The most common reason for menopause is the natural decline in a female's reproductive hormones. However, menopause can also result from the following situations:
Oophorectomy: This surgery, which removes a woman's ovaries, causes immediate menopause. Symptoms and signs of menopause in this situation can be severe, as the hormonal changes happen abruptly.
Chemotherapy: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can induce menopause quickly, causing symptoms to appear shortly after or even during treatment.
Ovarian Insufficiency: Also called premature ovarian failure, this condition is essentially premature menopause. It happens when a woman's ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40 and can stem from genetic factors and disease. Only 1% of women suffer from premature menopause, but HRT can help protect the heart, brain, and bones.
If you're a woman going through menopause and find that you have become increasingly depressed, you're not alone. It's estimated that 15% of women experience depression to some degree while going through menopause. What many women don't know is that depression can start during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause.
Depression can be hard to diagnose, especially during perimenopause and menopause. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to speak with a physician:
Remember, if you're experiencing depression, you're not weak or broken - you're going through a very regular emotional experience. The good news is that with proper treatment from your doctor, depression isn't a death sentence. And with HRT and anti-aging treatment for women, depression could be the catalyst you need to enjoy a new lease on life.
Hot flashes - they're one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are intense, sudden feelings of heat across a woman's upper body. Some last second, while others last minutes, making them incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for most women.
Symptoms of hot flashes include:
Typically, hot flashes are caused by a lack of estrogen. Low estrogen levels negatively affect a woman's hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature and appetite. Low estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to incorrectly assume the body is too hot, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow. Luckily, most women don't have to settle for the uncomfortable feelings that hot flashes cause. HRT treatments for women often stabilize hormones, lessening the effects of hot flashes and menopause in general.
Mood swings are common occurrences for most people - quick shifts from happy to angry and back again, triggered by a specific event. And while many people experience mood swings, they are particularly common for women going through menopause. That's because, during menopause, the female's hormones are often imbalanced. Hormone imbalances and mood swings go hand-in-hand, resulting in frequent mood changes and even symptoms like insomnia.
The rate of production of estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, largely determines the rate of production the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, causing mood swings.
Luckily, HRT and anti-aging treatments in Rocky Hill, NJ for women work wonders for mood swings by regulating hormone levels like estrogen. With normal hormone levels, women around the world are now learning that they don't have to settle for mood swings during menopause.
Staying fit and healthy is hard for anyone living in modern America. However, for women with hormone imbalances during perimenopause or menopause, weight gain is even more serious. Luckily, HRT treatments for women coupled with a physician-led diet can help keep weight in check. But which hormones need to be regulated?
Lowered sexual desire - three words most men and women hate to hear. Unfortunately, for many women in perimenopausal and menopausal states, it's just a reality of life. Thankfully, today, HRT and anti-aging treatments Rocky Hill, NJ can help women maintain a normal, healthy sex drive. But what causes low libido in women, especially as they get older?
The hormones responsible for low libido in women are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Progesterone production decreases during perimenopause, causing low sex drive in women. Lower progesterone production can also cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms. On the other hand, lower estrogen levels during menopause lead to vaginal dryness and even vaginal atrophy or loss of muscle tension.
Lastly, testosterone plays a role in lowered libido. And while testosterone is often grouped as a male hormone, it contributes to important health and regulatory functionality in women. A woman's testosterone serves to heighten sexual responses and enhances orgasms. When the ovaries are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone, it often results in a lowered sex drive.
Often uncomfortable and even painful, vaginal dryness is a serious problem for sexually active women. However, like hair loss in males, vaginal dryness is very common - almost 50% of women suffer from it during menopause.
Getting older is just a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for the side effects. HRT and anti-aging treatments for women correct vaginal dryness by re-balancing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When supplemented with diet and healthy living, your vagina's secretions are normalized, causing discomfort to recede.
