by Robert Holt
MICKLETON — At their meeting on Feb. 25, the East Greenwich Township Committee authorized $4,250 in funding for a basin fence at Amherst Farms.
A six-foot wet basin lies below a hill between Amherst Farms on Quaker Road and Amherst Meadows on Democrat Road. There is a recreation area between the two properties, and fears have been expressed for the safety of young children.
A temporary orange fence has been put in place by the township, but the Amherst Farms Homeowners Association has requested a permanent one. “There could be almost six to seven feet of water there,” observed Mayor Dale Archer. “There is a serious safety concern here.”
Archer complained about the quality of some development work done in the community. “We continue to spend money fixing things that were not done correctly,” Archer stated. ”We have to draw the line and start fixing things.”
Discussion went along that line in the public portion of the meeting. Meg Cossaboon, Homeowners Association President at the Gatherings of East Greenwich, claims that builder Beazer Homes has not completed promised improvements in the community.
“We’ve been patient for four years now, and that’s too long,” declared Cossaboon.
Engineer Frank Morris said the township has been in coordination with Beazer. “We have to verify what has been done out there and make a decision,” commented Morris.
Morris has recently joined East Greenwich Township as community engineer. “He has an impressive resume and record in engineering,” noted Archer. “He will help us hold developers accountable.”
In resolutions, the Committee authorized the release of a cash bond on Fox Hunt Homes for street lighting. Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri assured that a letter from Atlantic City Electric had confirmed that the lighting was operational.
Also, the Committee approved the signing of a trash pickup contract with John Anthony Salon. Archer noted that the township’s public works manager recommended the move. The mayor said, “It can help out a small business in town along with gaining revenue.”
And the Committee discussed whether or not to continue paying medical benefits to local retirees after their coverage ended. East Greenwich has been reimbursing their retirees by $300 each quarter, according to Archer. “But based on our financial situation, we can no longer afford this luxury,” he mentioned.
Committeeman Tom Decker requested feedback from the affected retirees. No action was taken on the matter.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Committee appointed Gerald E. Hall as Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management. “Gerald Hall has volunteered to give back to the community,” lauded Archer. “There are a lot of great opportunities for grants and funding here.”
“His resume makes it clear that he cares about the town of East Greenwich,” added Bottiglieri.
Later, the Committee approved a resolution regarding temporary emergency budget appropriations. Bottiglieri gave an update on the community’s budget situation:
“We’ve had workshops that are open to the public, and we are open for public comments in the future,” he explained. “A budget gap that was left over from 2013 is $150,000, according to CFO Bob Law.”
“This Committee has a number of obstacles to overcome,” concluded Bottiglieri. “I ask for the public’s patience.”
“We have no money,” stated Archer.