Raritan, New Jersey

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Raritan, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of Raritan
Motto: "A friendly town of friendly people"
Map of Raritan in Somerset County. Inset: Location of Somerset County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Raritan in Somerset County. Inset: Location of Somerset County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Raritan, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Raritan, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°34′20″N 74°38′47″W / 40.572127°N 74.646514°W / 40.572127; -74.646514Coordinates: 40°34′20″N 74°38′47″W / 40.572127°N 74.646514°W / 40.572127; -74.646514[1][2]
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Somerset
Incorporated April 3, 1868 (as town)
Reincorporated May 12, 1948 (as borough)
Government[7]
 • Type Borough
 • Mayor Jo-Ann Liptak (term ends December 31, 2015)[3][4]
 • Administrator Daniel Jaxel[5]
 • Clerk Rayna E. Harris[6]
Area[1]
 • Total 2.037 sq mi (5.276 km2)
 • Land 1.993 sq mi (5.162 km2)
 • Water 0.044 sq mi (0.114 km2)  1.81%
Area rank 411th of 566 in state
17th of 21 in county[1]
Elevation[8] 125 ft (38 m)
Population (2010 Census)[9][10][11]
 • Total 6,881
 • Estimate (2013)[12] 7,706
 • Rank 323rd of 566 in state
15th of 21 in county[13]
 • Density 3,452.2/sq mi (1,332.9/km2)
 • Density rank 186th of 566 in state
6th of 21 in county[13]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 08869[14][15]
Area code(s) 908[16]
FIPS code 3403561980[1][17][18]
GNIS feature ID 0885365[1][19]
Website www.raritanboro.org

Raritan is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 6,881,[9][10][11] reflecting an increase of 543 (+8.6%) from the 6,338 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 540 (+9.3%) from the 5,798 counted in the 1990 Census.[20]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.037 square miles (5.276 km2), of which, 1.993 square miles (5.162 km2) of it was land and 0.044 square miles (0.114 km2) of it (2.15%) of it was water.[1][2] Raritan is in the western division of the Raritan Valley (a line of cities in central New Jersey), along with Branchburg and Bridgewater.

History[edit]

Raritan town was originally established as a subdivision within Bridgewater Township by act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 3, 1868. After a series of bitter lawsuits between Raritan and Bridgewater in the 1930s and 1940s, the Legislature allowed Raritan to become a fully independent Borough by an Act on May 12, 1948, based on the results of a referendum passed on June 12, 1948. The new borough incorporated the old town and an additional portion of Bridgewater Township.[21]

Memorial plaque marking Frelinghuysen estate site and signing of the Knox–Porter Resolution on July 2, 1921.

The Knox–Porter Resolution ending United States involvement in World War I was signed by President Harding at the estate of New Jersey Senator Joseph Sherman Frelinghuysen, Sr. on July 2, 1921.[22][23]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,009
1880 2,046 102.8%
1890 2,556 24.9%
1900 3,244 26.9%
1910 3,672 13.2%
1920 4,457 21.4%
1930 4,751 6.6%
1940 4,839 1.9%
1950 5,131 6.0%
1960 6,137 19.6%
1970 6,691 9.0%
1980 6,128 −8.4%
1990 5,798 −5.4%
2000 6,338 9.3%
2010 6,881 8.6%
Est. 2013 7,706 [12][24] 12.0%
Population sources:
1870-1920[25] 1870[26] 1880-1890[27]
1890-1910[28] 1910-1930[29]
1930-1990[30] 2000[31][32] 2010[9][10][11]

Census 2010[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 6,881 people, 2,673 households, and 1,748 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,452.2 per square mile (1,332.9/km2). There were 2,847 housing units at an average density of 1,428.3 per square mile (551.5/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 76.40% (5,257) White, 2.09% (144) Black or African American, 0.16% (11) Native American, 14.29% (983) Asian, 0.01% (1) Pacific Islander, 4.59% (316) from other races, and 2.46% (169) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 16.39% (1,128) of the population.[9]

There were 2,673 households, of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.16.[9]

