SWEDESBORO– — Swedesboro CFO Elizabeth Pigliacelli gave the community some good news at their Council meeting on June 20. Pigliacelli told the Council that there were no findings in Swedesboro’s 2015 audit.
Annual audit reports are part of a community’s budgeting process. Pigliacelli certified Swedesboro’s audit in a resolution.
She mentioned that Swedesboro’s tax collection rate was 95 percent. Mayor Tom Fromm questioned how the town could get that figure even higher.
“The tax collector will be taking on a bigger role,” explained Pigliacelli. “The use of credit cards will also be going into effect soon.”
Fromm pointed out that the community was always “striving for 97 percent or higher.” Pigliacelli added that tax collections can affect a town’s credit rating, but 95 percent is still considered good.
After receiving questions on whether a taxpayer could charge their taxes and then declare bankruptcy, the CFO said that Swedesboro would still get paid. “Any problem would be between the taxpayer and their credit card company,” she responded.
In other resolutions, Council approved renewal of the liquor licenses for Botto’s and Tavro 13.
They also authorized the signing of a shared service agreement with Community Champions. Community Champions works with local communities to help with property registration compliance.
Another resolution saw Council approve filing a grant application for the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. SRTS is a statewide initiative aimed at creating safer and more accessible environments for K-8 students to travel to and from school.
“This year we had help from (engineering consultants) Federici and Akin and the school districts,” commented Fromm. We may even work with Woolwich and Director of Community Development Matt Blake.”
“We’re in a better place with the grant than we were last year,” added the mayor.
In fire company news, Woolwich Deputy Chief Dave Valichka reported that two members had recently graduated from the Gloucester County Fire Academy. “We now have 42 active members,” Valichka said.
As part of Public Safety, Councilmember George Weeks noted that he had spotted a sinkhole on Rte. 322 westbound just before the Wawa. “You can’t see it at night,” noted Weeks. “It rattles your teeth when you go over it.”
In Parks and Recreation, Councilmember Joanna Gahrs reported that Movie Night would be held at the Woolwich Township Municipal Building on July 20. Also, a bus trip to Radio City Music Hall was scheduled for Nov. 19.
For Economic Development, Councilmember Diane Hale reported that Coffee and Cream and the Swedesboro Liquor Store had recently opened in the community. She added that the Dancing in the Street program of June 15 had been hugely successful, and the next one was set for July 20.
In his Garbage and Recycling report, Weeks said that Swedesboro had collected two tons less in recycling through May than they had at the time last year, but monthly expenses over the similar period were down about $1,700.
Elsewhere, Council approved a Sweet 16 party for Jontay Talley at Lake Narraticon Park on July 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. They also authorized Tarah Logan’s second annual community block party at the Village at Spring Ridge on August 13.
–by Robert Holt