Anonymous donation may help solve Phillipsburg Police Department's problems

 

The mayor of Phillipsburg, New Jersey is demanding the Town Council reveal the name of the anonymous donor for the project to move the police department into the former Phillipsburg Armory.

Council had approved more than $1 million in bonds for the project, with the financial support of an anonymous donor.

The move was made in response to health and safety issues that were identified at the Corliss Avenue municipal building several years ago.

Now, Mayor Stephen Ellis and two Democratic council candidates say they have "good reason to believe that no such donor exists."

Republican councilman Frank McVey says there is a donor. He says it's not a single person, but rather a group worried about the town's future.

The police department's situation has been a source of antipathy between the Republican-controlled council and the Democratic mayor for months.

The armory at 441 Heckman St. will be turned into a community center for children and adults after the police and fire departments move back to the Corliss Avenue municipal complex.

Council President Robert Fulper said at a July 30 meeting the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous for now, has close ties to Phillipsburg. He said the community center, once it opens, will be owned by Phillipsburg and offered for free to residents and enjoyed for years to come.