Uterine fibroids - they're perhaps the least-known symptom of menopause and hormone imbalances in women. That's because these growths on the uterus are often symptom-free. Unfortunately, these growths can be cancerous, presenting a danger for women as they age.
Many women will have fibroids at some point. Because they're symptomless, they're usually found during routine doctor exams. Some women only get one or two, while others may have large clusters of fibroids. Because fibroids are usually caused by hormone imbalances, hysterectomies have been used as a solution, forcing women into early menopause.
Advances in HRT and anti-aging medicine for women give females a safer, non-surgical option without having to experience menopause early. At Global Life Rejuvenation, our expert physicians will implement a customized HRT program to stabilize your hormones and reduce the risk of cancerous fibroid growth.
Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS, and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.
Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.
Xenoestrogen is a hormone that is very similar to estrogen. Too much xenoestrogen is thought to stimulate endometrial tissue growth. HRT for women helps balance these hormones and, when used with a custom nutrition program, can provide relief for women across the U.S.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies. Ipamorelin can boost a patient's overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life.
When there is an increased concentration of growth hormone by the pituitary gland, there are positive benefits to the body. Some benefits include:
Whether you are considering our HRT and anti-aging treatments for women in Rocky Hill, NJ, we are here to help. The first step to reclaiming your life begins by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation. Our friendly, knowledgeable HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!866-793-9933
The Maccarone brothers started their careers as shampoo boys — David at Peppi’s Hair Design in Rocky Hill and Joe at La Jolie in Princeton.By 2006 they had become experienced beauticians with a following. They purchased 131 and 133 Washington Street, formerly Peppi’s, from their father’s best childhood friend, Joseph “Peppi” Panzitta. Their father and Peppi grew up in Calabria, Italy, then immigrated to the U.S. They encouraged the brothers to be in business together, doing what they love doing - HA...
The Maccarone brothers started their careers as shampoo boys — David at Peppi’s Hair Design in Rocky Hill and Joe at La Jolie in Princeton.
By 2006 they had become experienced beauticians with a following. They purchased 131 and 133 Washington Street, formerly Peppi’s, from their father’s best childhood friend, Joseph “Peppi” Panzitta. Their father and Peppi grew up in Calabria, Italy, then immigrated to the U.S. They encouraged the brothers to be in business together, doing what they love doing - HAIR.
“We want to be here a long time,” David told The Montgomery News. He noted that their salon building has a plethora of issues. The flat roof leaks during heavy rain. The old pipes need to be replaced. And, well, it looks funny.
“We call it the Pizza Hut building,” he says.
The building has a “modern mansard-roof” added in 1975, attached to a circa 1850 house of which only the shell remains.
Considering that their property is located in the Rocky Hill Historic District, the brothers hired Rocky Hill architect Mark A. Blasch to design a new building that would reflect the borough’s historic past.
Rocky Hill ordinances prescribe certain limits intended to preserve the character of its historic places and set forth a process to obtain approval (a “permit”) for proposed alterations to structures or sites within the district. Blasch’s architectural rending of the three-story antique brick and stone building “has the look of a building you would find in an older quarry town,” David says. “It is industrial looking.”
Rocky Hill, in fact, has a long industrial history of grist mills, a terra cotta factory plant, quarries, an electric factory with a smokestack, and a brick factory.
“The Partridge, Powell and Storer Company was incorporated under the laws of New Jersey in February, 1892, and built a plant at Rocky Hill, Somerset County, New Jersey, for the manufacture of buff face brick,” according to multiple sources, including the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology Newsletter dated March 1996. Buff face brick has a light yellow-brown to burnt sienna color that is often found in nature. Deposits of clay in Rocky Hill attracted the brick company.
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According to the Rocky Hill Tercentenary Committee’s Vivian Engelbrecht, Rocky Hill began on the Millstone River. The first building was John Harrison’s gristmill on the east side of the river. Another gristmill was built on the west side of the river and grew into a complex of mills. And there was Conover’s saw mill.
