Alpha, New Jersey

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Alpha, New Jersey
Borough of Alpha
Map of Alpha in Warren County. Inset: Location of Warren County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Alpha in Warren County. Inset: Location of Warren County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Alpha, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Alpha, New Jersey
Alpha is located in Warren County, New Jersey
Alpha
Alpha
Location in Warren County
Alpha is located in New Jersey
Alpha
Alpha
Location in New Jersey
Alpha is located in the United States
Alpha
Alpha
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°39′34″N 75°09′25″W / 40.659447°N 75.157052°W / 40.659447; -75.157052Coordinates: 40°39′34″N 75°09′25″W / 40.659447°N 75.157052°W / 40.659447; -75.157052[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Warren
IncorporatedJune 26, 1911
Named forAlpha Cement Works
Government
 • TypeBorough
 • BodyBorough Council
 • MayorCraig S. Dunwell (R, term ends December 31, 2023)[3][4]
 • Municipal clerkDonna L. Messina[5]
Area
 • Total1.72 sq mi (4.44 km2)
 • Land1.68 sq mi (4.35 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)  2.03%
 • Rank431st of 565 in state
21st of 22 in county[1]
Elevation269 ft (82 m)
Population
 • Total2,369
 • Estimate 
(2019)[11]
2,255
 • Rank476th of 566 in state
19th of 22 in county[12]
 • Density1,417.2/sq mi (547.2/km2)
  • Rank341st of 566 in state
5th of 22 in county[12]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)908[15]
FIPS code3404101030[1][16][17]
GNIS feature ID885138[1][18]
Websitewww.alphaboronj.org

Alpha is a borough in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,369,[8][9][10] reflecting a decline of 113 (-4.6%) from the 2,482 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 48 (-1.9%) from the 2,530 counted in the 1990 Census.[19]

Alpha was incorporated as a borough from portions of Pohatcong Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature passed on June 26, 1911, and signed by Governor Woodrow Wilson, based on the results of a referendum held on May 31, 1911.[20] The borough was named for the Alpha Cement Works.[21]

History[edit]

Formally known as Vulcanite, Alpha was incorporated on June 26, 1911, but its history can be traced back to a much earlier date. At the time of the Great Blizzard of 1888, there were only seven houses in what is now the corporate limits of Alpha. The exact date on which the first house in Alpha is uncertain. One of the first homes in the community was a two-room log cabin constructed by the Pursel family beside an old Indian Trail on the former property of the Vulcanite Portland Cement Company, now New Brunswick Avenue.[22]

Less than two years after incorporating, the community obtained a continuation of the street car line from Phillipsburg and electric street lights were installed.[23]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.72 square miles (4.44 km2), including 1.68 square miles (4.35 km2) of land and 0.04 square miles (0.09 km2) of water (2.03%).[1][2]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Vulcanite.[24]

The borough is completely surrounded by Pohatcong Township,[25][26] making it part of 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another.[27]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19202,140
19302,37410.9%
19402,301−3.1%
19502,117−8.0%
19602,40613.7%
19702,82917.6%
19802,644−6.5%
19902,530−4.3%
20002,482−1.9%
20102,369−4.6%
2019 (est.)2,255[11][28]−4.8%
Population sources:
1920[29] 1920-1930[30]
1930-1990[31] 2000[32][33] 2010[8][9][10]

Census 2010[edit]

The 2010 United States census counted 2,369 people, 964 households, and 632 families in the borough. The population density was 1,417.2 per square mile (547.2/km2). There were 1,032 housing units at an average density of 617.4 per square mile (238.4/km2). The racial makeup was 93.12% (2,206) White, 2.41% (57) Black or African American, 0.00% (0) Native American, 1.52% (36) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.18% (28) from other races, and 1.77% (42) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.28% (125) of the population.[8]

Of the 964 households, 29.3% had children under the age of 18; 47.5% were married couples living together; 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 34.4% were non-families. Of all households, 29.1% were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.03.[8]

22.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.6 years. For every 100 females, the population had 92.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 89.7 males.[8]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $63,953 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,724) and the median family income was $73,929 (+/- $6,822). Males had a median income of $49,461 (+/- $3,100) versus $40,859 (+/- $5,262) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,567 (+/- $2,455). About 4.0% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.[34]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[16] there were 2,482 people, 989 households, and 688 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,462.0 people per square mile (563.7/km2). There were 1,034 housing units at an average density of 609.1 per square mile (234.8/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.06% White, 0.28% African American, 0.04% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 0.64% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.89% of the population.[32][33]

