Bethlehem Township, New Jersey

Bethlehem Township is a township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the New York metropolitan area.[23] As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 3,979,[9][10][11] reflecting an increase of 159 (+4.2%) from the 3,820 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 716 (+23.1%) from the 3,104 counted in the 1990 Census.[24]

Bethlehem Township, New Jersey
Township of Bethlehem
Bethlehem Township NJ Photo Collage.jpg
Map of Bethlehem Township in Hunterdon County. Inset: Location of Hunterdon County in New Jersey.
Map of Bethlehem Township in Hunterdon County. Inset: Location of Hunterdon County in New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Bethlehem Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Bethlehem Township, New Jersey
Bethlehem Township is located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey
Bethlehem Township
Bethlehem Township
Location in Hunterdon County
Bethlehem Township is located in New Jersey
Bethlehem Township
Bethlehem Township
Location in New Jersey
Bethlehem Township is located in the United States
Bethlehem Township
Bethlehem Township
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°39′54″N 75°00′43″W / 40.665036°N 75.011935°W / 40.665036; -75.011935Coordinates: 40°39′54″N 75°00′43″W / 40.665036°N 75.011935°W / 40.665036; -75.011935[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyHunterdon
Earliest mention1730
IncorporatedFebruary 21, 1798
Named forBethlehem
Government
 • TypeTownship
 • BodyTownship Committee
 • MayorPaul J. Muir (R, term ends December 31, 2019)[3][4]
 • AdministratorJohn Paulmeno[5]
 • Municipal clerkChristine Dispenza[6]
Area
 • Total20.828 sq mi (53.944 km2)
 • Land20.711 sq mi (53.642 km2)
 • Water0.117 sq mi (0.303 km2)  0.56%
Area rank135th of 566 in state
13th of 26 in county[1]
Elevation814 ft (248 m)
Population
 • Total3,979
 • Estimate 
(2018)[12]
3,855
 • Rank414th of 566 in state
12th of 26 in county[13]
 • Density192.1/sq mi (74.2/km2)
 • Density rank510th of 566 in state
19th of 26 in county[13]
Time zoneUTC−5:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)908[19]
FIPS code3401905650[1][20][21]
GNIS feature ID0882189[1][22]
Websitewww.bethlehemnj.org

HistoryEdit

Bethlehem was first mentioned in official records dating back to 1730, though details of its formation are uncertain.[25] Bethlehem was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798.[25] Portions of the township were taken to form Kingwood Township (1749, date uncertain), Alexandria Township (March 5, 1765), Union Township (February 17, 1853), Junction borough (February 20, 1895, now known as Hampton borough), Bloomsbury (March 30, 1905) and Glen Gardner (March 26, 1919).[25]

The township was named for the city of Bethlehem.[26]

GeographyEdit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 20.828 square miles (53.944 km2), including 20.711 square miles (53.642 km2) of land and 0.117 square miles (0.303 km2) of water (0.56%).[1][2] The township is an exurb of New York City, lying on the western fringe of the New York metropolitan area, as part of the Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division, which is in turn a part of the New York City Metropolitan Area.[23]

The Musconetcong River forms the township's northern border with Warren County. The northern half of the Township consists of the Musconetcong Valley while the southern half is covered by the Musconetcong Mountains.[27] The southwest corner of the township lies on what is known as the Hunterdon Plateau. The landscape is mainly rural in nature, featuring farms and forests, scattered with newer housing developments and older farm homes.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Charlestown, Jugtown, Ludlow, Polktown, Swinesburg, Valley and West Portal.[28]

The township borders the municipalities of Alexandria Township, Bloomsbury, Glen Gardner, Hampton, Holland Township, Lebanon Township, Union Township in Hunterdon County; and Franklin Township, Pohatcong Township and Washington Township in Warren County.[29][30][31]

Mailing addressesEdit

Residents and businesses in Bethlehem Township have mailing addresses to nearby towns including Bloomsbury, Clinton, Glen Gardner, Hampton, and even Asbury (which is located in neighboring Warren County), as 'Bethlehem Township' itself is not a mailing address.[32]