“By the turn of the 19th century, the textile and rubber factories were long gone from Rocky Hill, but the quarry and brick factories were profitable,” Engelbrecht writes. During the early 1900s, the NJ Copper Company, the Delaware River Quarry Company, and the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company were drawing sizable number of immigrants to the area. The Depression in the 1930s ended Rocky Hill’s business boomlet, and World War II changed the nature of the community from commercial to residential. Many lost their jobs when the Atlantic Terra Cotta plant closed in 1929. The quarry continues and operates today at Kingston Traprock.
Rocky Hill has a few successful business in town: The Rocky Hill Inn, One 53 restaurant, Rocky Hill Family Dentistry, Buy the Cup, and a post office. The Crop Walk People and the Travel Registry moved out of 127 Washington Street years ago and the two retail spaces now sit empty and decrepid. Spa Amadora at 130 Washington Street shut down in January. The Mary Jacobs Memorial Library has been closed for a while, and is expected to reopen at some point this spring with a mini library and perhaps two retail spaces.
The Maccarone brothers say that Rocky Hill could have a thriving downtown, on par with Hopewell or Lambertville. “We’re trying to make an investment in Rocky Hill. People driving on Route 518 will slow down, and want to visit Rocky Hill establishments,” David said. “We want to make the borough more of destination.” “Imagine a bakery similar to the Gingered Peach in Lawrenceville, or something along those lines.” One of the three retail spaces on the first floor would house Salon Azzurro. The brothers say they are open to ideas for the other two spaces.
About 50 people attended the first online public planning board hearing on February 14 to hear the plans for Salon Azzurro and its neighboring massage parlor property, 131 and 133 Washington Street. The application was postponed until Tuesday, March 14 at 7 pm. Deferral to March was requested by the applicants, and immediately granted by the board. Robert Ridolfi, the Pennington-based attorney for applicants David and Joe Maccarone, had questioned whether there were enough board members present and eligible to hear and vote on the case.
Planning Board Clerk Christine Witt noted that Connie Hallman, who was a Class IV planning/zoning board member, had resigned. Rocky Hill’s attorney to the Planning Board, Matthew Moench, explained there were six board members qualified to also sit as zoning board members, including: Chairman Michael Goldman, Linda Goldman, Brian Nolan, Eric Hintz, Frank Yao, and Luis Silvestre. Three other members of the planning board – Mayor Robert Uhrik, Denise Varga, and Ramin Rezvani, were all not qualified as zoning board members.
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Witt explained that Rezvani reached out asking if he could be appointed as a Class IV member, replacing Hallman and therefore becoming eligible to vote on the application. Moench was unsure if that was permissible and said he would need to check the legality of that immediate appointment. The mayor confirmed his intention to appoint Rezvani to be a Class IV board member, in time for the March 14 meeting. The 106-page application is available to the public on the Rocky Hill website.
The applicants seek permission to consolidate 131 and 133 Washington Street into one property. They are also applying to demolish the existing structures and to construct one new mixed-use building. The three-story building would include: three commercial spaces on the ground floor and six two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. One of the apartments would be an “affordable” unit. Specific relief is requested from section 80-91 B (density, bulk, and yard regulations and maximum lot coverage). The applicant is also applying for a historic preservation district permit, and for any additional variances or design waivers the planning board may deem necessary.
Council member Susan Bristol said during public comments: “It is entirely inappropriate for the planning board to be asked to review a historic preservation application of a project that has multiple bulk variance violations of the bulk ordinances that would eventually require variances. “ It might be wise to ask the applicants to modify the building design so that it meets the bulk ordinance standards before the board is asked to use their imaginations and try to review it by historic standards – the project they are looking at is not even valid judging by the rest of our ordinances’ criteria,” Bristol said. Chairman Goldman said. “We will look at the application as it’s filed, and make a determination. This is essentially what the board does.”
