South River, New Jersey

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South River, New Jersey
Borough of South River
South River, 1936
South River, 1936
Official seal of South River, New Jersey
Motto(s): 
"A Community With a Proud Past and a Bright Future"
South River highlighted in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County in New Jersey.
South River highlighted in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County in New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of South River, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of South River, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°26′44″N 74°22′42″W / 40.445652°N 74.378459°W / 40.445652; -74.378459Coordinates: 40°26′44″N 74°22′42″W / 40.445652°N 74.378459°W / 40.445652; -74.378459[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyMiddlesex
IncorporatedFebruary 28, 1898
Government
 • TypeBorough
 • BodyBorough Council
 • MayorJohn M. Krenzel (R, term ends December 31, 2023)[3][4]
 • AdministratorJack P. Layne Jr.[5]
 • Municipal clerkBill Bray[6]
Area
 • Total2.94 sq mi (7.61 km2)
 • Land2.79 sq mi (7.21 km2)
 • Water0.16 sq mi (0.40 km2)  5.27%
Area rank336th of 565 in state
17th of 25 in county[1]
Elevation26 ft (8 m)
Population
 • Total16,008
 • Estimate 
(2019)[12]
15,779
 • Rank159th of 566 in state
15th of 25 in county[13]
 • Density5,781.4/sq mi (2,232.2/km2)
 • Density rank90th of 566 in state
6th of 25 in county[13]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
Area code(s)732[16]
FIPS code3402369420[1][17][18]
GNIS feature ID0885403[1][19]
Websitewww.southrivernj.org

South River is a borough in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 16,008,[9][10][11] reflecting an increase of 686 (+4.5%) from the 15,322 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,630 (+11.9%) from the 13,692 counted in the 1990 Census.[20]

What is now South River was originally formed as the town of Washington within East Brunswick Township on February 23, 1870. South River was incorporated as an independent borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 28, 1898, replacing Washington town.[21][22] It was named after the South River, which marks the borough's eastern and northeastern boundary.[23][24]

History[edit]

South River was originally part of East Brunswick Township. Originally referred to as Washington, the community eventually split away as did Spotswood and Milltown.[21]

Name changes
[25]
  • 1683–1720: Commonly referred to as South River Landing.
  • 1720: Name changed to Willettstown after settler Samuel Willett.
  • 1784: Name changed to Washington and referred to as Washington Village, Washington Woods, and Little Washington. The current name was considered at the suggestion of Abraham Barkelew, one of the original settlers in the town.
  • 1870: Village name officially changed to South River.
  • 1897: South River becomes borough.[21]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.94 square miles (7.61 km2), including 2.79 square miles (7.21 km2) of land and 0.16 square miles (0.40 km2) of water (5.27%).[1][2]

The borough borders the Middlesex County communities of East Brunswick and Sayreville.[26][27][28]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Newton Heights, which is situated along the border of South River and East Brunswick.[29]

Demographics[edit]

Residential neighborhood along Main Street (County Route 535) in South River
Historical population
Census Pop.
18801,081
18901,79666.1%
19002,79255.5%
19104,77270.9%
19206,59638.2%
193010,75963.1%
194010,714−0.4%
195011,3085.5%
196013,39718.5%
197015,42815.2%
198014,361−6.9%
199013,692−4.7%
200015,32211.9%
201016,0084.5%
2019 (est.)15,779[12][30][31]−1.4%
Population sources:
1880-1890[32] 1890-1920[33]
1890-1910[34] 1910-1930[35]
1930-1990[36] 2000[37][38] 2010[9][10][11]

Census 2010[edit]

The 2010 United States census counted 16,008 people, 5,652 households, and 4,019 families in the borough. The population density was 5,781.4 per square mile (2,232.2/km2). There were 5,957 housing units at an average density of 2,151.4 per square mile (830.7/km2). The racial makeup was 76.18% (12,195) White, 7.13% (1,142) Black or African American, 0.31% (50) Native American, 4.84% (775) Asian, 0.06% (9) Pacific Islander, 8.18% (1,309) from other races, and 3.30% (528) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.20% (2,913) of the population.[9]

Of the 5,652 households, 32.5% had children under the age of 18; 53.5% were married couples living together; 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present and 28.9% were non-families. Of all households, 22.9% were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.32.[9]

