by Robert Holt
MICKLETON — During their meeting on Dec. 11, the East Greenwich Township Committee discussed a recent motor vehicle accident that took place at the intersection of Tomlin Station Road and Kings Highway. The accident, involving passenger cars and a tractor trailer, happened on Dec. 4.
Unfortunately, that intersection has seen a number of accidents in recent years, including one death. East Greenwich officials report that since 2011, 16 reported accidents have occurred at this intersection with a total of 19 reported injuries and a fatality.
In August 2014, a three-vehicle crash there resulted in the death of an 80-year old Mickleton man when another driver went through a stop sign. In September 2017, a two vehicle crash required rescue crews to remove a vehicle’s roof to save one person.
“The bottom line is, we need a light,” summed up East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer. “We have written two letters and made requests to the county for traffic lights.”
Archer observed that Kings Highway and Tomlin Station Road are both owned by Gloucester County, and they are responsible for the roads’ maintenance. The Committee planned on sending Gloucester County another letter.
Archer said the county had been responsive and has added significant signage. “I believe we need a blinking light that will slow traffic down in both directions,” he suggested.
Elsewhere, the Committee introduced an ordinance designed to facilitate the sale of abandoned and foreclosed properties. Solicitor Mark Shoemaker said the idea was to remove the provision requiring a Certificate of Occupancy to sell a property.
“We’re having some issues with inspections, and we’re trying to get some of these off our abandoned properties list,” explained Archer. “We’re trying to make it easy for someone to come in and take over the property.”
The Committee also authorized the execution of a settlement with the Fair Share Housing Center. “I’m happy that were able to reach a reasonable settlement,” commented Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri. “We’ve reached an agreement on affordable housing.”
“We made out better than anyone in New Jersey at this point,” added Archer.
In discussion items, Archer noted that Woodbury has sent East Greenwich Township a letter to terminate their joint Municipal Court shared service. Archer said he didn’t see any legitimate reason for the termination and mentioned that the joint court had been one of the busiest and most efficient in the state.
“We understand that shared services are not forever,” he concluded.
The Committee also discussed the Best Practices Inventory Report. Best Practices encourages municipalities to stress sound management, transparency and financial accountability in their governing practices. “The state sets up guidelines and we follow them,” observed Bottiglieri. “Our CFO and clerk runs through them. Every year we do fairly well.”
The Committee later decided to extend its Information Technology agreement with Kingsway Regional High School. Kingsway has shared service with East Greenwich for about six years, and also provides service for South Harrison Township and the Swedesboro/Woolwich District.
“I just want to make it clear that East Greenwich is the owner of the Information Technology equipment,” clarified Bottiglieri.
At the beginning of the meeting, Archer pointed out the success of the town’s Christmas Tree Lighting. “It was a great event, and showed great teamwork,” he noted. “Our unofficial count was around 2,000 people there.”
Archer also mentioned the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation holiday display at 503 Legends Court in Mickleton by the Harbaugh family. This display brought Fox 29 News and reporter Bob Kelly to East Greenwich Township to broadcast live from the Harbaugh home.