It was established by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 1, 1799 from portions of both Roxbury Township and Washington Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day. Additional territories were acquired from Randolph Township (in 1806) and Washington Township (1840 and 1853). Portions of the township were taken on April 3, 1930 to form Chester Borough, a separate municipality surrounded entirely by Chester Township.[8] Contents 1 Geography 2 Demographics 3 History 4 Government 4.1 Local government 4.2 Merger discussion with Chester Borough 4.3 Federal, state and county representation 5 Education 6 Transportation 7 Local recreation and environment 8 Notable residents 9 References 10 External links // Geography According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 29.3 square miles (76.0 km²), of which 0.03% is water. Demographics As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 7,282 people, 2,323 households, and 2,014 families residing in the township. The population density was 248.3 people per square mile (95.9/km²). There were 2,377 housing units at an average density of 81.1/sq mi (31.3/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.12% white, 1.15% African American, 0.01% Native American, 2.39% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.58% of the population. Of the 2,323 households, 46.0% feature children under the age of 18, 79.6% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.3% were non-families. 10.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05 and the average family size was 3.29. Historical populations Census Pop. %± 1930 1,453 — 1940 874 * −39.8% 1950 1,297 48.4% 1960 2,107 62.5% 1970 4,265 102.4% 1980 5,198 21.9% 1990 5,958 14.6% 2000 7,282 22.2% Est. 2007 7,795 [3] 7.0% * lost territory Population 1930 - 1990.[9] In the township the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 29.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males. The median income for a household in the township was $117,298, and the median income for a family was $133,586. Males had a median income of $91,841 versus $52,076 for females. The per capita income for the township was $55,353. About 2.4% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over. History Chester was first settled by Europeans in the early 18th century at the intersection of two Lenni Lenape Indian trails, and was originally known as Black River. According to local history, deeds date to 1713, but the first settlers were the Rogerenes, a Quaker sect that arrived in 1730. Over the next 150 years, the area produced agricultural products like flax, wool, cattle and applejack. In 1875, the discovery of iron generated a 15-year boom, with the development of 35 mines and a blast furnace. Many of the buildings that still line Main Street were created during this vibrant period. For most of the 20th century, Chester remained a farming community, just far enough west of New York City to be bypassed by the huge housing developments in nearby towns. [10] Government Local government A Federal-style Colonial home in Chester Township In 1958, Chester Township changed its form of government from the Township Form to a Faulkner Act form, Small Municipality, Plan C. Its structure includes four Councilmembers and a Mayor, all elected at large for three-year terms on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year.[1] The candidates run on a partisan basis at regular primary and general election times. Independent candidates, having declared their intentions at primary time, run only in the general election. Plan C is a "strong mayor" form in which the Mayor, as chief executive, is responsible for all administrative functions. The Mayor presides at Council meetings, voting and participating as a member of the Council. He appoints, with Council approval, the following: Tax Assessor, Tax Collector, Clerk, Administrator, Treasurer, Zoning Officer, Construction Official, Court Administrator, Road Superintendent, Attorney, and Engineer. The Mayor is responsible for the budget, enforcing the charter (State law) and all ordinances (local laws), and the preparation of an annual report for the Council and residents. The Council has legislative and policy-making power. It elects a Council President annually to preside in the Mayor's absence. The Mayor appoints the chairman and members of each committee, which are Finance and Insurance, Police, Public Works, and Construction Office. Councilmembers also serve as liaisons to the Recreation Committee, Parks Advisory Committee, Cable TV Committee, and Board of Health. The Mayor and one councilman are members of the Planning Board. As of 2008, the members of the Chester Township Committee are Mayor William A. Cogger, Joan Fischer, Brian Murphy, Karen Powell and Leonard Taylor.