In the borough, 23.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.1 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $70,116 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,294) and the median family income was $79,813 (+/- $8,715). Males had a median income of $54,130 (+/- $7,617) versus $44,125 (+/- $12,260) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $34,617 (+/- $5,703). About 6.3% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.[33]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] there were 6,338 people, 2,556 households, and 1,671 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,113.8 people per square mile (1,199.6/km2). There were 2,644 housing units at an average density of 1,299.0 per square mile (500.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 87.74% White, 0.93% African American, 0.08% Native American, 8.17% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 1.64% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.41% of the population.[31][32]

There were 2,556 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.08.[31][32]

In the borough the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 35.0% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.[31][32]

The median income for a household in the borough was $51,122, and the median income for a family was $59,962. Males had a median income of $46,071 versus $35,704 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,420. About 5.5% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.[31][32]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

Raritan is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of 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 Raritan, the most common system used in the state, 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.[34][35]

As of 2014, the Mayor of the Borough of Raritan is Republican Jo-Ann Liptak, whose term of office expires December 31, 2015. Members of the Raritan Borough Council are Council President Donald Tozzi (R, 2014), Denise Carra (R, 2014), Stefanie J. Gara (R, 2015), Paul Giraldi (R, 2016), Gregory A. Lobell (R, 2015) and Anthony E. Soriano, Jr. (R, 2016).[36][37][38][39][40][41]

Rocco Miele was Raritan's first mayor, serving from its founding in 1948 to 1953.[42]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Raritan is located in the 7th Congressional District[43] and is part of New Jersey's 23rd state legislative district.[10][44][45]

New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township).[46] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[47][48] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).[49][50]

For the 2014-2015 Session, the 23rd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Michael J. Doherty (R, Washington Township, Warren County) and in the General Assembly by John DiMaio (R, Hackettstown) and Erik Peterson (R, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County).[51][52] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[53] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[54]

Somerset County is governed by a five-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Director and Deputy Director from among its members.[55] As of 2014, Somerset County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione (R, Bridgewater Township, 2015),[56] Freeholder Deputy Director Mark Caliguire (R, Skillman in Montgomery Township, 2015),[57] Peter S. Palmer (R, Bernardsville, term ends December 31, 2014),[58] Patricia L. Walsh (R, Green Brook Township, 2016)[59] and Robert Zaborowski (R, Somerset in Franklin Township, 2014),[60][61] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Brett A. Radi (R, Somerville, 2017),[62] Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano (R, Raritan, 2016)[63][64] and Surrogate Frank Bruno (R, Branchburg, 2015).[65]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 3,926 registered voters in Raritan, of which 1,122 (28.6% vs. 26.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 882 (22.5% vs. 25.7%) were registered as Republicans and 1,917 (48.8% vs. 48.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties.[66] Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 57.1% (vs. 60.4% in Somerset County) were registered to vote, including 74.2% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 80.4% countywide).[66][67]

In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 1,514 votes here (52.6% vs. 46.1% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,287 votes (44.7% vs. 52.1%) and other candidates with 42 votes (1.5% vs. 1.1%), among the 2,879 ballots cast by the borough's 3,830 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.2% (vs. 78.7% in Somerset County).[68] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 1,497 votes here (53.4% vs. 51.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 1,239 votes (44.2% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 33 votes (1.2% vs. 0.9%), among the 2,802 ballots cast by the borough's 3,606 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.7% (vs. 81.7% in the whole county).[69]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,292 votes here (60.9% vs. 55.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 562 votes (26.5% vs. 34.1%), Independent Chris Daggett with 202 votes (9.5% vs. 8.7%) and other candidates with 22 votes (1.0% vs. 0.7%), among the 2,120 ballots cast by the borough's 3,948 registered voters, yielding a 53.7% turnout (vs. 52.5% in the county).[70]

Education[edit]

Students from Raritan attend the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District, together with students from Bridgewater Township.[71] As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 11 schools had an enrollment of 8,810 students and 741.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.88:1.[72] Approximately 1,000 students of the students in the district are from Raritan. All of the schools in the district are in Bridgewater except for Kennedy, which is in Raritan. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[73]) are Adamsville Primary School[74] (604 students; in grades PreK-4), Bradley Gardens Primary School[75] (293; K-4), Crim Primary School[76] (402; K-4), Hamilton Primary School[77] (394; K-4), John F. Kennedy Primary School[78] (404; K-4), Milltown Primary School[79] (501; K-4), Van Holten Primary School[80] (411; K-4), Eisenhower Intermediate School[81] (884; 5-6), Hillside Intermediate School[82] (587; 5-6), Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School[83] (1,423; 7-8) and Bridgewater-Raritan High School[84] (2,907; 9-12).[85][86][87][88][89][90]

