MICKLETON — At their meeting on June 12, the East Greenwich Township Committee introduced an ordinance that would appropriate $19,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund for the installation of solar crosswalk lights at three locations in the area.
The crosswalk lights will be installed at crosswalks on Democrat Road, Meadow Ridge Drive, and at Thompson Family Park.
Many township residents have expressed concerns about safety conditions for student walkers using these crosswalks and for people crossing at Thompson Family Park. East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer said the township would be completing the installations themselves.
“We had to speak to Gloucester County first and get authorization, and we have that,” Archer explained. “The lights should be installed in two weeks. Installation will come at no additional cost.”
Elsewhere, after a public hearing, the Committee adopted an ordinance reducing the speed limit on Friendship Road by five miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. Archer mentioned that the engineer had completed a traffic study, and recommended the reduction. He said additional signage would be added.
“Public Works Manager Anthony Rossett was all ready to go after the resolution,” Archer noted. “We want to get the word out to our residents as soon as we can.”
Another passed resolution allowed the Public Works Department to hire summer help. “We’ve had summer help for a few years now,” commented Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri. “It helps our township keep up with the work that comes up during the summer.”
One more resolution saw a retirement application approved for Police Sergeant Jeffrey S. Thompson. “He has been a pillar of our entire community, and has served with dignity and honor,” praised Archer.
In discussion items, East Greenwich Police Chief Chris Everwine talked about the department’s budget. “We are trying to keep our overtime at about $75,000 for the year,” Everwine explained. “There has been mandatory training that we haven’t had in the past, but there will be less of that in the summer.”
“Some overtime occurs with vacations and sick days,” he added. “I think keeping our overtime at $75,000 is an achievable goal, especially by using some of our new hires.”
“The new officers have to be trained,” pointed out Bottiglieri. “There is some overtime you can’t avoid.”
“We run this township just like a business, not like politicians,” commented Archer. “In most corporations, overtime is looked on as a negative rather than a positive. We are successful because we look for places to save money.”
One of those places was in police vehicles. The mayor mentioned that he had recently seen one of East Greenwich’s newer vehicles in operation recently. The community purchased eight cars over 2017-2018 at $20,000 apiece, saving about $18,000 on each, according to Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin.
Elsewhere, Archer said the pavement was done for the two new basketball courts in Thompson Park, and noted that the township newsletter had gone out the week before this meeting. “Committeeman Rick Schober championed that project, and has gotten good feedback,” he said. “We want to give as much information back to the township as possible.”
In school news, on June 1, the sixth grade band and the sixth grade Hornet Harmony ensembles from Samuel Mickle School each competed in the High Note Music Festival in Freehold. At High Note Festivals, bands are judged on how they play. Judging is based on the application of the skills and techniques they learned in school.
Both groups performed three selections, and scored between 90-97 out of a possible 100 points, considered a “Superior” rating.
by Robert Holt