SWEDESBORO — Swedesboro Mayor Tom Fromm acknowledged that he’s had the conversation before, but at the community’s Council meeting on Sept. 16, he again asked local police for tighter enforcement of motor vehicle laws throughout the community.
“There’s an unbelievable issue in our town that we can’t get you to take seriously,” complained Fromm. “We want enforcement of the stop signs.”
Fromm was addressing Woolwich Township Police Lt. Joseph Morgan, who was attending his first Council meeting. Swedesboro has been plagued by the speeding of cars and large trucks, and vehicles going through stop signs for years, according to the mayor.
“I know you can’t be everywhere, but we really need to have enforcement stepped up,” Fromm insisted. “It’s been an issue with us for as long as I’ve been up here.”
Councilmember George Weeks asked Morgan what the police defined as a parking ticket.
“Pick a road and you’ll see parking violations anywhere,” noted Weeks. “People are parking on the wrong side of the road.”
Weeks was referencing the police department report for August, which listed one parking ticket as being issued in the community. Fromm even questioned whether the 104 motor vehicle tickets listed as issued were sufficient.
Weeks complained that a car pulling out onto Broad Street the previous week had almost hit him. Councilmember Sam Casella compared the traffic on Locke Avenue the Sunday before the meeting to a speedway.
Councilmember Patrick Wilbraham called it “frustrating” to see vehicles flying right through signs. “If they start getting tickets, the word will get out to others,” Wilbraham suggested. Councilmember Joanna Gahrs added, “If you catch them speeding, it’s not likely to be their first offense.”
Fromm said the Council had been considering putting fliers on vehicles that told drivers they must park with the flow of traffic. “The most unsafe situation is Railroad Avenue and Kings Highway,” Fromm commented. “When those vehicles pull out, they’re making a U-turn or pulling right out into traffic.”
The mayor expressed the belief that the biggest traffic offenders were not residents of the community, but still wanted to see tougher law enforcement even if the violators were local. “We’ve heard that you don’t want to upset our residents, but we’re doing this for the residents,” Fromm argued. “The violators are hurting other residents, who are complaining.”
Elsewhere in finance, Fromm reported that the Council was beginning to gather information on next year’s budget, and expressed confidence that the community was in good financial shape now.
In the library report, Fromm said that a light was going to be installed in the rear exit of the building. Councilmember Diane Hale announced that the library had received a $6,000 donation from the Greater Swedesboro Business Association to purchase new computers. She added the DARE program would be taking place in the schools this year.
Also, Gahrs praised Wilbraham for his efforts in the community’s recent Movie Night. “It was a beautiful evening, and the weather cooperated,” she said. “We learned some things, and we can fix some things before the next one,” noted Wilbraham.
In resolutions, the Council authorized Fromm to sign with consulting engineers Federici and Akin for inspection of the Swedesboro Auction site. “This is for the original auction building,” Fromm explained. “This is to start the process of getting the land rehabilitated, and learning the scope of the work involved.”
And Casella announced that the Historic Preservation Committee was denied a grant for 2013. “The grant is awarded on a point system, and there was no criteria listed,” Casella said. “We will try to get endorsements from our legislators when we apply next year.”