By Robert Holt
Sworn in at the meeting by Mayor Dale Archer were Patrolman Joseph Devlin, Patrolman Joseph Marchei, and Patrolman Tashon Wright.
The East Greenwich Police Department had seen their numbers diminish due to community budget cuts in 2013. “We are actually getting back on our feet in East Greenwich,” commented Archer. “We built a foundation last year, and are continuing to rebuild.”
Police Chief Barry Jenkins noted that the three officers would be a big asset to East Greenwich, and noted that Marchei brings 25 years of experience to the community.
The East Greenwich Police Department has added four Class II Special Officers to be employed by the school, and two more to help on the streets, according to Archer.
“Be safe out there,” the mayor reminded the officers. “Protect the residents, but protect yourselves.”
Elsewhere, the issues between Gatherings at East Greenwich developer Beazer Homes and the Homeowners Association remain unsettled. During the public portion of the meeting, Gatherings trustee Frank Cossaboon said the recent weather had been perfect, but no work is being completed.
“There are plenty of bonded issues to be done, and there is no work underway by Beazer,” Cossaboon argued.
Archer described the Committee as “committed to getting the punch list completed.” “There will be no bond released until it is done.”
But Archer added that Beazer is asking the right questions, and is requesting electronic documents regarding the work to be done.
In resolutions, the Committee authorized the issuance and sale of a tax anticipation note. Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri pointed out that the move was necessary to pay community bills in July. Archer clarified that it is a big bill regarding the school tax.
Also, the Committee approved rebidding for the improvements being made to Swedesboro Road. “We’ve decided to get a better price,” explained Archer. “We are already receiving a $175,000 grant from the Department of Transportation.”
And the Committee discussed the merits of a proposed shared services agreement with Gloucester County regarding the maintenance of abandoned properties. Solicitor Mark Shoemaker maintained that East Greenwich came up with their own abandoned property policy last year, while Gloucester County adopted theirs afterward.
“For the most part, our ordinance matches the county’s,” Shoemaker observed. “My concern is how it’s going to work locally. I don’t know who’s going to receive the registration fee.”
In Public Property, Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin reported that there had been 172 new permits issued in East Greenwich since January. And Bottiglieri noted that the shared services with the Woodbury Courts were proceeding very well.
Archer took note of a shared service that hadn’t gone well for the community. Concerning the trash collection which is shared it with Wenonah, the mayor said that two trucks broke down the week before, costing the township $10,000 in repairs. “This is another classic example of why we entered into a shared service agreement with Logan Township,” he mentioned.
And Archer offered his thoughts about state cuts in funding for the school system. “We are asking to be underfunded fairly,” the mayor commented. “This committee will be writing a letter to legislators and to the governor regarding fairness in the funding.”