WOOLWICH TWP. — At their meeting on Feb. 17, the Woolwich Township Committee approved a refunding bond ordinance.
The ordinance states that this will provide for the refunding of certain outstanding general obligation bonds of the township dating back to 2006. The ordinance also states that due to the current tax-exempt interest rate environment this will provide debt service savings for taxpayers.
Woolwich Chief Financial Officer William Pine explained that the bond refund is similar to refinancing a mortgage. “Our estimates indicate that a refunding bond could get coupon rates as low as 2 percent, compared to the 4 percent that we are paying now. With these lower rates we would save an average of $20,000 per year over the next 11 years,” Pine said.
“Municipal bonds are a commodity and are openly traded like any other bond. We would be paying back the current owners of the existing bonds with the proceeds from the refunding bonds,” Pine added.
In resolutions, the Committee approved a resolution to support, recognize, and honor the service of law enforcement officers. Woolwich Mayor Sam Maccarone noted that due to the current environment in which police officers have been portrayed in the press, this is the township’s way of honoring the men and women who serve and protect the citizens of Woolwich and surrounding communities.
During committee reports, Committeeman Frank Rizzi noted that due to property reassessments in 2014, the township has seen an increase in approximately 10 million dollars of real property. Real property includes existing land, buildings, and rights and interests.
This increase amounts to about $50,000 of additional money for the township’s general fund, and close to $150,000 for the school district. Rizzi noted that this increase was not due to any tax increases, but that it was simply reassessments of existing properties.
In his report, Rizzi also noted that the township has received several calls regarding the January issue of the New Town Press in which an ordinance to exceed the municipal budget appropriation limits was reported. The Committee noted that this is an ordinance that is passed every year during budget planning, and that residents are encouraged to contact the township with any additional questions.
Committeewoman Jennifer Cavallaro reported that the Parks and Recreation Committee is well underway with planning new and exciting events for the upcoming calendar year. Cavallaro noted that on Feb. 7 an American Girl Doll bus trip to New York City was well attended.
She also said that there are three father-daughter dances planned for March, each dance comprising a different age group. There will be a lot of line dancing and fun activities, and tickets can be purchased on the township website. The event is open to residents of Swedesboro and Woolwich only.
Cavallaro also reported that she would be attending a meeting in February for key communicators within the Swedesboro-Woolwich School District. “Hot topics, like facilities management and long range planning for building options will be discussed,” Cavallaro said. She added that the goal of the meeting is to gather all those considered “key communicators” in the district to investigate questions and start conversations about the future.
Committeeman Jonathan Fein reported various statistics from the Department of Public Works. As of Feb. 15, Public Works had used 291 tons of salt for five salt events.
He added that due to the winter weather, a fair number of potholes had developed on township roads. Fein said that the Township had responded quickly to many of these potholes, already using 1,000 pounds of coal patch to temporarily fill the holes until weather allows for permanent repairs to be made.
Matt Blake, Director of Community Development, reported that he has reached out to Steve Wolfson of the Wolfson-Verrichia Group, regarding the development of the commercial complex on Kings Highway and Route 322. Blake said that Wolfson has no objection to naming the center “Kings Landing at Woolwich.” Blake recommends the Township Committee endorse the name as a next step in the process.
Blake also reported that he recently participated in a conference call with EPA officials regarding a Superfund project located at the Matlack Inc. property on Route 322. The site is a former truck terminal that included truck maintenance and washing into an unlined lagoon.
Blake reported that the EPA is still in the very early stages of their remedial investigation, and that luckily the affected area is limited to only several acres at most. “This is not a big spill, or an extraordinary spill. There are hundreds of these small spills up and down New Jersey,” Blake said.