22.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females, the population had 103.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 101.5 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $62,284 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,691) and the median family income was $78,109 (+/- $8,122). Males had a median income of $51,599 (+/- $6,269) versus $46,014 (+/- $3,025) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,178 (+/- $1,766). About 4.4% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.[39]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] there were 15,322 people, 5,606 households, and 3,985 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,444.7 people per square mile (2,105.3/km2). There were 5,769 housing units at an average density of 2,050.0 per square mile (792.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 83.55% White, 9.66% Hispanic or Latino, 6.06% African American, 0.12% Native American, 3.54% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.83% from other races, and 2.85% from two or more races.[37][38]

Most common ancestries of the population are Polish (18.9%), Italian (14.6%), Irish (13.0%), German (12.5%), Portuguese (9.3%), Russian (4.5%).[40]

There were 5,606 households, out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.23.[37][38]

In the borough the population was spread out, with 23.0% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.[37][38]

The median income for a household in the borough was $52,324, and the median income for a family was $62,869. Males had a median income of $42,186 versus $31,098 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,684. About 3.7% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.[37][38]

A large Polish, Russian, and Portuguese immigrant population moved into the borough in the 1950s-1980s. Today South River's largest incoming immigrant population are Asian, Mexican and Brazilian populations.[citation needed]

Belarusians in South River[edit]

Monument for "Those who fought for Freedom and Independence of Byelorussia"

South River has become a center for Belarusian Americans in the postwar-period.

The first immigrants from present-day Belarus (from the areas of modern-day western Minsk Voblast and Hrodna Voblast, around the towns of Vilejka, Maladziečna and others) arrived to South River in the late 19th century.[41] Most of the immigrants of that time identified themselves as Polish or Russian depending on their faith.[41] Immigrants from Belarus established a Roman Catholic church of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn (a prominent Catholic icon in Vilnius venerated primarily by Catholics in Western Belarus and Lithuania) and a 250 members strong Russian Orthodox parish of St. Peter and St. Paul.[41]

The postwar immigrants founded the Belarusian Congress Committee of America here in 1951.[41] In the 1950s they reestablished the Belarusian Orthodox parish of St. Eufrasinnia, that previously existed in Germany. A Belarusian cemetery was opened in 1953, that houses also Radasłaŭ Astroŭski.[42]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

South River 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.[43] 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. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council is comprised 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 South River 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.[44][45]

As of 2020, the mayor of South River is Republican John M. Krenzel, whose term of office ends December 31, 2023. Members of the Borough Council are Council President Raymond T. Eppinger (R, 2021), Sandra M. Adelino (D, 2020), Donna Balazs (R, 2022), Anthony Ciulla (R, 2022), Peter S. Giundi (R, 2021) and James E. Gurchensky (R, 2020).[3][46][47][48][49][50]

In January 2014, the borough council selected former councilmember Michael Trenga from among three names nominated by the Republican municipal committee to fill the nearly three years remaining on the vacant seat of John Trzeciak, who cited personal reasons in resigning from office just weeks after taking his seat on the council.[51] In the November 2014 general election, Trenga was elected to serve the balance of the term of office.[52]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

South River is located in the 12th Congressional District[53] and is part of New Jersey's 18th state legislative district[10][54][55]

For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township).[56][57] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027)[58] and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).[59][60]

For the 2020–2021 session, 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 Sterley Stanley (D, East Brunswick).[61][62]

Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Commissioners, 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 Commissioner Director and Deputy Director. As of 2021, Middlesex County's Commissioners (with party affiliation, term-end year, and residence listed in parentheses) are Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2021, Carteret; Ex-officio on all committees),[63] Commissioner Deputy Director Shanti Narra (D, 2021; North Brunswick),[64] Claribel A. Azcona-Barber (D, 2022, New Brunswick),[65] Charles Kenny (D, 2022, Woodbridge Township),[66] Leslie Koppel (D, 2023, Monroe),[67] Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2023, Edison)[68] and Chanelle Scott McCullum (D, 2021, Piscataway).[69][70]

