MICKLETON- At their meeting on Jan. 13, the East Greenwich Township Committee honored its Green Team and Environmental Commission with a proclamation for becoming a certified Sustainable Jersey community. East Greenwich was able to achieve Sustainable Jersey’s Bronze status, one of only two towns in Gloucester County to do so.
East Greenwich had to create a Green Team to become certified in the program. Only 142 out of 417 towns registered with Sustainable Jersey have reached the Bronze level. “It was obviously a lot of manpower and a lot of hours to get this accomplished,” said Deputy Mayor James Philbin. “This is something that is very beneficial to the people of East Greenwich Township.”
Mayor Dale Archer added that the members involved in the project should be very proud of their actions. “This is a direct reflection of their dedication to the Township,” Archer praised. “There are so many benefits that are going to come along with this.”
East Greenwich reached 150 action points for Sustainable Jersey, and completed three of its priority sustainability options. Those were diversity on boards and commissions, sustainable land use pledge, and energy tracking and management.
In resolutions, the Committee awarded the bid for 2015 vehicle maintenance and repairs to Riehl’s Towing & Maintenance, and they authorized submission of a corrective action plan for the town’s 2013 audit. Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri said the 5-year capital plan would be updated in 2015, and departments would receive monthly updates of the budget ledger.
The Committee also approved the submission of a plan for a Municipal Alliance grant. “This grant has been used for activities that take place in the community, such as the parade,” explained Archer.
The mayor observed that in another cost-cutting move, the township engineer would be writing East Greenwich’s grant proposals in 2015. According to Archer, the community had been paying the grant writer $2,500 annually in recent years.
He also pointed out that the township’s technology contract would be expiring soon, and East Greenwich was looking to revamp its website.
And Archer reported that Excel Hydraulics had moved into town, and were looking to expand their facility and add more jobs. “Overall, they are making an investment into the community, commented Archer. “That doesn’t happen very often.”
Elsewhere, Committeeman Robert Tice, who just joined the Committee in 2015, said a Senior Services event was being discussed for February. And in shared services, Bottiglieri reported that the Woodbury courts would be dissolving and joining East Greenwich on Feb. 9.
Archer stressed that the merger was a great revenue opportunity for East Greenwich, and expected an additional $60,000 to $80,000 in the first year alone.
“More importantly, we have built a foundation for other surrounding towns to join our courts,” noted Archer.
East Greenwich has also created a shared service agreement with Paulsboro involving its Construction Department inspectors.
Bottiglieri added that he was interviewing judges for the February merger. “We need to set up meetings about the 2015 budget,” he said.
Archer acknowledged the town’s continuing financial difficulties. “We didn’t pay our mortgage last year,” he stated. “And there were people who sat in these seats for years who had no clue what they were doing and made bad business decisions.”
“We made a lot of tough decisions last year, and we’re faced with a lot more this year,” added the mayor.