April 25th was an important day in the life of our church as that Sunday afternoon Consistory approved the signing of an Easement from the NJ Historic Trust for our property. The Easement will protect the historic heritage of our buildings, as well as the surrounding cemetery. It also protects the State’s investment in our heritage.
The Easement requires a corresponding resolution from Classis before it can be recorded with the County. This recording is the presupposition for the NJ Historic Trust to release the first part of our preservation grant to us. The Easement has a duration of 20 years, beginning in 2014.The Easement has some implications for our day-to-day life. Upon completion of our project, we have to file an annual Easement Report. In it, we will give account of all maintenance work of the preceding year. The report will also entail a minimum of twelve photographs, as well as evidence that our buildings and property were sufficiently open to the public during that year.
Another implication of the Easement is that, from now on, we need to inform the NJ Historic Trust before we do repair work or significantly alter the landscaping around the church (for example, by taking down trees). Changes to the buildings will need written approval from the Trust.
Aside from the preservation project, there is no further news on other grants. Our grant request for remediation work in connection with our former oil tank is still waiting for approval from the agency in charge. In April, we filed several additional reports and we hope that something will soon move in this regard. It would enable us to complete the remediation efforts and to replace the temporary sidewalk.