by Robert Holt
WOOLWICH TWP — During their meeting on Feb. 19, the Woolwich Township Committee adopted an ordinance that established the Department of Municipal Services, the position of Director of Municipal Services, and the position of Public Works Superintendent.
Woolwich Mayor Vernon Marino observed that creating the new positions will split their various duties and make the job more efficient.
Marino explained that the Park Director position was changed to Recreation Coordinator, and that person would take care of events. The Director of Municipal Services will be involved in scheduling, park fields and public works.
The Department of Municipal Services would include the Department of Public Works, Zoning, Trash and Recycling.
The ordinance was adopted on its second reading after a public hearing. Another ordinance was approved that changed the job title of the Park Director to the Recreation Coordinator, while one more established the responsibilities of the Recreation Coordinator position.
A later resolution appointed Anthony Bertino to the Director of Municipal Services position, and made Brian Hughes the Superintendent of Public Works.
Marino noted that Woolwich went in-house first to find an applicant. “We’re allowed to post in house, then if we don’t get any applicants we have to go outside.” “Moving the responsibility of the park made this virtually a new position,” commented Deputy Mayor Natalie Matthias.
Under old business, Committeewoman Gina Santore discussed the TNVR ordinance about feral cats in the township. The TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release) process humanely traps the feral cats, spays or neuters them, vaccinates them against illness and releases them.
A “colony caretaker” provides them food, water and shelter to the cats and monitors their health.
Woolwich picked up 45 feral cats last month, but Santore said that might be only a small number of the ones that are out there.
“Spaying isn’t necessarily solving anything,” Santore said. “The goal is to decrease the number of animals set for euthanasia.”
Elsewhere, Director of Community Development Matt Blake reported that SPS Mechanical has partnered with Woolwich Township in an effort for homeowners to participate in energy saving programs. The SPS program can help homeowners qualify for up to $4,000 in cash rebates and up to $10,000 for home energy improvements.
SPS will assess a Woolwich home for $49. “We’re getting a lot of calls from residents, and they’re pretty excited,” Blake mentioned.
In liaisons, Committeeman Dan Battisti listed 402 cases heard in Municipal Court in January, and Committeeman Craig Frederick had seven baseball tournaments scheduled for the area in 2019.
Santore reported that the Business Development Advisory Committee was adding events and lining up speakers. Matthias pointed out that the Kingsway High School report will be a lot more clear when the state budget figures come out in March.
Marino had kind words for the Woolwich Fire Company in his Public Safety report. “This is a volunteer fire company, yet they had a response time to calls of six minutes and 54 seconds. We’re 21 square miles, including Swedesboro, and had 574 calls for service last year.”
Under new business, Marino reported that Woolwich was partnering with Gloucester County, and would be receiving an electric car charging station free of charge. It will be found at the Municipal Building, and anyone in the public can use it. “One station has two chargers,” Marino added.
Also, it was noted that the Police Youth Camp Academy would be open again in 2019. It will run from July 22 through July 26 and will be open to Woolwich and Swedesboro youths entering 6th, 7th and 8th grade. The camp will be held at the General Harker School.