NJ budget stalemate foiled Independence Day event

The Historic Village At Allaire. RYAN WELSH / THE COAST STAR

WALL TOWNSHIP — The Independence Day Celebration at The Historic Village at Allaire was canceled on Sunday after New Jersey’s budget stalemate forced the closure of state parks.

A recording on the village’s main phone line states: “I’m sorry to say that the village is closed until the state shutdown is over.” The shutdown ended Tuesday, after Gov. Christie and legislative leaders came to an agreement on a new state budget.

The village, a local 501[c][3] nonprofit, had planned a day of speeches and fanfare from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 2 and also anticipated being open to the public for the July 4 holiday.

According to Allaire Village Chairman Hance Sitkus, the Pine Creek Railroad, run by the New Jersey Museum of Transporation, has also been unable to operate at the park as a result of the shutdown. The only function that would have been permitted at the village if the shutdown had continued are weddings that were scheduled to be held in the chapel, Mr. Sitkus said.

“We’re at the whim of the state park service right now, so if state parks aren’t open, our ability to function and survive is basically at a halt,” he said. “As a nonprofit, this is prime season for our retail operations and activities to take place in the park.”

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Reporter at The Coast Star. She can be reached at areinhard@thecoaststar.com or at 732-223-0076, ext 17.