For over 120 years, Rocky Hill Fire Department has protected the lives and property of the residents of Rocky Hill and the surrounding communities. Now, it seeks to grow its base of volunteers within the community. Rocky Hill Fire Department is happy to unveil the launch of its federally-funded recruitment campaign, aimed at expanding the volunteer firefighter base and increasing community involvement via JoinRockyHillFire.org.Averaging well over 200 emergenc...
For over 120 years, Rocky Hill Fire Department has protected the lives and property of the residents of Rocky Hill and the surrounding communities. Now, it seeks to grow its base of volunteers within the community. Rocky Hill Fire Department is happy to unveil the launch of its federally-funded recruitment campaign, aimed at expanding the volunteer firefighter base and increasing community involvement via JoinRockyHillFire.org.
Averaging well over 200 emergency calls a year, Rocky Hill Fire is seeking eager, dedicated members of the community, ready to learn and deliver life-saving emergency services to those in need. Firefighters respond to emergencies ranging from structural fires to vehicular accidents to swift water rescue operations. No experience is required to join, and training and gear will be provided at no cost.
To kick off the recruitment campaign, volunteers participated in the brand development process, which led to the tagline “Tradition. Community. Pride.” The tagline, representing the guiding principles of a Rocky Hill volunteer, will be incorporated into all print and digital marketing materials, striving to inspire residents within the community to volunteer with the fire department.
“Being a member of the Rocky Hill Fire Department brings a sense of honor that is hard to describe. We are a dependable and efficient firefighting family that supports our neighbors and each other. We hope our recruitment campaign encourages members of our community to join us,” said Fire Chief Todd Harris.
To field inquiries and provide a centralized location for interested individuals to gather information about the fire department, Rocky Hill launched a recruitment website, JoinRockyHillFire.org.
The website provides a volunteer inquiry form for interested individuals. Upon completion, a member from the fire department will reach out, answer any possible questions and schedule a time for the individual to tour the station. In addition to the volunteer inquiry form, the website includes volunteer testimonials, volunteer opportunities, FAQ and photos.
The launch of the website is the first step of the four-year recruitment effort. The endeavor encompasses a 30-second commercial, promotional social media content, video testimonials, media relations with local news outlets and publications, tangible marketing materials and recruitment outreach at community events and festivals.
In order to fund this four-year recruitment campaign, without imposing a tax burden on residents, Rocky Hill obtained a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
How to Join Rocky Hill Fire Department
There are plenty of opportunities available for those interested in volunteering. The following volunteer roles are offered at Rocky Hill:
Firefighter– Volunteer firefighters, ages 18 or older, respond to emergencies ranging from structural fires to vehicular accidents to swift water rescue operations. Rocky Hill Fire Department will support new volunteers in completing the NJ State Certified Firefighter I training.
Junior Firefighter– High school students, between ages 14 and 17, can join Rocky Hill Fire Department’s Junior Program. Teenagers have the opportunity to learn fire safety skills from experienced and knowledgeable firefighters. Once the junior firefighter turns 18, he or she can pursue the Firefighter I Course necessary to become a firefighter.
Administrative Volunteers– Associate members can assist the department with fundraising, social media, website and IT maintenance, representing the fire department at community events and more!
“I have personally benefited from my volunteer experience by learning many important life lessons, as well as becoming more connected with my community. There is no better feeling than being there for your community and making a direct impact,” said firefighter Paul Romano.
Learn more about the Rocky Hill Fire Department by visiting www.JoinRockyHillFire.org
Editor’s note: To set up an interview with a volunteer, please contact the Communication Solutions Group at 215-884-6499.
Voters in Montgomery and Rocky Hill will decide on Nov. 8 whether to join the 97% of New Jersey school districts that offer full-day kindergarten.Only 11 school districts in New Jersey do not offer full-day kindergarten. Of those 11, six are in Central Jersey – Montgomery, Bridgewater-Raritan, Metuchen, Monroe, New Providence and Westfield.On the ballot, voters will decide two parts of the referendum question – whether to fund the program and whether to pay for improvements at the former Kid Connectio...
