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Locke Ave. Fun Day Draws Over 3,000

IT'S TIME TO EAT. Billy Ford, 5, of Swedesboro and Max Siglow, 4, of Logan Township take their turns petting and feeding the animals in the petting zoo at Locke Avenue Fun Day.

Photo by Karen E. Viereck

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SWEDESBORO

Second Street Repair Funding Withdrawn By State

By Sam Fran Scavuzzo

SWEDESBORO – The borough of Swedesboro will have to go back to the funding drawing board for two of the borough’s biggest projects in the 2008-09 fiscal year – construction on Second Street and an expansion of the Swedesboro Public Library.

With recent cuts to the New Jersey State Budget by fiscally aware senators, Swedesboro’s request to the Department of Transportation for repair to Second Street has been withdrawn, as well as other projects for the borough put in by State Senator Stephen M. Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland).

In a June 15 Philadelphia Inquirer article, New Jersey Senate President Richard J. Codey (D) highlighted what he felt were “pork” items, not beneficial to the entire state or a specific region. Swedesboro’s projects were not to be included in the final budget.

That coupled with surrounding Woolwich Township’s refusal to aid in the payment of the library puts Swedesboro in a tough fix. The Borough Council discussed these matters at its June 18 meeting.

“It’s a shame,” Democratic Borough Council President David Flaherty said. “I find it hard to believe that Woolwich won’t participate [in the library project]. I thought that they would be excited.”

In a letter to Swedesboro Mayor Thomas W. Fromm acquired by The New Town Press, Democratic Woolwich Mayor Giuseppe “Joe” Chila said during a June 4 Woolwich Township Committee meeting, it was the consensus of the Committee to deny participation in the expansion project.

“This decision was reached not only due to budgetary concerns, but also due to a lack of requested information that would have assisted the Township in making an informed decision,” Chila’s letter said.

The Borough did not respond to questions regarding the number of Woolwich residents utilizing the library, according to the official minutes of the Committee meeting.

In an interview Chila added to letter saying: “I don’t want us to come off as negative, but our circumstances don’t allow us at this time to get involved with a capital project with the borough.”

Chila cited that Woolwich is involved in projects that include additions to Locke Avenue Park and the construction of a municipal building.

“I don’t think this will hurt future relations with the borough.”

Flaherty had been working on the project with Republican Woolwich Committeeman Sam Maccarone, Jr. He volunteered to give Chila any information he needed in order to get the project completed.

However, this does not mark the end of the projects. “These are just minor set backs,” Fromm said. “We’ll be able to find the money somewhere.”

Swedesboro Republican Councilwoman Darlene Gage echoed the sentiment, “We’ll find a way,” she said.

Gage suggested asking the librarians to ask Woolwich mothers and library patrons to talk to their council.

Chila said he would be open to change the Committee’s decision if there was enough response from residents. “We have an open-door policy,” he said.

Fromm alluded to other grants the borough applied for that could help in the payment of these and other projects.

Additional proposed projects include repair to the firehouse roof and a bike path from Walter Hill School to Locke Avenue Park.

Resident Lucile Stewart of Auburn Avenue disagreed. “I think those other projects can wait,” she said. “I thought that Second Street was most important, so let’s get that done first.”

Also discussed at the meeting was the pet census which looks to take place from November 2007 until June 2008. For $2,500 the borough will contract an independent official to go door-to-door gathering information on the number of dogs and cats in Swedesboro. Furthermore, he will follow-up to see who applies for the proper licenses after the initial census.

Borough Clerk Dolores M. Connors estimated that only about 100 pets are licensed. The Council stated that up to 200 could be unregistered.

Republican Councilman Salvatore “Sam” Casella wanted to make sure the representative possesses an identification certified by the borough.

Additionally, in-term Web Master George Weeks requested Connors give him Council meeting minutes to be published online. Fromm noted that all committees should give brief descriptions of their work to be published on the borough’s new Web site – www.swedesboro-nj.us.

