of Montville is a municipal corporation which was established by
special charter of the NJ State Legislature in 1867. The Township is
a suburban community located in the County of Morris in the northwest
portion of New Jersey. Montville Township is 20 square miles and
comprised of 3 sections: Towaco, Pine Brook and Montville. There are
approximately 20,000 residents. Montville is an active, vibrant
community providing services, activities and volunteer opportunities
in everything from sports and 4th of July celebrations to
youth and senior groups.
of Montville is headed by 5 elected officials who constitute the
Township Committee (also referred to as the "governing
body") which establishes laws and policies for the Township. The
Mayor is a member of the Township Committee and is elected annually
by the Committee.
Township Administrator serves as the chief administrative and
executive officer for the organization and is responsible for the
day-to-day operations of all municipal departments. There are
approximately 100 permanent full-time employees. Additionally, there
are dozens of volunteers who serve on various boards, committees and
autonomous public entities, which serve township residents and
businesses, include the Montville Board of Education (Montville
Public Schools) and the Montville Free Public Library. The Township
is also fortunate to be served by the Montville Township First Aid
Rescue Squad and the Montville, Pine Brook and Towaco Fire
Departments. All of these emergency response organizations are manned
entirely by volunteers.
History of Montville
The area now known as Montville Township was first settled by Dutch
farmers from New Amsterdam (now New York City) in the very early 18th
century. Part of New Netherland, the town was originally called
"Uyle-Kill" (the Dutch pronunciation of "Owl-Kill"), a name given to
the creek and valley, which ran through the area. By the 1740s, the
settlement had grown in size and construction of the first road was
begun. The early road, now know as Route 202, connected various farms
with Montville' first gristmill, sawmill and tannerys.
During the Revolutionary War, Montville Township was on a major
military route from Morristown to the Hudson River. General George
Washington' troops often took this route and Washington stayed in
Montville Township (Towaco section) in June 1780. The French troops
under the leadership of General Rochambeau also passed through
Montville Township on their way to the War' final victory at
Yorktown, Virginia. It took them four days as they encompassed
5,000 soldiers, 2,000 horses, 500 oxen, possibly 900 cattle,
artillery, boats, followers, etc.
Montville was officially named with specific boundaries April 1800.
The name came from the Mandeville Inn, which was pronounced Mondeveil
by the Dutch. That name was corrupted to Montville. The Montville Inn
is located at the site of the pre-Revolutionary War Mandeville Inn.
The construction of the Morris Canal in this area was completed in
1828, bringing commercial navigation to the Montville/Towaco area.
The mid-19th century saw the development of two smaller village
centers set apart from Montville: Pine Brook, a fertile agricultural
area in the Township' southern end, and Towaco, situated on the
Morris Canal. In 1867, the Township of Montville was formally
chartered from 19 square miles of territory set off from what was
part of Pequannock Township.
Growth and Development in
In 1962 the
Township Committee proudly dedicated the “new” Montville
Municipal Building on River Road which housed all municipal
operations within the 10,000 square-foot-facility. At this time, the
Township was a rural-suburban community of approximately 7,000
residents, with 1,957 homes and 79 farms scattered throughout 19
past few decades, Montville was discovered by residential and
commercial property developers. Montville' central location in
northern New Jersey with ready access to major transportation routes
made the Township a popular location. During the '70s and
'80s, Montville experienced its greatest growth boom when the
population increased by almost 30 percent. The completion of I-287
made Montville an even more attractive location for residential and
commercial development. However, Montville still enjoys a
significantly lower population density than Morris County and the
Accompanying this population growth was an expansion of the
utilities network in the area. The Montville Municipal Utilities
Authority has conducted an aggressive expansion campaign of its water
and sanitary sewer systems during the past 10 years, and now services
approximately 70 percent of the residential and commercial properties
within the Township.
the Township' rapid growth period, the municipal government
has also grown to meet the needs and demands of old and new
residents. Services have been expanded and facilities have been
upgraded and improved.
Symbolic of the transformation of the community, the municipal
offices were relocated to the new Municipal Building on Changebridge
Road in 1994. This 20,000 square-foot-facility houses most municipal
operations as well as the Municipal Utilities Authority. The older
Municipal Building was converted into a Public Safety Building for
police and municipal court operations.
