WOOLWICH– –At their meeting on Oct. 17, the Woolwich Township Committee passed a resolution that made an addition to the town’s full-time police force. Woolwich Township Police Department Patrolman Shane Stranahan was sworn in after serving as a SLEO II officer for three years.
Woolwich Mayor Alan Schwager swore in Stranahan. Township Police Chief Richard Jaramillo called Stranahan a welcome addition, saying, “He’s been doing nothing but hard work since he’s been here.”
During his police report, Schwager announced that the blue lines had been completed in the community. Many towns are painting blue lines between the yellow lane dividers in support of their police departments.
“Residents were really happy to hear about that,” Deputy Mayor Frank Rizzi said.
In other resolutions, the Committee authorized the bid of High Hill Trail parking lot improvements to Gerald Barrett, LLC. The bid for the 2016 Road Improvement Project went to Arawak Paving Company, Inc.
A contract renewal was accepted between Woolwich and Waste Management for the collection of solid waste and recycling materials for 2017.
A resolution for a public fireworks display for the Woolwich Christmas parade was also passed. Committeeman John Carleton noted that the township was likely to have a sponsor for the full cost of the fireworks. “It looks very promising,” he said.
In departments, Carleton reported that Kingsway might be facing a $1 million budget deficit for next year if school funding remains flat. He added that school funding information is available on Kingsway’s website.
Carleton also announced that the Christmas parade would be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 3.
For Public Works, Committeeman Jordan Schlump reported that the department had been completing crack repairs on local roadways, replacing stop signs that were fading, and continuing maintenance on local athletic fields.
In Fire, Rizzi listed 34 calls for service to the Woolwich Fire Department during September, and about 366 for the year so far. Rizzi added that a bus trip to Radio City Music Hall was scheduled for November.
Schwager also mentioned that the community had been overcharged by about 400 percent by Swedesboro for leasing of fire hydrants between 2011 and the present. The total of $32,400 was returned to Woolwich in a lump sum. Schwager says that Swedesboro wanted to charge Woolwich interest on the bills if they took the payment in credit.
“How can we be expected to pay interest on an overcharge?” commented Rizzi.
Regarding flooding issues that Woolwich has experienced on Russell Mill and Woodstown Roads, Rizzi maintained that township engineers had been out to inspect the road, and they reported it was not within specifications. “Public Works is constantly filling in sinkholes,” he noted.
The deputy mayor explained that heavy rains flow across Woodstown Road about 30 to 40 yards. Woolwich says it has no jurisdiction on Woodstown Road. “In the colder weather of wintertime, that rainfall leaves a lot more than puddles on the road,” Rizzi explained. “Cars are going by at 55 miles per hour, and it has become an unsafe road.”
“The County has never come out during one of the heavier rainstorms,” Rizzi added.
Gloucester County correspondence sent to the township in July 2016 has stated that the county has provided all of the assistance that it possibly can, stating that only a portion of Russell Mill Road is under county jurisdiction. That portion is between Davidson Road and Franklinville Road, which is a distance from the intersection.
Their correspondence also stated that the township’s potential planned project included extending drainage along Russell Mill Road and addresses private property drainage concerns that the county cannot participate in.
But Rizzi countered that Woodstown Road, the road that intersects with Russell Mill and Cloverdale, is a county road. The township has no jurisdiction on county roads.
“We are ready and prepared to fix or repair any needed fixes for Russell Mill/Cloverdale once the county acknowledges and resolves/repairs the county road in conjunction.”
— by Robert Holt