SWEDESBORO– — At their meeting on March 21, the Swedesboro Council introduced their 2016 municipal budget which calls for a tax increase.
Homes in Swedesboro that are assessed at the town’s average of just over $171,000 will see an increase of 3.6 cents per $100 of the home’s value. Mayor Tom Fromm called it a good budget, noting that the yearly increase would come to about $56 a residence.
Council also introduced a bond ordinance at the meeting that Fromm hoped would allow Swedesboro to permanently finance items that the town had been using bond anticipation notes to acquire. Fromm explained that the notes would be rolled into a permanent financing bond.
“We’ll get a better interest rate, and we’ll pay it off faster and cheaper,” commented the mayor. Some items to be included in the refinancing were improvements done at Lake Narraticon, work done to the roof of the municipal building, and repairs to a Woolwich Fire Company truck.
Woolwich Deputy Fire Chief Dave Valitchka suggested to Council that improvements to some of the local fire hydrants would make it easier to attach hoses and improve the fire company’s response times. Fromm noted that the town planned to upgrade two to three hydrants a year.
“We give money to the fire company in the budget every year,” said Fromm. “It’s up to them where they want to spend it.”
Valitchka noted that the fire company had added a new program to their iPads and computers that would prepare them for any situation. “It will point out all of the potential hazards in buildings,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive instead of reactive,” added firefighter Brian Slusar.
The firemen would also be checking abandoned properties in the area. They told Council that they would continue to support them, and planned to attend every meeting.
Elsewhere, Council tabled a resolution that would allow a person-to-person transfer of the liquor license of Swedesboro Liquors due to questions as to whether the license would remain active.
In Environmental news, Councilmember Sam Casella announced that the town’s kayaking events would be cut back to one because it was no longer cost effective. This year’s affair would be held on Aug. 6.
Casella noted that Environmental would be trying for more trail grants. In Parks and Recreation, Councilmember Joanna Gahrs reported that a Health Wellness and Safety Fair would be held at Kingsway High School on April 23, and Spring Fling was scheduled for April 30 at Locke Avenue Park.
Gahrs added that a program was under way that would place flags on poles of veteran Swedesboro residents that had died in battle.
“We’re starting with the five who died in Vietnam,” she explained. “We’re looking to get photos of the veterans.”
In his Library report, Councilmember Dave Flaherty mentioned that the Swedesboro Library was in the process of replacing three analog cameras with digitals.
And in Economic Development, Councilmember Diane Hale said that someone had reached out to her regarding opening a business in Swedesboro. Councilmember George Weeks will be updating the flowchart for opening a new business on the borough website.