EAST GREENWICH – Mayor Dale Archer announced during East Greenwich’s sole municipal meeting of the month on Nov. 22 that the township, in conjunction with Greenwich Township and Paulsboro, received the 2022 Innovation in Governance Award for their work towards a shared-services daytime fire department.
Presented to Archer, Deputy Mayor James R. Philbin, Jr. and others at the 107th Annual League of Municipalities Conference Mayors’ Luncheon on Nov. 16, this award is meant to highlight “exemplary local government activities” that provide creative and practical solutions to problems facing the community.
Previous winners have included the township of Mt. Olive for its private pool partnership, Robbinsville Township for its paperless purchasing initiative, and Avalon Borough for the creation of its pet evacuation trailer.
“We are extremely proud to be able to accept this award,” Archer said. “But more importantly, to be able to accept this award and receive a standing ovation from our peers at the League of Municipalities.”
The creative and practical solution that led to this award was the agreement between East Greenwich, Paulsboro, and Greenwich Township to supplement their volunteer fire department with daytime firefighters who operate on a stipend. These firefighters, although under the jurisdiction of East Greenwich, were designed to provide immediate response and fire prevention to residents of each municipality.
According to Greenwich Township Mayor Vince Giovannitti, this agreement was the first of its kind in Gloucester County, and is the type of “innovation” sought by the New Jersey League of Municipalities in presenting this award.
“Mayor Gary Stevenson, Mayor Dale Archer and myself are very excited that this is the first Shared Services Agreement for a Stipend Program for Volunteer Fire Fighters in Gloucester County,” Giovannitti said at the agreement’s ceremonial signing in September 2022.
Recognition of the Kingsway Regional Marching Band was also made, as the team placed second at New Jersey’s Tournament of Bands State Championships for Group IV. In 2021, the band placed first in this same competition but fell just short in 2022 by 0.270 of a point.
“They lost first place by a few hundredths of a point. That’s how tight these championships can be,” Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri said. “So, I want to congratulate the marching band on an excellent season. It was a very special event.”
This meeting also saw authorization for East Greenwich Township Public Works Department to purchase a new Ford F250 Pickup Truck from Winner Ford in Cherry Hill. According to Archer, this purchase was discussed in the previous fiscal year but tabled due to budget constraints. However, although the purchase has been authorized, the committee doesn’t expect the department to receive the vehicle until 2024 at the earliest.
Additional resolutions included a budget amendment, the cancelation of a certificate of sale, and the refund of overpaid property taxes.
By Berry Andres