Carteret Breaks Ground For Veterans’ Housing

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Dan Reiman

CARTERET — Mayor Dan Reiman was joined by the Borough Council, residents, and military veterans on Oct. 27 to formally break ground on construction and unveil “The Lisicki Building,” Carteret’s first veterans’ apartment building. The project was dedicated in honor of past National Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Commander George Lisicki, also present, an advocate of a number of nationwide programs and services.

Lisicki said, “Affordable housing for veterans is a first in our area.  Our veterans are asked to make sacrifices only to come home to low paying jobs or no jobs at all. I am proud that the leadership of the Community of Carteret has stepped up to help ease the burden placed on our returning veterans by offering them affordable housing.  Our veterans love America and America needs to love her veterans.”

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Earlier in October, Reiman and Finance Chair Jorge Diaz announced that Carteret had been awarded $352,000 in federal HOME funding by the Middlesex County Public Housing Agency’s Office of Housing and Community Development, for the construction of the building. The development project is being overseen by the Carteret Housing and Development Corporation (CHADCO), a borough 501c3 non-profit corporation, calling for the construction of Carteret’s first veterans’ housing complex.

The project will represent another stage in the Reiman administration’s continuing efforts to revitalize the Washington Avenue Redevelopment Area. The structure at 22-24 Washington Avenue will house four 2-bedroom units, each ADA adaptable, including one that will also feature an exterior wheelchair lift.

The project has received particular recognition in Carteret for meeting specific needs in the areas of affordable housing for veterans, and the integration of green technology. Plans have called for the inclusion of five solar panel arrays that will provide 1.5 KW of power, or roughly 70-80% of electric use, to each apartment, along with two 80-gallon solar powered hot water systems.

A $446,827 construction contract has been awarded to Shore Green Energy of Northfield, who expects to have the project completed by early 2011. $352,000 in funding has been allocated through the HOME federal Partnership Middlesex County Housing & Community Development, with federal RCA funding earmarked for the balance.

Reiman said, “We’ve been taking advantage of a number of county and federal initiatives that have allowed us to make provisions wherever possible for green technological enhancements – retrofits that make sound financial sense and which have a positive impact on the environment. There are many benefits to our veterans’ housing project, not the least of which will be the implementation of state-of-the-art, energy conserving measures.”

Reiman added. “It has been a priority of this administration to ease some of the pressure experienced by residents vulnerable to the rising cost of living in urban New Jersey, and to ensure that our returning heroes, our veterans who may be making a transition from service, are not left without practical housing options. We’ve been privileged to have Commander Lisicki as a resident, community leader, and advocate for veterans. There could be no better namesake than one of Carteret’s own residents who has given so much to our nation and our veterans.”

Lisicki was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug. 23, 2007, at the VFW 108th national convention, held in Kansas City, Mo.

He served in the U. S. Army from 1966-69.  In Vietnam he served with the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division in the Central Highlands near Pleiku.  He was awarded the Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal among others.

In 1971 Lisicki joined VFW Post 2314 in Carteret, where he became a life member in 1976.  He was the first Vietnam veteran in Post 2314 to be elected Post commander, an office he held for four terms.  He earned the title of All American State Commander in 1988.

Lisicki served as the New Jersey state membership director for nine years and the instructor for the New Jersey Officer Training Institute for 24 years. In 1995 he was elected to a two-year term as a national council member.  He has served as chairman for the National Security, POW/MIA and Legislative committees. His other committee assignments include National Civil Service & Employment and Resolutions.  George belongs to the American Legion, Catholic War Veterans, 4th Infantry Association, 2nd Bn., 35th Infantry Association, Disabled American Veterans, and AmVets.  He also serves as the chairman for the Carteret Veterans Alliance.

Lisicki was born and raised, and still resides in Carteret.


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