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Jersey City council approves $600,000 more for Apple Tree House restoration project
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Jersey City council approves $600,000 more for Apple Tree House restoration project

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Jersey City City Council last night approved the city administration's request to spend roughly $600,000 in state and county funding to complete the Apple Tree House restoration.

Though the council's approval of the funds request was never really in doubt, several council members have expressed concern recently about the cost of the restoration, which could top $4 million.

Councilman Michael Sottolano, while voting in favor of the restoration funds, said he hopes last night's action is the final time the council approves money for the project.

"I know it's an historic thing for Jersey City, but that does not mean that funds are unlimited for this thing to go on and on and on," Sottolano said.

The request for additional funding passed 8-0, with Councilwoman Kalimah Ahmad absent.

The restoration has cost $3.4 million so far. The final phase of the restoration is expected to push the cost over $4 million, with most of the funding coming from state and county grants.

More than half a dozen city residents spoke in support of the restoration.

Joseph Harkins, a founding member of the George Washington Commemorative Society of Jersey City, said the council's full funding of the restoration would show "respect for our origins."

"Yes, the restoration will cost money. But we are only strapped, not broke," Harkins said.

Resident John Hallanan, meanwhile, said if the council did not fight to preserve the city's history, its members would be sending a message to future generations.

The Apple Tree House, located at 298 Academy St., is purported to be the location of a meeting between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who served in the Continental Army.

Posted on: 2011/3/10 16:15

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