Millstone officials will seek grant from Monmouth County for cultural center

MILLSTONE – Officials in Millstone Township are seeking $250,000 from Monmouth County to cover half the cost of a project that would transform a historic property into a cultural resource.

On July 17, Township Committee members authorized the submission of an application to the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Grant program. They are requesting a $250,000 grant to fund the third phase of work at the Clarksburg Cultural Center (formerly the Clarksburg Methodist Episcopal Church), Stagecoach Road. The total cost of the project to transform the property into a cultural resource is $500,000, according to the resolution.

The Clarksburg Cultural Center, in the Clarksburg section of Millstone Township, is comprised of the site of the former church at 512 Stagecoach Road and a half-acre parcel at 510 Stagecoach Road.

Both properties are owned by Millstone Township and were combined to form the Clarksburg Cultural Center. The former church was renamed because it no longer functions as a house of worship.

The Clarksburg Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1844 and is the second oldest Methodist church building in Monmouth County. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building was purchased by municipal officials in the late 1990s and has been used as a location for municipal events and programs.

Restoration work on the historic building was completed in 2017 after structural issues surfaced and activities at the site were temporarily suspended. Millstone Township previously received $250,000 from Monmouth County which was used to restore the building.

After the building was restored, municipal officials purchased 510 Stagecoach Road in 2018 to become part of the Clarksburg Cultural Center. Once that half-acre parcel is developed it will provide amenities such as bathrooms that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, parking spaces and/or a bicycle rest stop.

Deputy Mayor Nancy Grbelja and committeemen Michael Kuczinski and Gary Dorfman voted to submit the application to the county. Mayor Fiore Masci and Committeeman Al Ferro were absent from the meeting.