East Greenwich Budget Comes up Flat For the Fifth Straight Time

MICKLETON — The East Greenwich Township Committee made it official at their meeting on May 12. The township will be spending their fifth year in a row with a zero percent tax increase.

The municipal budget was introduced about five weeks ago and was adopted at the township’s April 22 meeting.

The township committee meeting held in the municipal building on May 12 was broadcast on Facebook Live through the Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook Page due to COVID-19.

East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer reinforced his budget news, mentioning that the state of New Jersey had made a corrective audit on the East Greenwich taxes, and New Jersey complimented the township in return for an outstanding budget.

Archer said the Committee was very cognizant of the taxpayers’ money when they were putting together their budget, and he pointed out that they run it like a business. “We will also be giving back to our employees a well-deserved 5 percent pay increase, and additional health care cost will not be forwarded to our employees but part of our budget,” Archer added.

Elsewhere, in action items, the Committee adopted an ordinance that amends another ordinance, fixing and establishing the salaries and compensation of the officers and employees of East Greenwich Township. Archer explained that the township was bringing in a new sergeant title and consolidating some other positions.

Another ordinance that was introduced would establish some regulations for use in a public right of way. The ordinance would also allow for the expansion of indoor and outdoor eating establishments. “We received a letter from New Jersey, saying that once the township restaurants and breweries were reopened, they would have the opportunity to expand their footprint to outdoor tables,” Archer explained. A $45 application fee goes to the construction department, and they must meet the state’s criteria, which includes a fire inspection.  

The Committee next adopted a resolution that would approve the purchase of goods and services through a state contract. Archer indicated that purchase of a truck for the construction department and a pick up truck for the fire department were included with these.

“This is for our new tractor for public works. It has the ability to cut grass from along the side and blow it far beyond,” Archer said. “This tractor would replace our last one that was purchased in 1986.”

Next resolution supported East Greenwich Township’s participation in the Sustainable Jersey Certification Program. Archer gave special credit to the Environmental Commission director, and the township’s diversity for their success.

The Committee also issued a proclamation declaring May as Building Safety Month. Archer noted that this was done for the township’s insurance company.

At the beginning of the meeting, Archer paid tribute to a long time East Greenwich Township resident Phillip Bellace who succumbed to the COVID virus late in April.

Bellace graduated from St. James High School in 1965, graduated from barber school, then opened his first business in Swedesboro. He began cutting hair when he was 16 years old. Bellace owned and operated The Royal Salon in Mickleton since 1987.

“Phil was as big as life itself, with a heart twice the size of his personality. Phil touched so many lives with his jokes and stories,” Archer recalled. “When you came into the Royal Salon you paid for a haircut, but the entertainment was for free.”

Kingsway Baptist Church Pastor Josh Miller was invited to the meeting to speak about Bellace. “Phil was full of life, and will be sorely missed,” Archer concluded. “He will always be remembered and will forever remain in our hearts.”

by Robert Holt

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