In her report on Economic Development Diane Hale announced the selection of floral baskets to be hung from lampposts in town at a cost of $47 a basket. This will come from the department’s budget.

A somewhat heated exchange between Flaherty and Republican Councilman Donald Dryden occurred on the issue of Merkling Street. The road is private property and should not be plowed during snow storms, Flaherty argued. Dryden didn’t see the harm in it and noted that they were taxpayers as well. No decision was reached on the matter.

 

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East Greenwich

EMMA ENGLE MEMORIAL DEDICATION

Volunteerism at Its Finest

EAST GREENWICH TWP. -- On Sunday, June 3, the residents of East Greenwich Township honored the late Emma Engle who shared her home with the East Greenwich Library for 37 years, with the dedication of a memorial at the library’s present location.

The memorial was funded by contributions from individuals, families and organizations of East Greenwich who wished to commemorate Emma’s contributions to the community. She died in 2004 at the age of 97.

Emma, a retired librarian, loved libraries, books, and knowledge so much that she was willing to share three rooms in her home with the library, beginning in 1963. According to library archives, she never regretted her decision.

In 1992, when a reporter asked Emma why she shared her home with the library, she said, “I certainly don’t need all this space and the library does.”

Today, the library is located in a former school building on the corner of Kings Highway and Quaker Road in Mickleton, a section of East Greenwich Township. In 1999, when the library was preparing to move to a larger space, Emma remarked to Board President Susan Breen that although she would miss the library and employees, she knew that the library needed more space. “I can always visit there,” she said.

The memorial site, which sits in front of a shade tree on the front lawn of the library, is reminiscent of a park-like setting. The design includes a paver-stone patio, two park benches made from recycled materials, and a granite memorial stone with a brass plaque, providing a historical remembrance of  Emma.

Plantings surround the tree. The back of each park bench is engraved with the following message: “In Memory of Emma Engle, 1907 - 2004, longtime host and friend of the East Greenwich Library.” 

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Library’s 55-year history is the spirit of volunteerism that helped create it in 1952 and is still alive today. As Former Mayor David Jenkins remarked to the audience on Sunday, “Emma Engle’s generosity as a volunteer was unprecedented. Without a doubt she was the ultimate library volunteer.”

Because of that generosity, residents are still able to enjoy a library nestled in their home town, where the director and employees know their names, where morning story hours are filled with familiar parents and children, residents can attend evening programs just five minutes away, and at the end of the day elementary school children can walk across the yard to an after school program at the library.

The following words are engraved on the memorial stone on a brass plaque on the stone:

Come sit for a while ...

To read, to rest, to dream, to visit

with other books lovers in our community.

A Brief History
The idea for a library in East Greenwich took shape in 1951 when a member of the Intermediate Girl Scout Troop No. 6 suggested that the community should have its own library.  Intrigued by the idea, Scout Leader Gretchen Peirce and her Troop gathered together a dedicated group of Township residents and organization representatives, who helped shape a young girl’s observation into a reality.

On February 23, 1952, the Library opened in a small shed behind the Clarksboro Market on the corner of Kings Highway and Cohawkin Road in Clarksboro.  More than 2,000 books filled the shelves. 

By the early 1960s, the Library, which had no windows and relied on a space heater for warmth, was outgrowing its first location and the roof was leaking. In 1962, Emma Engle, a native of East Greenwich and a librarian, herself, offered to share her home with the Library. It was a 19th century clapboard house on the opposite corner of Kings Highway and Cohawkin Road. For 36 years, the Library, rented three rooms in Ms. Engle’s home.

Before moving to its present location in the former Mickle School on the corner of Kings Highway and Quaker Road in Mickleton, the Library was short on space for nearly a decade. On its limited budget, The Board of Trustees was unable to find a suitable site in town until May 1997, when it proposed leasing space in the old Mickle School Building, to the East Greenwich Board of Education.

