Helmetta, New Jersey

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Helmetta, New Jersey
Borough of Helmetta
Looking north along Main Street (CR 615)
Looking north along Main Street (CR 615)
Helmetta highlighted in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Helmetta highlighted in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Helmetta, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Helmetta, New Jersey
Helmetta is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Helmetta
Helmetta
Location in Middlesex County
Helmetta is located in New Jersey
Helmetta
Helmetta
Location in New Jersey
Helmetta is located in the United States
Helmetta
Helmetta
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°22′42″N 74°25′24″W / 40.378417°N 74.423384°W / 40.378417; -74.423384Coordinates: 40°22′42″N 74°25′24″W / 40.378417°N 74.423384°W / 40.378417; -74.423384[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyMiddlesex
IncorporatedMarch 20, 1888
Named forOlivia Antoinette "Etta" Helme
Government
 • TypeBorough
 • BodyBorough Council
 • MayorChris Slavicek (I, term ends December 31, 2023)[3][4]
 • AdministratorMatthew Crane[5]
 • Municipal clerkSandra Bohinski[6]
Area
 • Total0.88 sq mi (2.27 km2)
 • Land0.83 sq mi (2.15 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)  5.57%
Area rank519th of 565 in state
25th of 25 in county[1]
Elevation59 ft (18 m)
Population
 • Total2,178
 • Estimate 
(2019)[12]
2,155
 • Rank480th of 566 in state
25th of 25 in county[13]
 • Density2,562.9/sq mi (989.5/km2)
 • Density rank241st of 566 in state
19th of 25 in county[13]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)732 exchanges: 521, 605, 656[16]
FIPS code3402330840[1][17][18]
GNIS feature ID885250[1][19]
Websitewww.helmettaboro.com

Helmetta is a borough in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,178,[9][10][11] reflecting an increase of 353 (+19.3%) from the 1,825 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 614 (+50.7%) from the 1,211 counted in the 1990 Census.[20] The community was established around a snuff mill opened in the 1820s that was acquired by George Washington Helme in the 1880s.

Helmetta was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 20, 1888, when it was created from portions of East Brunswick, based on the results of a referendum held on March 10, 1888. Helmetta's boundary with East Brunswick Township was changed as of March 24, 1897.[21] The borough was named for Helme's daughter, Olivia Antoinette "Etta" Helme.[22][23]

History[edit]

G. W. Helme Snuff Mill District[edit]

G. W. Helme Snuff Mill District
HelmettaSnuffMill.jpg
The Helmetta Snuff Mill in Spring 2012
Helmetta, New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Helmetta, New Jersey
Helmetta, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Helmetta, New Jersey
Helmetta, New Jersey is located in the United States
Helmetta, New Jersey
LocationMain Street
Helmetta, New Jersey
Coordinates40°22′39″N 74°25′31″W / 40.37750°N 74.42528°W / 40.37750; -74.42528
NRHP reference No.79001511[24]
NJRHP No.1842[25]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPAugust 15, 1980
Designated NJRHPFebruary 1, 1980

Helmetta's main landmark is the large, abandoned Helme Products Inc. plant that sits adjacent to the Camden and Amboy Railroad line running through the borough.[26] The mill began producing snuff in the 1880s. On February 23, 1900, the mill was bought by the American-Sniff Company in a merger with Helme Products Inc., but the merger was dissolved in 1911. In 1925, the mill became the largest of its kind in the world, and by 1934 it employed 400 people. In 1986, the mill was bought out by American Maize-Products. Finally, in 1993, it was purchased by Swisher International, and operations were moved to Wheeling, West Virginia.[27] It has remained inactive since.