During the 1999-2000 school year, Bridgewater-Raritan High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[91] the highest award an American school can receive from the federal government.[92][93]

Public high school students also have the option to attend the Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School, a four-year magnet school located in Bridgewater that provides occupational and academic training to students from all of Somerset County.[94]

St. Ann School is a Catholic school for students in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade that operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.[95]

Transportation[edit]

Roads[edit]

As of 2010, the borough had a total of 24.34 miles (39.17 km) of roadways, of which 18.26 miles (29.39 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.85 miles (4.59 km) by Somerset County and 3.23 miles (5.20 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[96]

U.S. Route 202 travereses the borough from east to west.[97] U.S. Route 206 follows the border with Somerville.[98] New Jersey Route 28 has one side of the roadway within the borough as it follows the border with Bridgewater Township.[99] The northern terminus of County Route 567 is in Raritan.[100]

U.S. Routes 202 and 206 intersect with NJ Route 28 at the Somerville Circle on the borders with Bridgewater Township and Somerville, with the eastern half of the circle located in Raritan.[101] As part of an ongoing effort to improve traffic safety at the circle, the New Jersey Department of Transportation has made a series of changes to the structure of the traffic circle, originally constructed during the 1930s. With the suburbanization of the area, the circle was handling an average of 70,000 vehicles each day. In 1994, an overpass was completed to allow traffic on Route 202 between Flemington and Interstate 78 and Interstate 287 to avoid the circle, though the rate of accidents grew from 195 in 1991 before the project started to 302 for the year after the overpass was open to traffic. After yield signs were added in February 1995, the accident rate increased again, to an annualized rate above 400 per year.[102]

Public transportation[edit]

The Raritan train station[103] offers New Jersey Transit service on the Raritan Valley Line to Newark Penn Station.[104][105] The station is north of the town center on Thompson Street. The station building is south of the tracks in the main parking lot and was built in the early 1890s. There are also three other small lots for this station. Raritan is the last station to the west that is serviced by all Raritan Valley Line trains. Further west, service is rush hours only.

The borough is served by the CAT-2R route, operated by Community Access Transit.[106]

Community[edit]

General John Frelinghuysen House, now the Raritan Public Library

The Raritan Public Library is located in what was originally the homestead of General John Frederick Frelinghuysen.[107]

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Raritan include:

References[edit]

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  6. ^ Borough Clerk, Borough of Raritan. Accessed November 3, 2013.
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  23. ^ Staff. "HARDING CONSULTS OVER PROCLAIMING STATUS OF PEACE; Confers With Hughes at White House on Need of a Presidential Declaration. NEW TREATY CONSIDERED Belief Persists in Some Quarters That Part of Versailles Agreement Will Be Used. WILL STAND BY THE ALLIES But No Decision Is Announced as to the Form of the Administration's Action.", The New York Times, July 6, 1921. Accessed January 10, 2012. "Secretary of State Hughes went to the white House this afternoon shortly after the return of President Harding from his weekend visit to the home of Senator Frelinghuysen, at Raritan, N.J., and conferred with the President..."
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  78. ^ John F. Kennedy Primary School, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. Accessed June 30, 2014.
  79. ^ Milltown Primary School, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. Accessed June 30, 2014.
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  82. ^ Hillside Intermediate School, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. Accessed June 30, 2014.
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  84. ^ Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. Accessed June 30, 2014.
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  92. ^ "CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department", Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
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  97. ^ U.S. Route 202 Straight Line Diagram, July 2006. United States Department of Transportation. Accessed November 3, 2013.
  98. ^ U.S. Route 206 Straight Line Diagram, March 2008. United States Department of Transportation. Accessed November 3, 2013.
  99. ^ Route 28 Straight Line Diagram, April 2008. United States Department of Transportation. Accessed November 3, 2013.
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  114. ^ Mathias, Madeleine. "Writers' workshop will benefit Easton library", The Morning Call, April 11, 2004. Accessed October 5, 2014. "When children's book author Elvira Woodruff was growing up in Raritan, N.J., the library was like a second home. Her mother and father would take her there every week to gather the books she wanted to read."

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