Woolwich hires auction company to handle TDR auction

woolwich plaque webBy Barbara Godshalk and Karen E. Viereck

WOOLWICH TWP. — At their Jan. 19 meeting, the Woolwich Township Committee named Warner Real Estate and Auction Company of Woodstown to handle the Transfer of Development Rights auction services.

The TDR auction, which allows property owners in areas designated by the township as sending districts, to sell the development rights or number of houses that could be built on their property, to the township so they can be sold to developers who will use those extra houses to increase the units they can build in designated receiving areas.

The auction will be held March 29. The TDR Program was begun by the township in an effort to keep open spaces and concentrate housing in designated areas, designed for concentrated housing. Community Development Director Matt Blake indicated there was a huge response from residents regarding the upcoming auction.

In other news, Locke Avenue Park Director Natalie Matthias presented a plan for a “Spring Fling” to be held April 30 at High Hill Park. The event would feature live music, food trucks, beer and wine and malt beverages.  The evening is intended as a fundraiser for Parks and Recreation and wristbands would be sold.

Matthias informed the committee that this was the first time the township would be doing this event. Parks and Recreation has received many requests to hold an event geared toward giving adults a chance to “enjoy an evening out.”  Committeewoman Jennifer Cavallaro called the proposal “very diligent and thoughtful” in the choice of location.

High Hill Park was selected because of the ability to control its access points. Parking would take place at Locke Avenue with an opportunity to partner with limo companies or other transportation providers. Further, the event would not significantly impact any sports events near the park.

Botto’s has been approached to provide alcohol although an agreement has not been finalized. Coolers would be banned from the event. Handouts detailing the potential costs and revenues were distributed to the committee members for their review and comment.

Committeeman John Carleton discussed a recent meeting held Jan. 13 detailing a three year strategic planning initiative by the Kingsway Regional School System. Several things, including “what makes Kingsway great” were discussed. Academic offerings, communication, recognition of student achievements, and “dragon pride” were also mentioned.

A March 9 meeting to develop an action plan based on ideas generated is planned.

Damon Suriani, of the South Jersey Warriors Baseball Organization, volunteered the committee man hours, suggestions, and money from his organization to assist Parks and Recreation in readying the township athletic fields for spring. His group has made similar donations to Logan Township fields.

Suriani had been running the concession stand with his wife since 2014, and installed much needed equipment.  Suriani said the township was “graceful in extending the agreement” to help defray costs. He requested the committee again extend his current lease agreement with a substantial increase in rent rather than open the contract for bids for 2016. No action was taken pending further discussion.

A resolution to ban all cell phone activity during public meetings was discussed. Cavallaro disagreed with the wording of the resolution, indicating that no provision was made for emergencies or violations. The committee agreed to use professional judgement. The resolution was tabled until better language could be found.

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