The G. W. Helme Snuff Mill District is a classic example of a late 1800s mill town. The district consists of the George Washington Helme snuff mill, housing for employees, accessory buildings, St. George Episcopal Church, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, and Helmetta Pond, which at one time served as a source of power for the mill. About 115 buildings were originally in the district, which was named to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on February 1, 1980, and to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Middlesex County, New Jersey on August 15, 1980.[25]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.88 square miles (2.27 km2), including 0.83 square miles (2.15 km2) of land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) of water (5.57%).[1][2]

The borough borders the Middlesex County municipalities of East Brunswick, Monroe Township and Spotswood.[28][29][30]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900447
191066147.9%
19206873.9%
193080116.6%
1940667−16.7%
1950580−13.0%
196077934.3%
197095522.6%
19809550.0%
19901,21126.8%
20001,82550.7%
20102,17819.3%
2019 (est.)2,155[12][31]−1.1%
Population sources: 1900-1920[32]
1900-1910[33] 1910-1930[34]
1930-1990[35] 2000[36][37] 2010[9][10][11]

Census 2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census counted 2,178 people, 891 households, and 596 families in the borough. The population density was 2,562.9 inhabitants per square mile (989.5/km2). There were 920 housing units at an average density of 1,082.6 per square mile (418.0/km2). The racial makeup was 88.61% (1,930) White, 3.95% (86) Black or African American, 0.09% (2) Native American, 4.87% (106) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.15% (25) from other races, and 1.33% (29) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.53% (164) of the population.[9]

Of the 891 households, 27.8% had children under the age of 18; 52.5% were married couples living together; 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present and 33.1% were non-families. Of all households, 26.0% were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.[9]

20.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 30.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.3 years. For every 100 females, the population had 93.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 90.2 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $80,690 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,944) and the median family income was $96,875 (+/- $8,073). Males had a median income of $63,625 (+/- $7,838) versus $48,333 (+/- $6,040) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $36,941 (+/- $2,537). About 3.4% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.[38]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] there were 1,825 people, 746 households, and 495 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,153.6 people per square mile (829.0/km2). There were 769 housing units at an average density of 907.5 per square mile (349.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 93.15% White, 2.41% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.41% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.32% of the population.[36][37]

There were 746 households, out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.01.[36][37]

In the borough the population was spread out, with 22.1% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 44.1% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.[36][37]

The median income for a household in the borough was $60,125, and the median income for a family was $64,659. Males had a median income of $47,604 versus $33,929 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,668. About 3.2% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.[36][37]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

Helmetta is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government, which is used in 218 municipalities (of the 565) statewide, making it the most common form of government in New Jersey.[39] The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the Borough Council, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. The Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council has six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle.[7] The Borough form of government used by Helmetta is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.[40][41]

As of 2020, the Mayor of Helmetta Borough is Independent Christopher Slavicek, whose term of office ends December 31, 2023. Members of the Helmetta Borough Council are Council President Peter Karczewski (I, 2021), Noreen Carolan-Genthe (R, 2020), Michael Duffy (I, 2021), Ronald Dzingleski (I, 2022), Joseph J. Perez (I, 2020) and Joseph W. Reid (I, 2022).[3][42][43][44][45][46]

In January 2016, Ronald Dzingleski and Joseph Reid were appointed to fill two of the three vacant council seats.[47]

In April 2016, the Borough Council selected Noreen Carolan to fill the term expiring in December 2016 that had been held temporarily by Brian Hackett who had in turn been appointed to fill the seat held by Yvette Bruno.[48]

In 2014, a recording of a police officer telling a cameraperson stating that he has the constitutional right to take video that he doesn't "give a damn" about constitutional rights was made public. In response, the city government proposed an ordinance banning video and photography inside public buildings without a permit.[49]

In April 2018, Helmetta disbanded its three-officer police force and entered into a six-year shared services agreement with Spotswood to provide police, dispatch and EMS services to Helmetta residents.[50] The Spotswood Police Department is a 24/7 law enforcement agency that serves both Spotswood and Helmetta. The department has 22 officers, 3 full-time dispatchers, and 4 part-time dispatchers, led by Chief Michael Zarro.[51]

In 2018, the borough had an average property tax bill of $6,270, the lowest in the county, compared to an average bill of $8,092 in Middlesex County and $8,767 statewide.[52][53]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Helmetta is located in the 12th Congressional District[54] and is part of New Jersey's 18th state legislative district.[10][55][56]

For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township).[57][58] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021)[59] and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).[60][61]

For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 18th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Patrick J. Diegnan (D, South Plainfield) and in the General Assembly by Robert Karabinchak (D, Edison) and Nancy Pinkin (D, East Brunswick).[62][63]

Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2015, Middlesex County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2015, Carteret; Ex-officio on all committees),[64] Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante (D, 2017; Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township; County Administration),[65] Kenneth Armwood (D, 2016, Piscataway; Business Development and Education),[66] Charles Kenny ( D, 2016, Woodbridge Township; Finance),[67] H. James Polos (D, 2015, Highland Park; Public Safety and Health),[68] Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2017, Edison; Infrastructure Management)[69] and Blanquita B. Valenti (D, 2016, New Brunswick; Community Services).[70][71] Constitutional officers are County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (D, Old Bridge Township),[72] Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2016, Piscataway)[73] and Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland (D, 2017; New Brunswick).[71][74]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 1,399 registered voters in Helmetta, of which 403 (28.8%) were registered as Democrats, 264 (18.9%) were registered as Republicans and 731 (52.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party.[75]

Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016[76] 57.7% 619 39.2% 420 3.1% 33
2012[77] 48.1% 442 50.4% 463 1.4% 13
2008[78] 52.1% 557 44.9% 480 2.0% 21
2004[79] 56.2% 587 42.3% 442 0.6% 8

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 50.4% of the vote (463 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 48.1% (442 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (13 votes), among the 925 ballots cast by the borough's 1,372 registered voters (7 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 67.4%.[80][81] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 52.1% of the vote (557 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 44.9% (480 votes) and other candidates with 2.0% (21 votes), among the 1,069 ballots cast by the borough's 1,438 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.3%.[82] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 56.2% of the vote (587 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 42.3% (442 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (8 votes), among the 1,044 ballots cast by the borough's 1,382 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 75.5.[83]

Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2017[84] 57.9% 334 37.4% 216 4.7% 27
2013[85] 71.7% 503 26.1% 183 2.3% 16
2009[86] 67.5% 476 25.4% 179 6.4% 45
2005[87] 49.0% 375 39.5% 302 1.0% 76

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 71.7% of the vote (503 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 26.1% (183 votes), and other candidates with 2.3% (16 votes), among the 718 ballots cast by the borough's 1,374 registered voters (16 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 52.3%.[85][88] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 67.5% of the vote (476 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 25.4% (179 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.4% (31 votes) and other candidates with 2.0% (14 votes), among the 705 ballots cast by the borough's 1,402 registered voters, yielding a 50.3% turnout.[89]

Education[edit]

All public school students from Helmetta attend the Spotswood Public Schools, with the districts having been consolidated after a July 2009 decision by the New Jersey Department of Education that merged Helmetta into the Spotswood district.[90] Students from Milltown attend the high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Milltown Public Schools.[91][92][93]

The Spotswood Public Schools serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.[94] As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of four schools, had an enrollment of 1,740 students and 140.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.4:1.[95] Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[96]) are G. Austin Schoenly Elementary School[97] (235 students; in grades PreK-1), E. Raymond Appleby Elementary School[98] (442; 2-5), Spotswood Memorial Middle School[99] (362; 6-8) and Spotswood High School[100] (679; 9-12).[101][102]

Eighth grade students from all of Middlesex County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at Middlesex County Academy in Edison, the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge Township and at its East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway technical high schools, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.[103][104]

Transportation[edit]

Roads and highways[edit]

CR 615 (Main Street) in Helmetta

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 8.79 miles (14.15 km) of roadways, of which 7.28 miles (11.72 km) were maintained by the municipality and 1.51 miles (2.43 km) by Middlesex County.[105]

The major thoroughfare in the borough is Main Street (County Route 615) which connects with Monroe to the southwest and Spotswood to the northeast.[106] Main Street is largely known as Bordentown-Amboy Turnpike between Jamesburg and South Amboy.

The New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) is accessible at Exit 8A in neighboring Monroe Township.[107]

An analysis of speeding tickets issued over an 18-month period between 2011 and 2013 showed that 222 tickets were issued in that timeframe with only two given to borough residents, which was cited as supporting claims that the borough's police department is unfairly targeting non-residents.[108]

Public transportation[edit]

Middlesex County Area Transit (MCAT) shuttles provide service to and from Helmetta on routes operating across the county.[109] The M2 Route connects Jamesburg, Helmetta and Spotswood with East Brunswick including the Brunswick Square Mall.[110]

References[edit]

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