City Government: Lambertville is the only city in Hunterdon County and is governed by the Faulkner Act (Small Municipality) form of government. The government consists of a mayor and a four-member City Council, with at large, partisan elections. The mayor serves a four-year term. Council members serve three-year terms, which are staggered so that one or two seats come up for election each year. For more information visit www.lambertvillenj.org or call the city clerk’s office at 609-397-0110.
The 2010 United States Census counted 3,906 people living in town. There were 3,566 white people, 76 African-Americans, eight Native Americans, 51 Asians, 161 from other races, and 44 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race totaled 381.
Taxes: The average home is assessed at $356,481 and the average real estate tax bill is $6,590.
Parking. Visitors are encouraged to use long term public parking lots, including the Wachovia Bank parking lot located at the corner of Union and Bridge Streets; the lot on North Union Street approximately one block up from Bridge Street; the lot on South Union Street at the new Justice Center; and the Public Library lot on South Main Street.
Residents are known to scramble for on-street unmetered parking spaces. A recent ad on the city website lists a monthly space at the Justice Center available for lease for $45 per month.
Tours: From the Historical Society at 60 Bridge Street, 609-397-0770 and online www.lambertvillehistoricalsociety.org.
Sunday, September 2, at 2 p.m. A 90-minute walking tour is guided by experienced volunteers. $5 per person, no reservations are needed. Also Sunday, October 7.
The 30th annual Lambertville Historical Society house tour Sunday, October 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. See vintage homes and learn about restoration and preservation.
Notes the Historical Society: “The view of Lambertville has changed little over the last 100 years. Nestled on the east bank of the Delaware River, its tree-lined streets, Victorian houses and Federal row homes and the graceful lines of its church spires continue to greet the eye as they did in the 1800s.
“Today the mill whistles are quiet, the railroad all but gone, and the canal now a part of New Jersey’s longest park. The historic homes and restored public buildings remain in which visitors now find a variety of inviting shops, including art galleries, antique stores, unique crafts and specialties, bed and breakfasts, inns, and restaurants.”
The Schools: The Lambertville School District consists of a single elementary school, one of which the district is quite proud: “Lambertville Public School educates students in grades K-6. In addition, our school houses a disabled pre-school program. As a small school with just over 200 students, we pride ourselves in providing a high quality, well-rounded education to all students.”
The schools readily catch the interest of potential homebuyers. Teachers at the elementary school tend to stay for long terms, getting to know just about every family with children in the school.
The school is in the news now because of a proposal to form just a single K-12 school district. The city, Stockton Borough, and West Amwell Township have agreed to have a referendum on the November ballot. Under the existing system, the three municipalities have their own elementary schools. The pupils then go on to middle school at South Hunterdon. The high school, located in West Amwell, is viewed as a double-edged sword. Its high cost has resulted in calls for reforms. On the other hand, its small class size and wide range of course offerings are hailed by many, especially the families of college-bound students.
For years taxpayers have been complaining about the high per-pupil cost at the high school level. At one point it was nearly $25,000, one of the highest in the state. For the current year the cost is estimated to be under $20,000. The high cost is due partly to its relatively low enrollment of about 400 in middle and high school combined. Its proponents have considered the high school a gem because of its high teacher-to-student ratio and its academic programs.
In a recent ranking of the state’s 328 high schools by New Jersey Monthly South Hunterdon placed 21st, well ahead of the wealthier neighboring districts of Hunterdon Central and Hopewell Valley and ahead of both West Windsor-Plainsboro high schools and Princeton and Montgomery.
Nancy Gartenberg, who was superintendent of South Hunterdon until last month, declined to be too excited about such ratings. “I will say that South Hunterdon is a special place and that the rating shows that everyone worked very hard during my five years there. I’m happy to say we had a 100 percent graduation rate last year,” said Gartenberg.