ClimateEdit

Climate data for Bethlehem Township, NJ
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71.0
(21.7)
76.0
(24.4)
85.0
(29.4)
93.0
(33.9)
96.0
(35.6)
98.0
(36.7)
100.0
(37.8)
100.0
(37.8)
102.0
(38.9)
91.0
(32.8)
82.0
(27.8)
73.0
(22.8)
102.0
(38.9)
Average high °F (°C) 35.8
(2.1)
39.1
(3.9)
48.5
(9.2)
59.4
(15.2)
70.6
(21.4)
78.6
(25.9)
83.5
(28.6)
82.0
(27.8)
74.8
(23.8)
64.1
(17.8)
51.9
(11.1)
40.5
(4.7)
60.7
(15.9)
Average low °F (°C) 17.5
(−8.1)
19.0
(−7.2)
27.2
(−2.7)
36.4
(2.4)
46.5
(8.1)
55.4
(13.0)
60.9
(16.1)
59.5
(15.3)
51.7
(10.9)
39.7
(4.3)
31.5
(−0.3)
23.3
(−4.8)
39.1
(3.9)
Record low °F (°C) −23.0
(−30.6)
−24.0
(−31.1)
−6.0
(−21.1)
9.0
(−12.8)
25.0
(−3.9)
33.0
(0.6)
38.0
(3.3)
35.0
(1.7)
25.0
(−3.9)
18.0
(−7.8)
2.0
(−16.7)
−14.0
(−25.6)
−24.0
(−31.1)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.30
(109)
3.35
(85)
4.18
(106)
4.54
(115)
4.93
(125)
4.78
(121)
5.03
(128)
4.78
(121)
4.31
(109)
5.09
(129)
4.05
(103)
4.32
(110)
53.66
(1,363)
Source: [33]

Bethlehem Township falls under the "Northern New Jersey" climate zone. According to the Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist at Rutgers University, the Northern climate zone covers about one-quarter of New Jersey and consists mainly of elevated highlands and valleys which are part of the Appalachian Uplands. Surrounded by land, this region can be characterized as having a continental climate with minimal influence from the Atlantic Ocean, except when the winds contain an easterly component. Prevailing winds are from the southwest in summer and from the northwest in winter. Being in the northernmost portion of the state, and with small mountains up to 1,800 feet in elevation, the Northern Zone normally exhibits a colder temperature regime than other climate regions of the State of New Jersey. This difference is most dramatic in winter when average temperatures in the Northern Zone can be more than ten degrees Fahrenheit cooler than in the Coastal Zone. Annual snowfall averages 40 to 50 inches in the northern zone as compared with an average of 10-15 inches in the extreme south.[34]

Bethlehem Township falls under the USDA 6a Plant Hardiness zone.[35]

Wildlife and ecosystemEdit

Various animals are native to central-western New Jersey, including red fox (vulpes vulpes),[36] black bear, groundhogs, wild turkeys, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, a variety of birds, and a plethora of insects and vegetation.[citation needed] There are also some fish in the streams of the county.

Trees include deciduous varieties and evergreen varieties.

Black bears are the largest land mammals in New Jersey and are known to be most abundant in the northern-western regions of the state, including Bethlehem Township.

DemographicsEdit

Census Pop.
17901,335
18101,728
18202,00215.9%
18302,0321.5%
18402,37016.6%
18502,74615.9%
18601,859*−32.3%
18702,21118.9%
18802,83028.0%
18902,308−18.4%
19001,634*−29.2%
1910980*−40.0%
1920798*−18.6%
1930735−7.9%
19407917.6%
19508578.3%
19601,09027.2%
19701,38527.1%
19803,045119.9%
19903,1041.9%
20003,82023.1%
20103,9794.2%
Est. 20183,855[12][37]−3.1%
Population sources:
1800-1920[38] 1840[39] 1850-1870[40]
1850[41] 1870[42] 1880-1890[43]
1890-1910[44] 1910-1930[45]
1930-1990[46] 2000[47][48] 2010[9][10][11]
* = Lost territory in previous decade[25]

Census 2010Edit

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,979 people, 1,344 households, and 1,147.776 families living in the township. The population density was 192.1 per square mile (74.2/km2). There were 1,386 housing units at an average density of 66.9 per square mile (25.8/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 95.65% (3,806) White, 0.98% (39) Black or African American, 0.10% (4) Native American, 1.88% (75) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.50% (20) from other races, and 0.88% (35) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.02% (160) of the population.[9]

There were 1,344 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 77.0% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.6% were non-families. 11.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96 and the average family size was 3.22.[9]

In the township, the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 18.1% from 25 to 44, 38.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.2 years. For every 100 females there were 100.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 100.6 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $127,540 (with a margin of error of +/- $12,090) and the median family income was $130,580 (+/- $16,200). Males had a median income of $95,694 (+/- $16,468) versus $70,069 (+/- $27,112) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $44,477 (+/- $4,087). About 0.6% of families and 1.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.1% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.[49]

