WOOLWICH TWP. — A new business about to open in Woolwich Township will be keeping its support systems local. At their meeting on June 18, the Woolwich Township Committee learned that the upcoming Independent Spirits Distillery sources its ingredients from local farmers.
Director of Community Development Matt Blake explained that husband and wife team Kerry and Morten Thomsen will be doing their distilling on their own farm. The couple bought 10 acres of farmland and plan to grow their own grains to produce whiskey, vodka and gin.
The Thomsens say on their website that they reduce, reuse and recycle at every opportunity, and the mash from the grains is given back to local farmers for animal feed.
Blake mentioned that Independent Spirits may have a soft opening in August due to summer vacations, and then officially open in September. Independent Spirits Distillery is located at 131 Davidson Road in Woolwich Township.
Elsewhere, in resolutions, the Committee authorized the renewal of liquor licenses to Center Square Tavern LLC, Earl C Rode Jr. Inc., and Swedesboro, Inc. They also approved the hiring of a seasonal employee for summer help with Public Works.
The Committee tabled a resolution to authorize Renwick & Associates to conduct an appraisal on the abandoned Nike Base property for $6,500 in an effort to find less expensive quotes. “We want to see what the property is worth, so we can move forward and do what’s right with it,” commented Mayor Jordan Schlump. Solicitor Mark Shoemaker added, “The appraiser will determine how much remediation will be needed.”
The Committee also authorized the awarding of $45,200 to Pioneer Pipe Contractors for emergency repair to Oliphant Mill Road.
In liaison news, Committeeman Dan Battisti reported that meetings were being held with Kingsway Regional High School and the Swedesboro/Woolwich School District about adding School Resource Officers. Battisti also listed 301 cases seen by the Municipal Court during May.
For Buildings and Grounds, Committeeman Vernon Marino noted that gates had been repaired at the police department, and light bulbs had been replaced around the area. Marino said the recent Fun Day was well attended and has received good feedback, and the CFO was still tallying up revenue. Marino added that a Crab Fest bus trip scheduled for Aug. 2 may have to be cancelled.
In Shade Tree, Committeewoman Gina Santore reported that the Commission was reviewing a Shade Tree ordinance it had just received. In Trash and Recycling, Santore mentioned that contracts of one year with extensions and five year deals were being considered for the department. The Committee was expected to determine whether either contract presented an advantage to the community.
Deputy Mayor John Carleton reported that the Business Development Advisory Committee was still looking into rolling out a Spotlight of the Month campaign for local businesses. David and Sons Meats was being considered for the first spotlight.
In fire, the Woolwich Fire Company received 49 calls for service during May, thankfully none of them being problematic, according to Carleton. He observed that the firefighters had been doing a lot of training, such as searching to see if a person was trapped in a burning home. Carleton added that the fire company was trying to get an Assistant Firefighter’s Grant, worth $38,500.
Schlump listed eight permits for homes being issued in May. In TDR news, Schlump said Woolwich would be doing a five-year review of the process as mandated by New Jersey.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Committee honored one of their own, 19-year old Woolwich resident Jaime Gialloreto, who had just been crowned Miss New Jersey 2019. The Committee wished Gialloreto the best as she carried out her duties in a proclamation read by Carleton.
Gialloreto will be promoting her platform, “Don’t Get Nutty: Food Allergy Awareness,” during her reign. She tied in the Lifestyle and Fitness swimsuit category during the June 14 Thursday preliminaries, and won in Talent with a dance performance on Friday June 15.
In interviews, the new Miss New Jersey has expressed strong feelings about the underfunding of schools in her hometown, mentioning that Kingsway Regional High School only receives 43 percent of the school funding formula.
by Robert Holt