Voters in Montgomery and Rocky Hill will decide on Nov. 8 whether to join the 97% of New Jersey school districts that offer full-day kindergarten.
Only 11 school districts in New Jersey do not offer full-day kindergarten. Of those 11, six are in Central Jersey – Montgomery, Bridgewater-Raritan, Metuchen, Monroe, New Providence and Westfield.
On the ballot, voters will decide two parts of the referendum question – whether to fund the program and whether to pay for improvements at the former Kid Connection building to house the full-day prekindergarten program.
The first question asks voters whether to approve the recurring cost of a full-day kindergarten, projected to be $1.62 million in the first year.
That includes seven full-time classroom teachers, a part-time visual and performing arts teacher, a full-time health and physical education teacher, two special services teachers, six educational support assistants, a full-time custodian, a full-time counselor, a full-time clerk, a part-time assistant librarian and a part-time lunch aide.
The $1.62 million also includes funds for furniture, curriculum resources, technology and other supplies.
The second question asks voters to approve $669,763 to upgrade the Kid Connection building, including fire alarm and security improvements, new windows and repairs to the ventilation system.
The school district estimates the full-day kindergarten program would increase property taxes on the average Montgomery home assessed at $505,821 by $201 in the first two quarters of 2023. In Rocky Hill. the tax increase on the average home assessed at $488,448 would be $133 in the same timeframe.
The one-time taxpayer cost for the improvements to the Kid Connection building would be $83 for the average Montgomery homeowner and $54 for the average Rocky Hill homeowner.
The school district has been mulling the creation of a full-day kindergarten program since 2015.
In 2019, the school district was told that the Kid Connection program, run by the township and housed in a separate building on the Orchard Hill Elementary School campus, would be closing in June 2020.
When the township transferred the Kid Connection building to the school district, that allowed the district to revisit starting a full-day kindergarten.
In 2019, the district started studying what needed to be done to start a full-day kindergarten. A plan called for the Orchard Hill preschool program to be relocated to the Kid Connection building and the preschool classrooms at the school converted to kindergarten classrooms.
The school board planned to have the full-day kindergarten question on the November 2020 ballot, but the COVID pandemic intervened with schools closed for in-school learning.
The plan was revived with the return of in-school learning in the 2021-22 school year.
To support a full-day kindergarten, the school district refers to a study that shows children who attend full-day kindergarten in the long term show greater reading and math achievement gains than those in half-day classes. Teachers will also have more time to identify and address learning challenges as early as possible. A full-day program also allows for more individualized instruction and purposeful play small groups.
A full-day program also improves social and emotional learning, the school district says, by building independence and cultivating social skills.
Email: [email protected]
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account.
Mary Jacobs Library — the crown jewel of Rocky Hill according to the mayor — is expected to close in May. Books and staff will be transferred to the new library a mile away in Montgomery, leaving a void in the small town that has hosted the library for almost 50 years.Mary Jacobs is expected to re-open in September as a mini library, consuming what is now the children’s wing. It would operate on a pilot basis for two years with one staff member, reduced hours, and limited books.Rocky Hill Borough Council membe...
Mary Jacobs Library — the crown jewel of Rocky Hill according to the mayor — is expected to close in May. Books and staff will be transferred to the new library a mile away in Montgomery, leaving a void in the small town that has hosted the library for almost 50 years.
Mary Jacobs is expected to re-open in September as a mini library, consuming what is now the children’s wing. It would operate on a pilot basis for two years with one staff member, reduced hours, and limited books.
Rocky Hill Borough Council members are encouraging library supporters to attend a “Rally for the Future of MJML Library” on Sunday, April 3, from 2 pm to 4 pm. The event, at the Rocky Hill Community Center next to the library, will include a live band, food, and special guests — particularly NJ State Senator Andrew Zwicker; and NJ State Assembly members Roy Freiman and Sadaf Jaffer.
