WOOLWICH TWP. — Woolwich Township received encouraging news on its financial state during its Committee meeting on May 15. In his finance report, Deputy Mayor Frank Rizzi announced that Woolwich has refinanced a series of capital improvement bonds that can save the community $60,000 a year.
Saying it was big, Mayor Alan Schwager added, “We could save $1.2 million over 20 years.”
Rizzi reminded those in attendance that Woolwich had already adopted its 2017 municipal budget at its May 1 meeting that called for no tax increases. The 2016 audit is expected to be complete by mid to late June, according to Rizzi.
In his fire report, Rizzi listed 55 calls for service by the Woolwich Fire Company in April. For Parks and Recreation, Rizzi reported that the May 6 Fun Day was successful and well-attended.
For Environmental, Committeeman Dan Battisti mentioned that the community’s grand opening of a nature trail and new parking area at 289 High Hill Road had taken place on April 29. Battisti reported that about 30 people had stayed around for an hour-long hike, led by Director of Community Development Matt Blake.
Battisti said he heard comments from many in attendance that they were happy with the direction the town is going. Construction of the parking area was partially funded through a $24,000 grant Woolwich had received from the New Jersey Recreational Trails Program in 2016.
Blake noted that the town’s Complete Streets Program is being updated. Complete Streets is designed to allow safe access for all pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders.
In other news, Committeeman John Carleton reported that this year’s Shop Local Program would be sponsored by Spirit Chrysler Dodge of Swedesboro. In zoning, Schwager listed 41 permits as being issued by the township in April, four more than at this time in 2016. He also listed 192 foreclosed homes found in Woolwich Township.
During his police report, Schwager noted that the local force now has a bike patrol underway. Also, he mentioned that Patrolman Shane Stranahan received a Life Saving Award for talking a woman out of suicide.
Elsewhere, the Committee passed an ordinance that would create a four-way stop intersection at Licciardello and Nocentino Drives. The ordinance was adopted on its second reading after a public hearing.
In resolutions, the Committee approved appointing an Emergency Management Coordinator for the community and also authorized the hiring of summer help for the Department of Public Works.
The Committee also approved allowing them to make appointments to Swedesboro/Woolwich Parks and Recreation.
Committeeman Jordan Schlump expressed concerns about people leaving the department, asking what has changed in Parks and Rec.
Rizzi responded that people’s lives have changed. “They’re volunteers. They’re not required to put in time,” he observed. “Some people have gotten new jobs.”
“What’s wrong?” he added. “There’s nothing wrong.”
by Robert Holt