There were 989 households, out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.05.[32][33]

In the borough the population was spread out, with 24.4% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.[32][33]

The median income for a household in the borough was $42,209, and the median income for a family was $45,435. Males had a median income of $39,957 versus $26,576 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,104. About 5.5% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.[32][33]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

Alpha is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government, which is used in 218 municipalities (of the 564) statewide, making it the most common form of government in New Jersey.[35] 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. The 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.[6] The Borough form of government used by Alpha 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.[36][37]

As of 2022, the Mayor of Alpha Borough is Republican Craig S. Dunwell, whose term of office ends December 31, 2023. Members of the Alpha Borough Council are Council President Robert J. Melick Jr. (R, 2023), Angela Bickar (I, 2022; elected to serve an unexpired term), Louis J. Cartabona (R, 2023), Todd W. Pantuso (R, 2022), Peter Petinelli (R, 2024) and Jodie Smith (R, 2024).[3][38][39][40][41]

Angela Bickar was elected to fill the seat expiring in December 2022 that had been held by Edward Hanics Jr.[39]

Republican councilmember Jack Preiss and Democrat Kathleen Ronan, both serving terms ending in December 2018, resigned from office in September 2016. Preiss cited time conflicts with his work duties, while Ronan expressed her frustrations with working with the rest of the council. Louis Cartabona was chosen to fill the seat held by Preiss.[42] In October, the council selected Jennifer Gable from a list of three nominees submitted by the Democratic municipal committee to fill Ronan's vacant seat.[43] In the 2017 general election, Louis J. Cartabona and Alan Singleton were elected to serve the balance of the two unexpired terms of office.[44]

Harry Zikas became the state's youngest mayor ever when he took office in 2000 at the age of 21.[45][46] Zikas announced his resignation from office in September 2014, citing his acceptance of a job in Northern New Jersey.[47] With Mayor Ed Hanics casting the tiebreaking vote, Tracy Grossman was selected in October 2014 to fill the remainder of Zikas's term of office.[48]

In January 2014, the borough council selected Millard Rooks to fill the vacant seat expiring in December 2015 of Michael Savary, who had resigned after pleading guilty to disorderly tampering with public records.[49]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Alpha is located in the 7th Congressional district[50] and is part of New Jersey's 23rd state legislative district.[9][51][52] Prior to the 2010 Census, Alpha had been part of the 5th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[53]

For the 117th United States Congress. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Tom Malinowski (D, East Amwell Township).[54] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027)[55] and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).[56][57]

For the 2022–2023 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).[58]

Warren County is governed by a three-member Board of County Commissioners, who are chosen at-large on a staggered basis in partisan elections with one seat coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Commissioner Director and other as Deputy Director.[59] As of 2022, Warren County's Commissioners are Commissioner Director Jason J. Sarnoski (R, Lopatcong Township; term as commissioner and commissioner director ends December 31, 2022)[60] Commissioner Deputy Director Lori Ciesla (R, Lopatcong Township; term as commissioner ends 2024, term as deputy director ends 2022),[61] and James R. Kern III (R, Pohatcong Township; 2025).[62][63] Constitutional officers of Warren County are County Clerk Holly Mackey (R, Alpha; 2022),[64][65] Sheriff James McDonald Sr. (R, Phillipsburg; 2022)[66][67] and Surrogate Kevin O'Neill (R, Hackettstown; 2025).[68][69][70]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 1,441 registered voters in Alpha, of which 548 (38.0% vs. 21.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 296 (20.5% vs. 35.3%) were registered as Republicans and 596 (41.4% vs. 43.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party.[71] Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 60.8% (vs. 62.3% in Warren County) were registered to vote, including 78.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 81.5% countywide).[71][72]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 497 votes (51.1% vs. 40.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 436 votes (44.8% vs. 56.0%) and other candidates with 25 votes (2.6% vs. 1.7%), among the 973 ballots cast by the borough's 1,457 registered voters, for a turnout of 66.8% (vs. 66.7% in Warren County).[73][74] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 470 votes (47.7% vs. 55.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 464 votes (47.1% vs. 41.4%) and other candidates with 18 votes (1.8% vs. 1.6%), among the 985 ballots cast by the borough's 1,408 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.0% (vs. 73.4% in Warren County).[75] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 510 votes (50.1% vs. 61.0% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 489 votes (48.0% vs. 37.2%) and other candidates with 12 votes (1.2% vs. 1.3%), among the 1,018 ballots cast by the borough's 1,369 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.4% (vs. 76.3% in the whole county).[76]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 70.0% of the vote (442 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 26.9% (170 votes), and other candidates with 3.0% (19 votes), among the 651 ballots cast by the borough's 1,471 registered voters (20 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 44.3%.[77][78] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 334 votes (48.2% vs. 61.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 251 votes (36.2% vs. 25.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 64 votes (9.2% vs. 9.8%) and other candidates with 21 votes (3.0% vs. 1.5%), among the 693 ballots cast by the borough's 1,397 registered voters, yielding a 49.6% turnout (vs. 49.6% in the county).[79]

