The passive park created as a result of Blue Acres demolitions along a stretch of New Church Street will dedicated to a former councilman and Vietnam veteran.
City Council approved a resolution (AR-246-17) at its meeting on Monday night dedicating a passive park on New Church Street as Salvatore M. Mione Park. The governing body presented the resolution to Mione’s extended family and friends at the end of Monday night’s meeting. A dedication ceremony will take place in the spring.
The last new park dedicated by the city was Myron R. Ross Park on Essex Street, which was opened in 2009. The park is named after a 20-year-old Rahway Marine who was killed serving in the Vietnam conflict.
Mione died earlier this year at the age of 70. He lived in Rahway, on New Church Street, since 1973 and was a veteran of the Vietnam War, earning the rank of sergeant.
Mione served as an at-large member of City Council for 24 years, first elected in 1990 with the late Nancy Saliga and current Councilman James Baker, on a ticket headed by then-mayoral candidate James Kennedy. The quartet was re-elected together through 2006 when Kennedy didn’t seek re-election in 2010 when Mione and the other at-large slate were re-elected to a sixth four-year term together with Rick Proctor. He also was a longtime member of the Planning Board and served as chairman of the city’s Sept. 11 committee.
Mione entered the Army in February 1966 and was assigned to the 1st Air Calvary Division 7th Regiment in Vietnam, according to the resolution. After 12 months in combat, Mione returned home and was awarded the Air Medal for more than 25 combat aerial missions flying helicopters over enemy territory.
Mione’s father died at age 41 after surviving World War II and months in a Nazi prison camp, and his brother, Anthony, was killed in the Vietnam War, according to this Star-Ledger/nj.com story from 2012 about a POW/MIA ceremony.
As part of its Blue Acres program, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) acquired some two dozen flood-prone properties, including at least six properties so far along New Church Street, creating a wide expanse of open fields.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached two years ago, the state purchased and demolished the properties and the city agreed to maintain them as passive parkland. The property sales totaled about $5.85 million, with total tax assessments of more than $3 million and total property tax revenue of almost $200,000.