Constitutional officers are County Clerk Nancy J. Pinkin (D, 2025, East Brunswick),[71] Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2022, Piscataway)[72] and Surrogate Claribel Cortes (D, 2021; North Brunswick).[70][73]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,901 registered voters in South River, of which 2,520 (31.9%) were registered as Democrats, 1,186 (15.0%) were registered as Republicans and 4,193 (53.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.[74]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 58.5% of the vote (3,033 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 40.5% (2,101 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (52 votes), among the 5,233 ballots cast by the borough's 8,095 registered voters (47 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.6%.[75][76] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 54.9% of the vote (3,148 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 42.5% (2,434 votes) and other candidates with 1.7% (95 votes), among the 5,729 ballots cast by the borough's 8,078 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.9%.[77] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 51.8% of the vote (2,763 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 46.1% (2,460 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (63 votes), among the 5,331 ballots cast by the borough's 7,591 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 70.2.[78]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 63.8% of the vote (1,997 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 35.0% (1,094 votes), and other candidates with 1.2% (39 votes), among the 3,163 ballots cast by the borough's 8,146 registered voters (33 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 38.8%.[79][80] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 53.2% of the vote (1,916 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 38.2% (1,378 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 6.5% (235 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (32 votes), among the 3,604 ballots cast by the borough's 7,787 registered voters, yielding a 46.3% turnout.[81]

Education[edit]

The South River Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of four schools, had an enrollment of 2,224 students and 175.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.7:1.[82] Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[83]) are South River Primary School[84] for grades K-2 (473 students), South River Elementary School[85] for grades 3-5 (538), South River Middle School[86] for grades 6-8 (539) and South River High School[87] for grades 9-12 (640).[88]

Transportation[edit]

Roads and highways[edit]

CR 535 in South River

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 49.25 miles (79.26 km) of roadways, of which 43.50 miles (70.01 km) were maintained by the municipality and 5.75 miles (9.25 km) by Middlesex County.[89]

The mains roads that travel through are CR 535 and CR 527. Route 18 passes just west of the borough, which provides access to the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95).

Public transportation[edit]

NJ Transit bus service is provided on the 811 and 815 routes.[90]

Notable people[edit]

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

In popular culture[edit]

Rescue 911 (Season 3, Episode 25) features a segment about a Good Samaritan who assisted in the rescue of an occupant from an apartment fire on January 8, 1991, at the Emess Apartments (now known as Deer Creek Village).[114]

References[edit]

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  94. ^ Nussbaum, Debra. "In Person; Imagine Trenton. One Author Did.", The New York Times, November 3, 2002. Accessed August 28, 2012. "If there is a typical career path for novelists, Mrs. Evanovich is certain that she has not followed it. After growing up in South River, she followed her husband, who was in the Navy, as he moved around the country, stayed at home and raised their two children and then, when she was in her 30s, decided that she wanted to write."
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  98. ^ Staff. "These Nittany Lions Get His Vote; Kenny Jackson Says The Coach And Offense Look Better Than They Did In The National Title Year Of 1982.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 11, 1994. Accessed March 20, 2011. "Jackson, from South River, NJ, was State's first all-America receiver and remains the university's career leader in receiving yards (2006) and TDs (25)."
  99. ^ Staff. "Genova Galleria D'arte Il Basilisco: Jonathan Janson, Daily Life Acquerelli E Olii", Genova Press, October 16, 2006. Accessed February 6, 2011. "Jonathan Janson nasce nel 1950 a South River, New Jersey, USA."
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  108. ^ Kieran, John. "Sports of the Times. A Winter Haven of Refuge", The New York Times, March 22, 1937. Accessed February 6, 2011. "They also had Pete Sivess, the big gent from South River, N.J., who hinted out loud last year that he was going to outpitch the whole Dean family."
  109. ^ "Elmer Stout Obituary", Asbury Park Press, September 24, 2013. Accessed October 9, 2015. "Born in South Amboy, he had resided in South River until his retirement from the former Goodkind & O'Dea Consulting Engineers for whom he worked his entire career."
  110. ^ Joe Susan Archived 2016-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, Bucknell Bison. Accessed October 7, 2015. "A native of South River, New Jersey, Susan — who was inducted into his high school's Hall of Fame in 2014 — returned to Bucknell from Rutgers, where he spent the previous nine years as an assistant coach on Greg Schiano's staff."
  111. ^ Amdur, Neil. "Theismann Pleases Irish Coach In Every Statistic Except One; Quarterback From Jersey Is Intercepted 16 Times -- Awaits Biggest Chance", The New York Times, December 27, 1969. Accessed March 20, 2011. "The snow was stacked as high and tight as a goal-line defense near Joe Theismann's house at 3 Arlington Avenue in South River, N. J., yesterday."
  112. ^ Staff. "OSU's Spellman Inks 4-Year Deal With Bears", Dayton Daily News, July 14, 1992. Accessed March 20, 2011. "Alex Wojciechowicz, the All-America center on Fordham's famed 'Seven Blocks of Granite' line in the 1930s, died at his home in South River, NJ. He was 76."
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