Education[edit]

Students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade for public school attend the Alpha School District at Alpha School.[80][81] As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of one school, had an enrollment of 211 students and 24.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 8.6:1.[82] In the 2016–17 school year, Alpha had the 42nd smallest enrollment of any school district in the state, with 194 students.[83]

Public school students in ninth through twelfth grades attend Phillipsburg High School in Phillipsburg, which serves students from Alpha as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Phillipsburg School District.[81] The high school also serves students from four other sending communities: Bloomsbury (in Hunterdon County), Greenwich Township, Lopatcong Township and Pohatcong Township.[84][85][86] As of the 2018–19 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,650 students and 126.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.0:1.[87]

Students from the borough and from all of Warren County are eligible to attend Ridge and Valley Charter School in Blairstown (for grades K-8)[88] or Warren County Technical School in Washington borough (for 9-12),[89] with special education services provided by local districts supplemented throughout the county by the Warren County Special Services School District in Oxford Township (for PreK-12).[81]

Transportation[edit]

I-78 westbound through Alpha

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 21.40 miles (34.44 km) of roadways, of which 17.38 miles (27.97 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.78 miles (4.47 km) by Warren County and 1.24 miles (2.00 km) by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.[90]

The main road that goes through is CR 519. Route 122 runs through briefly in the north.

While Interstate 78 passes through the southern portion of the borough, the closest access point is at US 22 in neighboring Pohatcong.

