by Robert Holt
WOOLWICH TWP — Discussion continued at the Woolwich Township Committee meeting on Dec. 17 regarding a sewer improvement ordinance tabled at the previous meeting.
The 2018 bond ordinance would amend and restate an existing bond ordinance from 2017 and increase the appropriation and authorization of bonds or notes to provide for the establishment of a special assessment commission to determine costs.
Woolwich has needed added sewer capability to be ready for the coming development along the Route 322 corridor. The community has applied for low interest financing through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank. The special assessment commission would be used to determine final costs and make recommendations about those assessments.
Committeeman Vernon Marino voted to table the measure at the Dec. 3 Committee meeting because of unclear information. Committeewoman Gina Santore seconded, feeling that the public did not receive proper communication.
Committeeman Dan Battisti said he had been told that the ordinance would die if it was not passed by the end of 2018. It was not listed on the agenda for Dec. 17.
Elsewhere, the Committee adopted a series of resolutions at their meeting. They authorized the submission of a plan for a Municipal Alliance Grant for Fiscal Year 2020 and adopted a Township Health and Wellness Policy. They also approved hiring a per diem employee for snow removal.
The Committee also inserted items of revenue and appropriation in the 2018 municipal budget for a $2,475 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Grant, a $3,300 Distracted Driving Crackdown Grant, a $2,200 Click It or Ticket Grant, and a $695.71 Municipal Alcohol Education/Rehabilitation Grant. A resolution to include a Clean Communities Grant of $21,509.48 was also adopted.
Another adopted resolution authorized awarding a contract for $43,980 to The Ambient Group LLC for remediation of the former Palladino farm property. Director of Community Development Matt Blake explained that the property on High Hill Road was owned by Woolwich Township, and Ambient Group would remove soil that had been found contaminated.
In his finance report, Committeeman Dan Battisti mentioned that CFO Will Pine was scheduling budget meetings for January. For Police, Battisti listed 1,574 calls responded to by the local force in November.
For Trash and Recycling, Committeewoman Gina Santore touted the success of the Curb My Clutter program. Woolwich Township was the first community in the United States to use Curb My Clutter, who operate a curbside collection of clothing and electronics through texting. At this writing, over 5,600 pounds of clothing and 11,600 pounds of electronics had been collected by the service.
Deputy Mayor John Carleton listed 57 calls to the Woolwich Fire Company for November. The response time was six minutes and thirty seconds, which he called “excellent.”
In other news, local Boy Scout Nick Kalfas requested permission from the Committee to complete his Eagle Scout project. Kalfas wants to create two signs for Locke Ave. Park. One could replace a Park sign that has been worn down, while the other sign would be movable, and just brought out for Park events.
If his project is approved, Kalfas would begin fundraising with True Value and Home Depot in February. “The current sign is not really operational,” observed Committeeman Vernon Marino. “This will be a good addition for the park.”
This evening marked the last regular Committee meeting for Carleton and Woolwich Mayor Jordan Schlump. Carleton thanked everyone for his time on the Committee. He said that the Business Advisory Development Committee was headed in the right direction, and that Kingsway High School was in good hands with Dr. James Lavender. “By and large, we worked pretty well together, putting aside party differences,.” he commented.
“I came here to learn, and I’ve done that,” said Schlump. “We’re just a figurehead running this town. It takes a lot of people, and the fire company is our unsung hero.”
“The biggest accomplishment for me is the family of Woolwich and shopping locally,” he concluded.