[11] Merger discussion with Chester Borough In 2007, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine created incentives for small towns of less than 10,000 inhabitants to combine with other cities. The goal is to reduce the overall cost of government and thereby offer some tax relief. "New Jersey has 21 counties, 566 municipalities and 616 school districts, and property taxes average $6,800 per homeowner, or twice the national average." [12] Chester Borough was carved out of Chester Township in 1930 in an effort to control a water utility, but they now share a water supply. Governor Corzine's plan to reduce or eliminate state aid had residents considering recombining towns. The two mayors publicly endorsed a cost/benefit analysis of a merger.[12] However, a merger vote planned for November 2, 2010 was delayed until 2011 due to Governor Christie's elimination of equalization funds that ensured some taxpayers do not pay more due to the merger.[13] Federal, state and county representation Chester Township is in the Eleventh Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 24th Legislative District.[14] New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R, Harding Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken). The 24th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Steve Oroho (R, Franklin) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Gary R. Chiusano (R, Augusta) and Alison Littell McHose (R, Franklin).[15] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[16] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[17] Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two or three seats up for election each year.[18] As of 2008[update], Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Margaret Nordstrom,[19] Deputy Freeholder Director Gene F. Feyl,[20] Douglas R. Cabana,[21] William J. Chegwidden,[22] John J. Murphy, James W. Murray[23] and Jack J. Schrier.[24][25] Education Students in grades K-8 attend the Chester Township Public School District, together with children from Chester Borough. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[26]) are Dickerson Elementary School (K-2, 469 students), Bragg Intermediate School (3-5, 463 students), and Black River Middle School (6-8, 445 students). Dickerson and Bragg Schools are located on County Route 510, east of Chester Borough; Black River Middle School is on County Route 513 (North Road), north of Chester Borough. Public school students in grades 9-12 attend West Morris Mendham High School, which is located in Mendham Borough and is part of the West Morris Regional High School District. Students in the district come from the surrounding Morris County school districts of Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township and from Washington Township.[27] Transportation New Jersey Transit local bus service is provided on the MCM4 and MCM5 routes.[28] Local recreation and environment Of the township’s 29.8 square miles (77 km2), 42 percent, or about 12 square miles (31 km2), is permanently protected from development. There are nature reserves and parkland, but also agricultural property that is deed restricted under the state Farmland Preservation Program, which buys the development rights while allowing the farmer to retain title and continue working the land.[29] Chester has been described as a rural environment that caters to "agritourism." The township has developed this reputation by preserving farmland through public investment in open spaces.[29] The townships parks are preserves are free and open to the public. A partial list includes: Chubb Park: an 85-acre (340,000 m2) area with playing fields, skating, ponds, and sledding.[30] Tiger Brook Park: Purchased with the assistance of the New Jersey Green Acres Program in 1980, this 270-acre (1.1 km2) preserve contains a 10-acre (40,000 m2) reservoir.[30] Hacklebarney State Park: This 890-acre (3.6 km2) park was established in 1924 with the donation of 32 acres (130,000 m2). The Black River, which bisects the park, is one of the premier trout fishing streams in New Jersey.[30] Black River Fish and Wildlife Management Area: This area consists of 3,020 acres (12.2 km2) in the northern portion of the Township. It was purchased under the Green Acres Acquisition Program for recreational activities, including fishing, hunting, canoeing, cross-country skiing and hiking.[29] Development is highly constrained due to state and town ordinance. Over 80% of the town falls into the New Jersey Highlands. This environmentally sensitive area supplies drinking water to two-thirds of the state’s residents. In 2004, the state passed the Highlands Preservation Act to limit development. In 2005, 27 new homes were built and only 16 in 2006.[29] Notable residents Notable current and former residents of Chester Township include: Jim Breuer (born 1967), comedian.[31] Alex Buzbee (born 1985), Defensive end for the Washington Redskins of the NFL.[32] Neil Cavuto (born 1958), Fox News Channel anchor.[33] James Gandolfini (born 1961), actor.[34] Rick Porcello- Detroit Tigers Pitcher Dave Levey- finalist on Hell's Kitchen.[35] References ^ a b 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 110. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Township of Chester, Geographic Names Information System, accessed January 4, 2008. ^ a b Census data for Chester township, United States Census Bureau. Accessed November 23, 2008. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  ^ "Population Finder: Chester Township, New Jersey". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-10-28.  ^ "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 192. ^ New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed March 1, 2007. ^ "Chester History". Chester Township, NJ. 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-02.  ^ Township Directory, Chester Township. Accessed February 28, 2008. ^ a b Van Dyke, Meghan (2008). "The Chesters look at forming one community". The Daily Record. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  ^ Goldberg, Dan (2010). "Chesters merger panel puts off meeting until next year". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-10-06.  ^ 2008 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 55. Accessed September 30, 2009. ^ "Legislative Roster: 2010-2011 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 2010-08-04.  ^ "About the Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21.  ^ "About the Lieutenant Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21.  ^ What is a Freeholder?, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed February 6, 2008. ^ Margaret Nordstrom ^ Gene F. Feyl ^ Douglas R. Cabana ^ William J. Chegwidden ^ James W. Murray ^ Jack J. Schrier ^ Meet the Freeholders, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed February 6, 2008. ^ Data for the Chester Township Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 28, 2008. ^ West Morris Regional High School District 2006 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed January 30, 2008. "Established in 1958, the West Morris Regional High School District operates two schools, West Morris Central High School and West Morris Mendham High School. The district serves the students of five Morris County communities, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township and Washington Township, in grades 9 through 12. Students from Washington Township attend West Morris Central High School, and students from the Chesters and the Mendhams attend West Morris Mendham High School." ^ Morris County Bus/Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit. Accessed June 21, 2007. ^ a b c d Cheslow, Jerry (June 24, 2007). "Don’t Count on Running Into the Neighbors". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-29.  ^ a b c "Chester Township Parks". Chester Township, NJ. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-29.  ^ Keller, Joel. "IN PERSON; Mr. Breuer's Neighborhood", The New York Times, October 16, 2005. Accessed February 28, 2008. ^ Former Hoya Football Standout Alex Buzbee Signs with Washington Redskins, CSTV, May 15, 2007. Accessed October 14, 2007. "Like most college seniors, Georgetown University senior Alex Buzbee (Chester, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) went through a series of job interviews." ^ Fackelmann, Kathleen. "MS part of Cavuto's world", USA Today, December 21, 2005. Accessed July 16, 2008. ^ McGeveran, Tom (2002). "Sopranos Suburb?". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2008-09-10.  ^ Manochio, Matt (2009). "Chester native finalist on "Hell's Kitchen" cooking show". [[Daily Record (Morristown)|]]. Retrieved October 6, 2009.  External links Chester Township website Chester Township Public School District Chester Township Public School District's 2008–09 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education Data for the Chester Township Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics West Morris Regional High School District West Morris Central High School West Morris Mendham High School Daily Record, area newspaper Photographic montage of Chester Township Chester Game Association Mt. Olive Twp Roxbury Twp Randolph Twp Washington Twp Mendham Twp    The Chesters     Tewksbury Twp Bedminster Twp Peapack and Gladstone v • d • e Municipalities and communities of Morris County, New Jersey County seat: Morristown Boroughs Butler | Chatham | Chester | Florham Park | Kinnelon | Lincoln Park | Madison | Mendham | Morris Plains | Mount Arlington | Mountain Lakes | Netcong | Riverdale | Rockaway | Victory Gardens | Wharton Towns Boonton | Dover | Morristown Townships Boonton | Chatham | Chester | Denville | East Hanover | Hanover | Harding | Jefferson | Long Hill | Mendham | Mine Hill | Montville | Morris | Mount Olive | Parsippany-Troy Hills | Pequannock | Randolph | Rockaway | Roxbury | Washington CDPs Budd Lake | Lake Telemark | Long Valley | Succasunna-Kenvil | White Meadow Lake Unincorporated communities Brookside | Cedar Knolls | Cedar Lake | Convent Station | Flanders | Gillette | Green Pond | Green Village | Hibernia | Lake Hiawatha | Lake Swannanoa | Landing | Mount Freedom | Millington | Mount Tabor | New Vernon | Pine Brook | Port Morris | Speedwell | Stirling | Towaco | Union Hill | Vasa Park | Whippany