“We encourage people to use the library now, before it closes and again when it reopens as a smaller footprint,” Borough Council Member Susan Bristol says. “Service beyond the two-year period will depend on us, on demand for services, and community participation.”
Stakeholders — borough council members, library users, and donors and volunteers — were surprised with the 2020 appearance of a real-estate sign on the library’s front lawn. Some say they are anxious the library will disappear if the building is sold.
The owner of the building, the MJML Foundation, has amassed a $3 million endowment over 50 years (according to 2020 tax returns), with the mission to provide a library in Rocky Hill.
The foundation has listed the building for sale for $3.5 million, which could double its endowment to more than $6 million. However, whether the building is “sellable” remains to be seen. The parking lot is shared with the Rocky Hill Community Group, and it is zoned for “community use.”
“One of the things that made the library special was people loved it. They volunteered and generously donated, because they felt it belonged to them.”
– Former MJML Foundation Brenda Fallon
Rocky Hill resident Brenda Fallon, who led the foundation as president and as a trustee for about 26 years, is credited with growing the endowment. She stepped down in 2021.
Clearly, the future of the building depends heavily on coordination between the six Rocky Hill Borough Council members, the mayor, and the four members of the MJML Foundation.
Cary Dawson of Rocky Hill, who became president of the foundation in 2018, did not return phone calls for this article. Last month, she told The Montgomery News that it was “premature” to do an article.
In 2019, the foundation had 11 trustees — seven have resigned by 2022.
The Somerset County Library System is expected to move its books and library staff from the Rocky Hill library building to the new Montgomery Township municipal complex in May.
Plans for the Rocky Hill library include: selling or leasing the building; which will have a mini library attached.
Philip Kartsonis, a foundation trustee and previous mayor of Rocky Hill who now lives in Ocean City, says the foundation had not leased or sold the building as of March 24. Plans call for, “A beautiful smaller library for Rocky Hill. We are hoping to move forward with support from borough council.”
A 17-page plan commissioned by the foundation calls for alterations of the existing library, beginning in May. (The Montgomery News had to submit an OPRA request to view the plan.) The foundation would pay about $300,000 to wall-off the children’s library from the main building and install an outside entrance to it.
The plan, completed by Cornerstone Architectural Group in South Plainfield, also separates the heating/ventilation/air-conditioning system; water; and electric from the main building. The work would take place over the summer, with a September opening date.
“We want to do the right thing for the Rocky Hill community, to meet the agreement,” he said.
Under an agreement signed in 2020, Somerset County will continue to provide small-scale library services in Rocky Hill for two years. Rocky Hill Borough will continue to make an annual contribution to the library of $10,000. The agreement specifies the temporary mini library should be about a third of current library’s size. One full-time staff member would work 35 to 37.5 hours per week. Programming for children and adults would be offered, and library patrons would still be able to check out books.
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Newly appointed Borough Council President Edgar “Trey” Delaney, says the library “provides critical social infrastructure,” to the community of Rocky Hill.
Delaney and former MJMLF Trustee Hank Bristol of Rocky Hill attended the March 2 meeting of the Somerset County Library Commission, where they pledged their support to keeping a library in Rocky Hill, and thanked Somerset County for providing excellent library services for the community.
Borough Council member Susan Bristol, who is married to Hank, is a member of the Rocky Hill Library Task Force.
Susan Bristol has been vocal in obtaining feedback on the library from stakeholders. She attended the Somerset County Commissioners meeting on March 8 and spoke to the commissioners about what she sees as a lack of opportunity for input from the Rocky Hill community, borough leaders, and general stakeholders about the plans for a future library in Rocky Hill.
“The Rocky Hill Borough Council has no choice but, on behalf of its citizens, to try to plan for the future library in Rocky Hill,” she said.
“From our perspective, we all should be celebrating the new library in Montgomery. It should be an expansion of the Somerset County library system. However, it is absolutely not a replacement for the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill.” ?
