Petty’s Run agreement reached

TRENTON – Petty’s Run is staying put.

The state and Mercer County have announced a cost-sharing agreement to preserve and restore the Petty’s run archeological site adjacent to the Statehouse.

In addition, the partnership will create a historical interpretive center at the site, the Department of Environmental Protection stated today.

The agreement calls for the State to contribute $800,000 to create and maintain an interpretive site, inclusive of $500,000 for design and construction, plus an estimated $300,000 for maintenance and upkeep over a 10-year period.

Mercer County will contribute $800,000 to support design and construction – a contribution soon to be formalized by the Mercer County Freeholders, the DEP reported in a release. Any cost overruns for design and construction will be shared equally between the State and Mercer County.

The proposal was scheduled to be presented to the State Capital Joint Management Commission, which oversees the Statehouse complex, at its meeting this morning.

“Preservation of this dig site, where artifacts of Trenton’s pre-Revolutionary industrial ingenuity have been unearthed, will be achieved because we’ve been able to come up with a creative and cooperative solution,” said County Executive Brian Hughes. “Trenton is steeped in history and whenever possible, we should do everything in our power to maintain its historic integrity. The preservation of Petty’s Run is a win for the people of Mercer County and all of New Jersey.”

The Petty’s Run site is unstable and unsafe in its current condition, DEP stated. The DEP had planned to close and properly preserve the site, a proposal that was approved last December by the Joint Management Commission. The original plan to develop and maintain the site was deemed too costly last year for the DEP, especially as it sought to keep open all of its parks, natural areas and existing historic sites during a state fiscal crisis, DEP stated.

Preserving the site has been a goal of local and state historical activists.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, (D-15), Trenton, one of the champions of preserving Petty’s Run, praised the agreement today.

“It should have never faced the prospect of being reburied, but thankfully everyone came together behind Brian Hughes and decided upon a new approach that will save, respect and promote it, while allowing for future expansion and improvement,” she said. “That was my goal throughout this process, which is why I’m so pleased to see this resolved. Again, I thank the county executive.”

Previous coverage:

Petty’s Run supporters work to keep dig site from being covered over

Petty’s Run agreement reached