After months of searching for a new downtown office for one of Middlesex County’s busiest and overcrowded social service programs _ food stamps — county officials are about to approve a lease on the former site of Harry Strauss & Sons, 277 George St.
Freeholder Charles F. Williams, chairman of the county’s department of education and welfare, said a special welfare board meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday to approve the lease
The county welfare board will pay $1,000 a month, plus taxes and utilities on the 12,000-square-foot building, Williams said. About a third of the first floor and all of
the basement is to be sublet to the county purchasing department for storage space
The freeholder said the structure meets city fire and building code regulations and could be prepared for county use “with a minimum of expenditures — maybe some partitions and extra lavatories.” The building also comes with 60 “sorely needed” parking spaces.
“It’s a good location, near mass transportation, with parking and frees up commercial space downtown,” Williams said. The welfare board eyed another downtown storefront for a food stamp office but that was opposed by local businessmen and code enforcement officers.
Also at Monday’s special meeting, the boabd is expected to approve' a resolution authorizing fire-safety repairs and improvements at the county’s Hospital for Chronically Ill in North Brunswick.
Williams said the renovations should cost between $5,000 and $10,000 and include a fire-annunciator panel and replacement of some fire walls and doors,
“We’re just upgrading the place to conform with a new state fire code,” the freeholder explained.