Western New Jersey

Phillipsburg town employees moving to Freeman Elementary

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. - As Phillipsburg officials look for a new municipal building amid mold problems, employees will move out of downtown for some more affordable real estate.

The plan is for employees to move to the empty Freeman Elementary School.

The lease is basically a building swap between the town and the Phillipsburg School District. The other option was to rent space from Warren County Community College -- space with a three-year price tag of over $400,000.

"We didn't leave any stone unturned downtown looking for a municipal building," Phillipsburg Mayor Stephen Ellis "It was just one problem after another."

A new deal was signed Tuesday night, according to Ellis. Everything except for the police department will move to Freeman Elementary School for three years.

In exchange, the Phillipsburg School District will continue to lease the armory building for maintenance services and lease the bus building from the city at no cost. The lease on the armory is for nine months and the bus location is for the next three years.

"It's win win. Win for taxpayers, win for the school district, win for the municipality," Ellis said.

The savings will help construct a new Phillipsburg municipal building next to the armory.

Ellis said the town secured a loan from a state agency for 40 years.

"This 40-year loan is over such a long period of time it may not even be noticeable. That's our hope," he said.

Ellis also said with more economic development in town, he hopes those tax dollars will offset the cost of a new building.

Although signed, the lease is still pending. Ellis said he hopes employees can move into the new building by the end of the month. 

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