For many residents of Montgomery and Rocky Hill, the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library is where they took their children to morning storytime, spent Friday nights enjoying a movie screening, or a summer night outside listening to a local band play in the concert series.At a recent meeting, Rocky Hill Mayor Robert Uhrik called the library the “crown jewel of the community.”“We have a very small borough, and the bui...
For many residents of Montgomery and Rocky Hill, the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library is where they took their children to morning storytime, spent Friday nights enjoying a movie screening, or a summer night outside listening to a local band play in the concert series.
At a recent meeting, Rocky Hill Mayor Robert Uhrik called the library the “crown jewel of the community.”
“We have a very small borough, and the building itself and the library is really is the heart of the community. It is a very big source of pride a lot of people,” Rocky Hill Councilwoman Amy Kirtland said.
But, thanks to a new library that’s going up less than two miles away, the future of the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library is in jeopardy.
As part of its new municipal complex, which officials say should begin construction this year, Montgomery is building a library that will be finished in 2021, Mayor Sadaf Jaffer said.
County library officials say the current plan is for the Mary Jacobs to shut down, and the contents of the library to be housed in the new one because about 90% of the current users of the Rocky Hill Library are from Montgomery.
“Everybody has the best intention. Everyone wants the best library services in the Montgomery and Rocky Hill area and motivated by the best of intentions,” Somerset County Library Director Brian Auger said.
The Mary Jacobs Library entered into a five-year shared service agreement with the county in 2016. The agreement allowed the county to take over maintenance responsibilities of the building for the length of the contract. Montgomery pays into the shared service agreement because its residents primarily use that library. The shared services contract will end in December, and it will not be renewed by the Mary Jacobs Library.
Though locals say they hope there’s a way to save the library, the building has been put up for sale, since maintenance will lapse after the deal with the county ends.
“It’s premature to know what our future holds,” said Cary Dawson, president of the nonprofit Mary Jacobs Memorial Library Foundation, which owns the building that houses the smaller library.
Montgomery councilman Marvin Schuldiner has proposed a controversial plan that would keep a library space in Rocky Hill – but it includes a big change. In the proposal, Montgomery and Rocky Hill would leave the county library system and create a joint municipality branch. The main branch would be located at the new Montgomery municipal complex, and an “alternative” branch would be located in Rocky Hill.
The alternative branch would be smaller and its use would be decided on by local community members. Possibilities include podcasting studio space, a makers space, practice space for musical instruments or a tutoring center.
“I’m trying to think outside of the box to create a win, win, win solution for everyone involved,” Schuldiner said.
Schuldiner says that creating a joint municipal branch will allow the two towns a greater amount of control and personalization of the libraries in their communities.
He also anticipates savings for Montgomery residents. They currently pay 4.8 cents per $100 of assessed home value. Schuldiner’s proposal aims to have residents pay 3.3 cents per $100 of assessed value, which would bring the average savings to about $100 per household, officials said.
“There is potential in this concept," Dawson said. “It has the potential to have shared services between the towns, and has the potential to mend some fences among the community.”
In order for Montgomery and Rocky Hill to leave the SCLS, both towns would have to agree to a referendum vote, and it would have to pass in both towns. Then, they would have two years until they could no longer use the county system.
It puts both towns on a short timeline to take formal action on the library issue in order to have the referendum on the November ballot.
Montgomery has yet to have any formal meetings about the possibility of leaving the county library system.
At a borough council meeting in Rocky Hill on Jan.15, council members and residents gathered to hear Schuldiner’s proposal. It was met with mixed reactions.
Kirtland said she was left with a lot of questions about the proposal and wanted to see more hard data and numbers.
“It’s not convincing and it raises way more questions than it answers. It also contains some disturbing information for residents,” Kirtland said in a phone call after the meeting. “That we would sell the building and use the money for Montgomery library cost, it is taking our money and using it for their library and a smaller system.”
Reporter’s Note: A previous version of this story reported that a state statute prohibits county library systems from having libraries within three miles of one another, currently no such statue exists.
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