Swedesboro Discusses Local Hazard Mitigation Plans

swedesboro logoby Robert Holt

SWEDESBORO — During their meeting on Nov. 17, the Swedesboro Council heard a presentation regarding potential weather hazards to their community. Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Voight gave the Hazard Mitigation Plan information for Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties.

“This plan is in place so we can receive funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the event of a natural disaster,” Voight explained. FEMA requires hazard mitigation plans to be updated over a five-year cycle for communities to remain eligible for project grants.

FEMA approved the Gloucester County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2010, and accepted plans for Camden, Cumberland, and Salem Counties in 2011. The four counties are looking to update their hazard mitigation plans by April 2015.

Voight identified critical stations of Swedesboro as the pump station, the Woolwich Township firehouse, the Public Works building, and the Municipal building. “This plan is for predictable hazards,” Voight said. “These stations are critical to the operation of the town.”

Hazard mitigation plans include improving public awareness about hazard risk and mitigation, updating codes and regulations to improve structures, and projects that will reduce the effects of hazards. Voight pointed out that the public and other interested parties within the four counties are being encouraged to participate in the project by the Office of Emergency Management.

In other departments, Woolwich Township Police Lieutenant Sheldon Lewis commented that he was impressed with the lighting at Swedesboro’s crosswalks. “It’s very helpful when you come into town and see the lights flashing,” Lewis observed.

But Swedesboro Mayor Tom Fromm still saw problems. “A lot of people are stopping at the crosswalks, but other cars are blowing right through,” stated the mayor. “I’d like you to ask the force to be vigilant, because this is a zero tolerance issue.”

Fromm said he noticed a lot more police presence in the area lately. “These guys are trying hard,” he mentioned.

“A lot more people are being stopped,” added Councilmember Joanna Gahrs.

Gahrs also noted that conversations had been taking place about the Woolwich Christmas parade. And Fromm said the town was preparing to reinstall the ice skating rink that debuted last year.

Elsewhere, in resolutions, Council passed a shared service agreement with the Gloucester County Improvement Authority for use of a deicing facility. “This was run past the solicitor and he had no problem with it,” Fromm commented.

Council also approved a maintenance bond from G. Helmer Construction, Inc. regarding work on Wells 3, 4, and 5, along with a change order that decreased the amount by $425.

And after a public hearing, Council passed an ordinance that reduced the fee for a sign permit from $200 to $35.

In Finance, Fromm reported that departments were trying to get all of their information in for the town’s 2015 budget as early as possible.

Also, Councilmember Patrick Wilbraham reminded Council of the upcoming meeting for the Woolwich and Swedesboro Open Space and Recreation Plan on Dec. 10 at the Woolwich Municipal Building. “They’re urging people to come out,” noted Wilbraham.

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July 18, 2024, 5:13 pm
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