The Norfolk Southern Railway's Lehigh Line (formerly the mainline of the Lehigh Valley Railroad), runs through Alpha on its way to Phillipsburg, New Jersey.[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f 2019 Census Gazetteer Files: New Jersey Places, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Mayor & Council, Borough of Alpha. Accessed February 28, 2022.
  4. ^ 2022 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed February 28, 2022.
  5. ^ Municipal Clerk, Borough of Alpha. Accessed February 28, 2022.
  6. ^ a b 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 103.
  7. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Borough of Alpha, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 4, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Alpha borough, Warren County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 31, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Municipalities Sorted by 2011-2020 Legislative District, New Jersey Department of State. Accessed February 1, 2020.
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  13. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Alpha, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed May 31, 2013.
  14. ^ ZIP Codes, State of New Jersey. Accessed August 23, 2013.
  15. ^ Area Code Lookup - NPA NXX for Alpha, NJ, Area-Codes.com. Accessed September 12, 2013.
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  33. ^ a b c d e DP-1: Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 - Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Alpha borough, Warren County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 31, 2013.
  34. ^ DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for Alpha borough, Warren County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 31, 2013.
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  38. ^ 2022 Municipal Data Sheet, Borough of Alpha. Accessed June 21, 2022.
  39. ^ a b Summary Results Report 2021 General Election November 2, 2021 Official Results, Warren County, New Jersey, updated November 18, 2021. Accessed January 1, 2022.
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  42. ^ Novak, Steve. "Another Warren County town dealing with elected officials' resignations", The Express-Times, October 4, 2016. Accessed February 2, 2018. "Jack Preiss on Sept. 14 and Kathleen Ronan on Sept. 23. Preiss felt he could not devote the time necessary to his appointed role as the public works director, according to his letter to the borough. Ronan in her letter accused Mayor Craig Dunwell's administration of 'a total lack of respect for the will of council along with an inability to effectively communicate with members of the governing body.'... Louis Cartabona, who lost re-election last year, is back on council in place of the Republican Preiss, and is on the November ballot as a write-in for a full three-year term.
  43. ^ Borough Council Meeting Minutes October 11, 2016, Borough of Alpha. Accessed February 2, 2018. "Mayor Dunwell began the meeting with discussion of a Council vacancy. The Democratic Party met and provided three names.... Mrs. Jennifer Gable was then sworn in on Council to fill the vacancy."
  44. ^ General Election November 7, 2017, Warren County Official Tally, Warren County, New Jersey, updated November 14, 2017. Accessed January 1, 2018.
  45. ^ "Longtime Alpha councilman and former mayor announces resignation", The Express-Times, September 9, 2014. Accessed June 15, 2017. "...he started his service to the borough when he was a 19-year-old member of the Board of Education. In 2000, he was sworn in as mayor... Zikas decided not to run for re-election in 2007, when he won a seat on council."
  46. ^ "Pohatcong Township Mayor-elect James Kern III's youth gives some pause, while others see promise", The Express-Times, May 22, 2011. Accessed June 15, 2017. "And next door to Pohatcong, Alpha is home to Harry Zikas Jr., who was New Jersey's youngest mayor ever when he was sworn in at age 21 in 2000, according to the Conference of Mayors."
  47. ^ Peters, Sarah. "Longtime Alpha councilman and former mayor announces resignation", The Express-Times, September 9, 2014. Accessed September 15, 2014. "Alpha Borough Councilman Harry Zikas Jr. formally announced his resignation in a letter to fellow officials late Monday night. His resignation is effective Sept. 20. Zikas accepted a promotion at work and plans to move to Paterson, New Jersey, he said."
  48. ^ Peters, Sarah. "Alpha mayor breaks tie vote on short-term council appointment", The Express-Times, October 14, 2014. Accessed November 16, 2015. "Alpha Borough Council tonight named Tracy Grossman to serve the two and a half months left in former Councilman Harry Zikas Jr.'s term."
  49. ^ Peters, Sarah. "New Alpha councilman takes office; appointment was a surprise to some officials", The Express-Times, January 12, 2014. Accessed November 16, 2015. "Instead, council appointed Millard Rooks Jr. to fill the vacancy left by Councilman Michael Savary's resignation, following Rooks' nomination by Schwar.... Savary's term didn't expire until December 2015, but the former councilman resigned after pleading guilty in September to disorderly tampering with public records."
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  80. ^ Alpha Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Alpha School District. Accessed June 21, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eight in the Alpha School District. Composition: The Alpha School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of Alpha."
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  84. ^ Phillipsburg High School 2016-17 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 21, 2020. "Along with the residents of Phillipsburg, the high school consists of students from the sending districts of Lopatcong, Pohatcong, Alpha, Bloomsbury, and Greenwich Townships."
  85. ^ Superintendent's Message, Phillipsburg School District. Accessed June 21, 2020. "The district serves students from the Town of Phillipsburg and five sending communities at the secondary level: Alpha, Bloomsbury, Greenwich, Lopatcong and Pohatcong Townships."
  86. ^ About PSD, Phillipsburg School District. Accessed June 21, 2020. "The district serves students from the Town of Phillipsburg and five sending communities at the secondary level: Alpha, Bloomsbury, Greenwich, Lopatcong and Pohatcong Townships. Phillipsburg is the largest community in Warren County."
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  88. ^ F.A.Q., Ridge and Valley Charter School. Accessed January 17, 2017. "Enrollment is open, on a space available basis, to all K-8 students residing in N.J. with priority given to students residing in the districts of Blairstown, Hardwick, Knowlton, Frelinghuysen, and North Warren Regional School."
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  91. ^ Aaron, Mark Z. Who's on First: Replacement Players in World War II, p. 284. Society for American Baseball Research, 2015. ISBN 9781933599908. Accessed April 27, 2015. "Joseph John Buzas was born on October 2, 1919, in Alpha, New Jersey, a small town near the Pennsylvania coal country."
  92. ^ Rhodin, Tony. "Medal of Honor recipient, who lived in Alpha, dies at 86",The Express-Times, April 18, 2016, updated January 2, 2019. Accessed September 1, 2020. "Hector A. Cafferata Jr., 86, who lived for years in Alpha and owned a bar there, died Tuesday in Venice, Florida."
  93. ^ Staff. "Jack Orchulli - Republican candidate for State Comptroller", The Register Citizen, August 7, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2015. "Coming from a modest blue-collar background, Jack was raised on East Main Street, in Alpha, New Jersey."
  94. ^ Smith, Dinitia. "Dance; Two Rising Stars, On Different Arcs", The New York Times, February 11, 1996. Accessed January 3, 2021. "There is little in her background to make Ms. Somogyi a candidate for the role of classical ballerina. She was raised in Alpha, a small town in central New Jersey, where her father is a mechanic, her mother a receptionist."

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