MICKLETON– — During their meeting on March 22, the East Greenwich Township Committee scheduled an executive session where interviews would take place for their vacant chief of police position. The interviews would be conducted at the Committee meeting set for April 20.
Former East Greenwich Chief of Police Barry Jenkins retired at the end of 2015. He had been with the local force since 1991. Deputy Chief Chris Everwine and Sgt. Anthony Francesco have applied for the position, according to East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer.
In resolutions, the Committee authorized adopting emergency temporary budget appropriations for 2016. “This allows the township to continue to operate until we adopt a 2016 budget,” Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri explained.
The Committee also introduced an ordinance that adopted an amendment for the Rte. 295 corridor redevelopment area. Archer pointed out that the township wanted to get a Royal Farms convenience store to a vacant lot on Berkley and Cohawkin Road.
And a resolution was approved that allowed East Greenwich to enter into a local municipal group agreement with Econsult Solutions, Inc. Econsult provides economic consulting services for government entities, and does a lot of work in real estate.
Archer said the town was disputing its Council on Affordable Housing obligation with the state of New Jersey. According to Archer, the community has been providing fair housing for 300 people 55 and older, but was now expected to house over 600.
“If we build all of those units, there will be no room left in East Greenwich,” observed Bottiglieri.
Another resolution saw the Committee authorizing the payment of a $7,737.56 bill for emergency dugout repairs as a result of the June 23, 2015 storm damage. Committeeman Richard Schober noted that the money would be paid through the town’s insurance policy.
And the Committee agreed to advertise for seasonal Public Works help. Bottiglieri said it was standard for East Greenwich to get Public Works help for spring and summer projects.
In discussion items, the Committee agreed to put together a usage policy for the town’s parks and recreation facilities. “This opens up the park for other organizations, tournaments, events and other large functions, and it allows us to collect fees,” commented Schober. Public Works Manager Anthony Rossett suggested adding a $100 fee to the application for trash removal.
“We have a lot of organizations that play here, but East Greenwich tax money maintains the field,” added Archer. “We have a responsibility to come up with a usage policy.”
And the Committee agreed to add an addendum to its agreement with Omni Recycling from Pitman. Bottiglieri noted that the recycling market had contracted since 2015. “Omni won’t charge anything for collecting our recyclables, but we will see a smaller rebate based on the tonnage they collect from us.”
During the public portion of the meeting, Archer was asked for an update on the school underfunding for the community. Lack of school funding has been a sore spot for Archer and the Committee.
“We’re being shortchanged by over $6 million in state education aid,” mentioned the mayor. “Now we’re looking at over 700 new residents coming in for 2016-2017.”
“We get hit twice, with our grammar school and our high school,” he added. “Every other school that received under 50 percent in funding in New Jersey aside from East Greenwich and Kingsway has gone bankrupt.”
Archer said that he had been sending regular emails to Governor Chris Christie asking for an explanation about the lack of funding, but had yet to receive a response.