MICKLETON– — At their meeting on June 14, the East Greenwich Township Committee heard from residents of the Gatherings regarding uncompleted work from developer Beazer Homes at the age 55-plus communities.
Homeowners Association President Meg Cossaboon and other residents of the Gatherings have been attending Committee meetings for many months regarding the matter.
The Gatherings, located in Clarksboro, has been dealing with major drainage issues and other problems at various locations. During the public portion of the meeting, Cossaboon said there were 125 items on a four-page punch list for the developer.
“Yet we’ve had five days worth of work done,” claims Cossaboon. “We’ve been asked to be patient by Beazer. How patient do we have to be?” Cossaboon argued that the engineer in charge needed to get on some kind of schedule.
In 2015, the Committee sent a 30-day notice letter to the bonding company for Beazer Homes due to the unfinished work. East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer said he understood the position of those at The Gatherings, but indicated that there was little that the Committee could do.
“Engineers are being responsive and answering emails,” explained Archer. “There’s enough money in that bond to complete the projects.” But the mayor added, “We’re not releasing the bond until they do.”
Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin suggested that the developer’s engineer attend a July meeting and explain their position. Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri suggested that Solicitor Mark Shoemaker send Beazer another letter informing them their work was unacceptable.
Gatherings Board of Trustees member Frank Cossaboon mentioned that standing water from poor drainage ices over in the winter, and a woman fell down last year.
Archer said regarding Beazer, “The only comforting thought is that we have their money.”
In resolutions, the Committee granted renewals of alcoholic beverage licenses to the Mount Royal Inn and to EG Whiskey Mill. They also authorized the hiring of a seasonal Public Works employee.
Under new business, the Committee accepted the resignations of East Greenwich Township Chief of Police Christopher Everwine and Judy Rosenberger as members of the combined Planning/Zoning Board. Archer pointed out that Everwine had taken on more responsibility since his recent promotion, and would be replaced on the Board by Sgt. William Crothers.
Elsewhere, Committeeman Richard Schober reminded the Committee that this year’s East Greenwich Township Day Parade was scheduled Committee for Sept. 10.
Later the Committee approved letters of intent from Mantua Township and Woodbury for the purchase of recycling trucks.
The Woodbury purchase also allowed East Greenwich the use of a street sweeper as part of the towns’ shared service agreement. Committeeman Bottiglieri mentioned that the Township would be reviewing its shared service agreement with Woodbury at the end of the summer.
Bottiglieri reported that East Greenwich was looking to change its health care plan. The Committeeman felt that the township should balance the health care needs of their employees without burdening the taxpayers.
“Coverage promised by our New Jersey health care plan Direct 10 was not provided,” Bottiglieri noted. “And I’m being polite.”
In his police report, Everwine listed 1,282 calls for service in April answered by his department, along with 43 adult arrests and 205 traffic summonses issued. For May, the Chief of Police reported 1,389 calls for service, 30 adult arrests and 314 traffic summonses.
Everwine also spoke about the East Greenwich Police Department’s 2016 Helmet Safety Awareness program that would be taking place in the area this summer in partnership with Heritage’s.
This summer, children ages 17 and under who are seen bicycling, skateboarding, skating or riding a scooter and using a safety helmet, will be eligible for a “Helmet Safety Citation” from an East Greenwich Police Officer. The citation would be good for one free small fountain drink at the Kings Highway Heritage’s in Clarksboro.
“Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries and at least 10,000 kids have injuries that require a few days in the hospital,” pointed out Everwine. “Some of these injuries are so serious that children die, usually from head injuries.
“That’s why it’s so important to wear a bike or safety helmet when riding,” he added. “Wearing one doesn’t mean you can be reckless, but a helmet will provide some protection for your face, head, and brain in case you fall.”
— by Robert Holt