Carteret, NJ – On Saturday April 18, approximately 500 residents and 250 little league baseball and softball players converged on Carteret’s Civic Center Park for opening day, featuring a special rededication ceremony hosted by Mayor Reiman and the Borough Council. With family members present and a gathering of county and state officials, the park was rededicated to the late Freeholder David B. Crabiel, who passed away in December and was recognized as one of the county’s most dedicated public servant for over 25 years.
A year ago, Reiman joined with Freeholder Crabiel to re-open the park, which had undergone 18 months of reconstruction made possible by $3.2 million in grants and endowments. Much of this was owed to Crabiel, according to Reiman.
“Noteworthy public servants reserve a tireless concern for their jurisdiction,” Reiman commented, “and are directly involved in the evolution of local improvements. That was Crabiel. Many of the positive changes that have taken place here, both big and small, are owed either directly or indirectly to Freeholder Director David Crabiel. He was a strong presence in Carteret.”
David Crabiel (1931-2008) served as freeholder to Middlesex County for 25 years, 12 of them as Freeholder Director. Previously, he served as Councilman (8 years) and Mayor (11 years) to Milltown. Subsequent to his first election to the office as Freeholder of Middlesex, Crabiel served on a number of county boards and committees, including the Finance Committee and Middlesex County Improvement Authority, and as the Charter Chairman of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.
Throughout his 25 years as Freeholder, David Crabiel played a major role in financing a number of improvements in Carteret, particularly within its system of parks. Approximately $7 million in County Open Space funds were earmarked during his tenure, for parks improvements that also included John Street Soccer Park and Waterfront Park.
“Civic Center Park and a number of other park improvement projects simply would not have been possible without David Crabiel,” Reiman added. “He became a local icon through his involvement in these and so many other improvements that have had a direct effect on quality of life for Carteret residents.”
In 2008, Civic Center Park’s restoration represented the largest parks improvement project in Carteret since its Waterfront Park development, and is among $30 million in park improvements begun under the Reiman administration. The project was largely made possible through Crabiel’s Open endorsements, and over $2 million in State and County grants.
The park’s 3 baseball/softball fields were upgraded to feature low-maintenance turf, and new post/rail fencing, lighting, bleachers, and scoreboards. The improvement project introduced new passive recreational amenities, along with a variety of aesthetic enhancements, and the town’s first “dog park.” New restroom facilities have been added, along with additional landscaping and trash enclosures, and construction has been completed on additional parking, intended to service the park, its adjacent commuter bus stop, and the town’s future health and wellness Center, which has also received funding while Crabiel was in office.