Status of Grants and Preservation

Tongue in cheek, I can say we are in the calm before the storm. I say this because the current action of our preservation project takes place behind the public scene. Let me explain what I mean.

This month, Westfield Architects collected pre-qualification forms from the potential contractors involved with Phase I of our project. Following this, Westfield Architects called for references and sent them for approval by the New Jersey Historic Trust (NJHT).

As soon as the NJHT approves the bidder’s list, the bidding documents will be distributed. The bids are due in the second half of March. If all goes according to plan, our Consistory will vote on particular contractors in April. At the same time, our Preservation Team will want to coordinate our choice of contractors with neighboring Christ Episcopal Church. Cooperating in this way, we hope to be economically more efficient. Phase I construction is scheduled to begin during the second half of May. This is when the public will notice progress.

Since our grants from NJHT and from the City of New Brunswick will be paid by reimbursement, there will not be much news prior to the beginning of the construction. The exception is, of course, our reimbursement for previous construction under the NJHT grant. This depends now on recording an easement on our buildings with Middlesex County. NJHT is currently drafting this document, but Consistory will have to approve it before we can bring it to the county office.

There is some development regarding the state grant covering the cost of remediation for our former underground oil tank. The grant has been set aside by the Department of Environmental Protection, but requires review by the NJ Economic Development Authority who will have the final decision.

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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