Township' continuing growth, including residential
developments and increased school enrollments, resulted in a need for
a new public library facility. A portion of the Montville High School
property was donated by the Board of Education for the new facility.
In 1995, the Library moved from the old facility of 3,500 square feet
with 57,000 volumes to a magnificent new facility of 18,000 square
feet capable of holding 150,000 volumes. The meeting rooms in the new
Library are in heavy demand for civic association meetings and
cultural events sponsored by the Library.
demand for parks and open space also increased as Montville'
population increased. To meet the expanding needs of the community,
Montville utilized the 84-acre Community Center tract to construct
four competition-grade, lighted athletic fields and basketball
courts, upgrade the community gardens available as gardening/farming
space for residents, and install an amphitheater for outdoor concerts
Montville residents voted overwhelmingly for a dedicated open space
tax. The tax has been increased twice since and is now one of the
highest open space taxes in New Jersey. The strong public support for
municipal acquisition of open spaces reflects the public'
recognition that there are intense development pressures on the 2,000
remaining acres of vacant land in the Township and that open spaces
must be acquired now or forever be lost to development.
To date, the
Township has utilized Open Space Trust funds to purchase 1033 acres
of open space. Morris County has acquired an additional 535 acres
within the Montville borders. These areas include miles of
walking/hiking trails, waterfalls and mountaintop views of Montville
and the New York City skyline.
Montville is a suburban community within the New York metropolitan
area with a full range of municipal services, an excellent public
school system and a model public library. Montville' housing
stock currently consists of 764 multi-family rental units, 1,703
condominiums and townhouses, 4,932 single-family homes, 59 two-family
homes and 18 farmhouses. The average value of Montville'
housing stock is $308,000.
to meet the expanding needs of residents, the Township has also
followed a prudent financial plan, which has resulted in a constant
level of debt. In 1998, the entire Township was revalued to more
equitably distribute the tax burden between old and new homes and
commercial, residential and vacant properties. Today, most properties
in Montville are assessed at 100% of the fair market
Montville Township' population has increased, the demands for
services, facilities and infrastructure improvements have also
increased. In keeping with these demands, the Township has undertaken
many new projects and continues to respond to the public demand for
Senior House, located on Route 202, was renovated and expanded in
2002. Programs and services were significantly expanded under the
direction of a full-time Social Services Director. The Morris County
Nutrition Program operates out of the Montville Senior House twice
weekly, serving an average of 133 meals on site and delivering, on
average, 55 Meals on Wheels out of the Senior House kitchen. The
Senior House is open almost every weekday. Activities include
exercise programs, dance instruction, arts & crafts, special
lectures particularly regarding health, safety and medical care,
gaming (bingo, poker, mah-jongg, etc.), birthday breakfasts, special
celebrations of New Year's, Chinese New Year's, Thanksgiving,
Valentine's Day, etc.
new Public Safety Building, located on Route 202, was opened in 2003.
It houses the 24-7 Police Department and the Municipal Court in a
state-of-the-art facility. Also in 2003, the Township dedicated the
new Youth Center, located in Community Park on Changebridge Road. The
Youth Center includes comfortable seating areas, a ping-pong table,
billiards table, computers and TV. This new facility provides
unstructured drop-in sessions and special events.
As part of
its Mid-Town Direct expansion program, New Jersey Transit, with
supplemental funding from the Township of Montville, renovated the
Towaco Train Station using a unique design harkening back to the
early 1900s. This renovation has spurred additional improvements in
Towaco and serves as a guide to redevelopment of the Towaco business
district. Commuters may now go from Towaco to mid-town Manhattan via
a transfer in Montclair rather than transferring to the PATH in
Montville Planning Board has recently completed a study of the Route
46 commercial corridor, funded by a state Smart Growth Grant. The
plan recommends a more pedestrian-friendly corridor, improved traffic
flow, upgrades of site amenities and more appropriate uses on some
selected sites in the corridor.
Several recreation projects are
in the works. Two multi-purpose, artificial turf fields are almost
completed at Camp Dawson. A new roller hockey facility on
Changebridge Road has been approved. Improvements to Reilly Park and
Manchester Park have also been authorized. Additionally, the Township
has acquired a site on River Road to serve as the future home of the
DPW and Water and Sewer crews and equipment.