Census 2000Edit

As of the 2000 United States Census[20] there were 3,820 people, 1,266 households, and 1,092 families residing in the township. The population density was 183.3 people per square mile (70.8/km²). There were 1,303 housing units at an average density of 62.5 per square mile (24.1/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 97.51% White, 0.86% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.62% of the population.[47][48]

There were 1,266 households out of which 43.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 80.3% were married couples living together, 3.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.7% were non-families. 10.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.26.[47][48]

In the township the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.9 males.[47][48]

The median income for a household in the township was $88,048, and the median income for a family was $92,768. Males had a median income of $69,063 versus $41,806 for females. The per capita income for the township was $35,298. None of the families and 1.0% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 10.0% of those over 64.[47][48]

Most common first ancestries reported in Bethlehem Township were German (25.2%), Italian (14.7%), Irish (14.4%), Polish (9.2%), English (7.6%), United States or American (6.1%), French (except Basque) (3.3%).[50]

Most common places of birth for the foreign-born residents were India (22%), Germany (18%), United Kingdom (12%), Austria (9%), Russia (7%), Poland (5%), Netherlands (4%).[50]

Parks and recreationEdit

Covering more than 2,000 acres (810 ha), Spruce Run State Park and Reservoir, part of the New Jersey State Park system, is located near Bethlehem Township in close by Clinton Township. It is possible to walk or bike to Spruce Run from Bethlehem Township.[51]

GovernmentEdit

Local governmentEdit

Bethlehem Township is governed under the Township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle.[7][52] At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor.

As of 2019, members of the Bethlehem Township Committee are Mayor Paul J. Muir (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2020; term as mayor ends 2019), Deputy Mayor Greg Glazar (R, term on committee and as deputy mayor ends 2019), Walter F. Baumgarten (R, 2021), Steve Keefe (R, 2021) and Jose Medeiros (R, 2020).[3][53][54][27][55][56][57]

At a special meeting in July 2015, The Township Committee selected Jose Medeiros to fill the seat expiring in December 2017 that was vacated earlier that month following the resignation of John Graefe, who was moving out of the township.[58]

Bethlehem Township's municipal buildings are located on Mine Road.[27]

Federal, state and county representationEdit

Bethlehem Township is located in the 7th Congressional District[59] and is part of New Jersey's 23rd state legislative district.[10][60][61]

For the 116th United States Congress. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Tom Malinowski (D, Rocky Hill).[62] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021)[63] and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).[64][65]

For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), 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).[66][67]

Hunterdon County is governed by a five-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who serve three-year terms of office at-large on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as the board's Director and another to serve as Deputy Director.[68] As of 2015, Hunterdon County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director John King (R; Raritan Township, 2015),[69] Freeholder Deputy Director Suzanne Lagay (R; Holland Township, 2016),[70] J. Matthew Holt (R; Clinton Town, 2015),[71] John E. Lanza (R; Flemington, 2016)[72] and Robert G. Walton (R; Hampton, 2017).[73][74] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Mary H. Melfi (R; Flemington, 2017),[75] Sheriff Fredrick W. Brown (R; Alexandria Township, 2016)[76] and Surrogate Susan J. Hoffman (R; Kingwood Township, 2018).[77][78][79]

PoliticsEdit

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,814 registered voters in Bethlehem Township, of which 514 (18.3%) were registered as Democrats, 1,113 (39.6%) were registered as Republicans and 1,186 (42.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party.[80]

In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 61.2% of the vote (1,323 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 37.0% (800 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (38 votes), among the 2,172 ballots cast by the township's 2,954 registered voters (11 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 73.5%.[81][82] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 58.9% of the vote here (1,380 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 38.2% (896 votes) and other candidates with 2.2% (51 votes), among the 2,343 ballots cast by the township's 2,927 registered voters, for a turnout of 80.0%.[83] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 61.6% of the vote here (1,380 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 37.1% (830 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (36 votes), among the 2,239 ballots cast by the township's 2,692 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 83.2.[84]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 73.8% of the vote (985 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 23.1% (309 votes), and other candidates with 3.1% (41 votes), among the 1,349 ballots cast by the township's 2,934 registered voters (14 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 46.0%.[85][86] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 66.4% of the vote here (1,130 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 21.9% (373 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.9% (151 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (20 votes), among the 1,703 ballots cast by the township's 2,855 registered voters, yielding a 59.6% turnout.[87]

