Woolwich Approves Adding Swedesboro to Sewer Agreement

WOOLWICH TWP. — At their meeting on March 16, the Woolwich Township Committee

approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Woolwich Township, Swedesboro, the Gloucester County Utilities Authority, and the Gloucester County Improvement Authority in regard to sewer conveyance and construction and operation of a pump station and force main.

The MOU for the pump station and force main was signed by the four groups in September 2019. Swedesboro was the most recent to join the project.

Under the MOU, the Borough of Swedesboro is required to construct, own and operate the pump station which will connect to the force main on Kings Highway. Swedesboro would abandon their existing wastewater treatment plant and become a part of the Gloucester County Utilities Authority Regional System.

Woolwich determined that adding Swedesboro would be to their community’s advantage. “This does nothing to change the price range,” Marino mentioned. “Adding Swedesboro is beneficial to everyone.”

Woolwich is currently constructing a gravity sewer conveyance system to service the Route 322 corridor. A regional pump station is being designed on Locke Avenue.

Elsewhere, Woolwich agreed to continue the home energy audit program they started in 2019. Woolwich tried to teach its residents energy efficiency by partnering with SPS Mechanical to offer a home energy assessment for $49. The Woolwich Home Energy Awareness Program came together to help residents save energy and money, but SPS wants to raise the price of the home energy audits.

The energy audit is a comprehensive evaluation of a home that includes review of energy usage, testing for carbon monoxide, gas leaks, identification of mold/moisture issues, a blower door test, duct leakage test, and inspection of all existing insulation values. SPS will provide the homeowner with a detailed report outlining our findings with recommendations on how to begin improvements. SPS also helps the homeowner with the necessary paperwork to qualify for rebates and financing.

SPS Mechanical got into this program a year ago and visited 56 homes. Eight of the jobs were totally completed. SPS head Sal Barbagallo suggested raising the rates to $100 for the assessment. “We work together with the Township.”

Deputy Mayor Natalie Matthias indicated that she was one of the people who tried out the $49 deal to learn about her home’s deficiencies. “Raising the price would diminish the work,” she commented.

“I don’t have a problem with raising the price if enough people take advantage of it,” said

Committeewoman Gina Santore. Santore noted that the addition of Swedesboro into the audit program only brought older homes into the equation.”  

Woolwich Mayor Vernon Marino suggested putting the home energy audit up for rebid “and we’ll see what we can come up with.”

In other reports, in resolutions, the Committee authorized a $42,000 quote from Remington and Vernick Engineers for engineering and oversight of Fiscal Year 2019 New Jersey Department of Transportation Trust Fund Project. The NJDOT awarded Woolwich Township a $200,000 grant for resurfacing of Rainey and Viereck Roads under its state aid grant program. Committeeman Craig Frederick suggested adding Swedesboro Road as an amendment to the bill.

In liaisons, Committeeman Craig Frederick reported that Public Works used three tons of asphalt and one storm drain during February. Santore said that 31 recycle carts had been exchanged during the month. Also, the Business Development Advisory Committee had been discussing the ongoing paper bag proposal going on in New Jersey.

Matthias took note that funding allocations had been received for the school system last week, and they contain increases. That will be announced when New Jersey releases its budget.

This meeting was being held while the Coronavirus was strengthening its hold across the state and globally. “Everything is changing daily,” reassured Mayor Marino. “With the health and well-being in mind for our residents and our committee members, we will look for alternative ways to conduct township committee meetings. We will make them known to our residents once they are in place.”

Marino urged residents to monitor the Woolwich Township website for further information.

“We’ve been in constant contact with our Office of Emergency Management, and I assure you that our employees are at the forefront.”

“With the news of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gloucester County, it is even more important that we continue following the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing and best practices,” Marino stated. 

— by Robert Holt

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