The property is just off of Kings Highway along the creek, near Fran Convery’s Auto Body Shop. The location will add to Swedesboro’s Open Space and become a waterway for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching.
In late 2016 Swedesboro learned of the Frank H. Stewart Trust grant, a grant to assist municipalities in purchasing property for public parks, recreation, or preservation. Swedesboro taxpayers will not be affected, as Mayor Fromm made clear, “A great team effort resulted in us being awarded a grant that ultimately covered the purchase of the property.”
Fromm hopes to have the property cleaned up for residents by spring 2017. In the meantime, the fire department will be utilizing the space for training purposes. The dilapidated building on site will then be torn down, and the clearing by Raccoon Creek will be ready for the community.
“We are extremely grateful for this generous grant,” Fromm added. “I have to thank the Borough staff, especially Lois Elder, for shepherding this to completion.”
“It wasn’t easy,” the major joked, “but as always, something as worthwhile as this land acquisition is worth the extra effort – and the Swedesboro team pulled it off.”
In Public Safety and Public Works news, the roundabout along Auburn Road and High Hill scheduled for Swedesboro/Woolwich will begin construction at the end of March. It will be similar to the existing Swedesboro roundabout. With preparations underway, detour plans and signs will be discussed in future meetings with the mayor.
Councilmember Alice O’Blennis reviewed highlights of the Kingsway Regional Board of Education Meeting which took place on Jan. 26. Among the topics discussed the most important was Kingsway’s efforts for fair funding.
The Swedesboro council passed a resolution to support Kingsway in fighting for fair funding and the Fair Funding Action Committee. The Kingsway School District has posted a petition to their website, and urges the community to write letters to senators.
“We will start losing major resources from our schools if things don’t change soon,” O’Blennis said. Swedesboro took a stand in support of the plan for Kingsway.
In other news, it was announced that the Gloucester County Clean Communities is looking for non-profit volunteer groups for their county wide cleanup event on Saturday April 22. The program is designed to help organizations earn money through a mini-grant system funded by the county.
Groups will be split up by county and will clean major parks, lakes, and roadways throughout the district. The groups need to have at least 10 volunteers with no cost to sign up. Trash collecting materials such as grabbers, safety vests, and bags will be provided.
Groups of children are also encouraged to participate; one adult for every five children is required, and children will not be cleaning major highways.
All groups are eligible upon submission of an application, and is on a first come first serve basis. The deadline for registration is April 7. Contact Borough Hall or Councilmember Diane Hale for more information about the application process.
Economic Development is planning a Food Truck event that would happen throughout the summer. Food Truck Thursday would be held every Thursday from May to August in town.
Hale is still working to find food trucks and a set schedule for the event. South Jersey Tourism informed Hale that they will partner with Swedesboro in promotions.
The Swedesboro Jazz Nights began in February, with a change in hours. They are now Saturday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. Over 80 tickets have already been sold for the upcoming event.
In parks and recreation news, March 11 will be the Swedesboro Father Daughter Dance at Governor Stratton School. The Easter Egg Hunt will be on Saturday, April 8 at Harker School in Woolwich.
The Health and Wellness Fair will be April 22, and Swedesboro’s Annual Fun Day will be on May 6, at Locke Avenue Park.
by Jessica Zappasodi