EducationEdit

Students in public school for kindergarten through eighth grade attend the schools of the Bethlehem Township School District.[88] As of the 2017-18 school year, the district's two schools had an enrollment of 374 students and 44.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 8.4:1.[89] Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[90]) are Thomas B. Conley Elementary School[91] with 226 students in grades K-5 and Ethel Hoppock Middle School[92] with 147 students in grades 6-8.[93][94]

Public school students in ninth through twelfth grades attend North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, which also serves students from Clinton Town, Clinton Township, Franklin Township, Lebanon Borough and Union Township.[95] As of the 2017-18 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,655 students and 128.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.9:1.[96] The school is part of the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District, which also includes students from Califon, Glen Gardner, Hampton, High Bridge, Lebanon Township and Tewksbury Township, who attend Voorhees High School.[97][98][99]

Eighth grade students from all of Hunterdon County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Hunterdon County Vocational School District, a county-wide vocational school district that offers career and technical education at its campuses in Raritan Township and at programs sited at local high schools, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.[100]

TransportationEdit

 
View west along Interstate 78 and U.S. Route 22 in Bethlehem Township

Roads and highwaysEdit

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 57.76 miles (92.96 km) of roadways, of which 42.26 miles (68.01 km) were maintained by the municipality, 7.86 miles (12.65 km) by Hunterdon County and 7.64 miles (12.30 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[101]

Bethlehem Township is well-connected to major metropolitan areas and cities (such as the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and New York City) via Interstate 78 / U.S. 22[102] and Route 173.[103] While I-78/US 22 pass through without any interchanges, the nearest exit is just outside the township in bordering Bloomsbury (Exit 7) and Union Township (Exit 11).

Anderson Road, located within Bethlehem Township, begins in neighboring Union Township and ends in Bethlehem Township as a dead-end, or cul-de-sac. Consequently, Anderson Road cannot be accessed internally through Bethlehem Township; it can only be accessed through Union Township.

Public transportationEdit

Public transportation is limited to The LINK, a public bus service which serves Hunterdon County. Fares range from about $2.00 to $10.00. Funding for operation of the Hunterdon County LINK System is provided by Hunterdon County, NJ Transit and the Federal Transit Administration.[104]

Rail / Lehigh LineEdit

The Norfolk Southern Railway's Lehigh Line (formerly the mainline of the Lehigh Valley Railroad), runs through Bethlehem Township on its way to Phillipsburg, New Jersey.[105]

Notable peopleEdit

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bethlehem Township include:[106]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f 2010 Census Gazetteer Files: New Jersey County Subdivisions, United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 21, 2015.
  2. ^ a b US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Township Committee, Township of Bethlehem. Accessed November 15, 2019.
  4. ^ 2019 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed August 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Township Administrator, Township of Bethlehem. Accessed November 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Municipal Clerk / Registrar, Township of Bethlehem. Accessed November 15, 2019.
  7. ^ a b 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 103.
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Township of Bethlehem, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 4, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Bethlehem township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed November 13, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d Municipalities Sorted by 2011-2020 Legislative District, New Jersey Department of State. Accessed October 30, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Bethlehem township Archived 2018-03-16 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed November 13, 2012.
  12. ^ a b PEPANNRES - Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018 - 2018 Population Estimates for New Jersey municipalities, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 1, 2019.
  13. ^ a b GCT-PH1 Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - State -- County Subdivision from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 11, 2012.
  14. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Asbury, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed November 13, 2012.
  15. ^ [1], United States Postal Service Accessed December 13, 2018.
  16. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Clinton, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed November 13, 2012.
  17. ^ [2], United States Postal Service Accessed December 13, 2018.
  18. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Hampton, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed November 13, 2012.
  19. ^ Area Code Lookup - NPA NXX for Asbury, NJ, Area-Codes.com. Accessed January 1, 2015.
  20. ^ a b American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
  21. ^ Geographic Codes Lookup for New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed September 1, 2019.
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  23. ^ a b METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, December 2003, WITH CODES, United States Census Bureau, February 25, 2004. Accessed January 10, 2014.
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  30. ^ Map of County Municipalities, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Accessed November 15, 2019.
  31. ^ New Jersey Municipal Boundaries, New Jersey Department of Transportation. Accessed November 15, 2019.
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