Over the course of a year, the two Boards worked out details for a lease agreement. For the next six months the Trustees and director worked with staff members and volunteers to renovate the space, which consisted of four classrooms and a spacious foyer and center hall area.

The new space was three times larger than the previous facility. On March 16, 1999, the library opened for business at its current location.

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East Greenwich
 

East Greenwich Assembles Second Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Gloucester County

by Beth S. Biermann

EAST GREENWICH – Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) graduates Diane Angelucci, Ian Cook, Steven Engblom, Ben Fish, Fred Hills, Brett Hulst and Jim Wavorsky received certificates presented by Mayor John DeGeorge at the June 12 East Greenwich Committee meeting. 

The seven member volunteer team, all East Greenwich residents, attended a nine week training course conducted by Gloucester County Department of Emergency Response. Financed by federal funds distributed by the state of New Jersey, the CERT program trains individuals to provide support to first responders in the event of a disaster, natural or otherwise.

Team members are trained in basic disaster response skills such as light search and rescue, medical and first aid response, traffic control and communications with first responders. Each team member is also provided with equipment such as communication gear, helmets, flashlights and reflective vests.

The East Greenwich CERT team is only the second to be assembled in Gloucester County. A second course will be offered in September for anyone interested in volunteering to be a CERT team member.

In other business, three new police officers were sworn in by DeGeorge. Rodolpho Mazzocco, a West Deptford resident, was sworn in as a Patrolman 5th Class. Mazzoco’s position is full-time with a salary of $36,826.03.

Nicholas Barber of Mickleton and Michael Robostello of Gibbstown were sworn in as Class Two Special Law Enforcement Officers. Working at an hourly rate of $11.50, Barber and Robostello will fill in for vacationing full-time officers and serve as additions to the force during special events and emergencies.

All three officers graduated from the Gloucester County Police Academy on May 30.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) presented information to the Committee regarding the reconstruction of Route 295. The highway is being rehabilitated from Exit 14 to Exit 24. Construction is being separated into four segments, with Exits 14 to 17 comprising section one.

In section one, construction will consist of breaking up the existing concrete roadway and repaving, as well as excavating under overpasses to provide a minimum of 14.5 feet of clearance.

The northbound side of the highway will be closed first. Traffic will be moved to the southbound side which will have two lanes traveling in each direction separated by a concrete barrier. After the northbound side is completed, all traffic will be traveling on that side while construction is done on the southbound side.

            During a period of time during construction, Exits 14 to 17 will be closed in order to work on the road surfaces on the exit ramps. Any drivers needing to exit at any of these points will be detoured at Exit 13 to travel on Routes 130 and 44. No traffic will be diverted into East Greenwich.

According to the NJDOT, the entire four segment project is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

Finally, the Committee passed a resolution to renew the alcoholic beverage license for the Mt. Royal Inn. Four Committee members voted to renew the license while Committeeman Frank Aiello abstained after explaining that the business is owned by his grandfather.

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WOOLWICH ADOPTS NEW NOISE ORDINANCE

by Beth S. Biermann

WOOLWICH – The Woolwich Township Committee voted to adopt an ordinance that amends the township noise ordinance at their June 18 meeting.

At a previous committee meeting on March 19, Police Chief Russell Marino asserted that the original noise ordinance was lacking the language specificity needed to investigate noise complaints and violations.

The original ordinance made it unlawful between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. to make noise that “either annoys or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others”. Between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. it was illegal to make noise that “either annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others”.

The only difference designated for the daytime and nighttime hours was the word “injures”.

Marino, along with Township Administrator Jack Lipsett and Solicitor Timothy Scaffidi, reviewed noise ordinances of other towns and the result of their research is the adopted amendment.

The new noise ordinance prohibits any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise which is likely to annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others, within the limits of the Township”.

According to the ordinance, loud, unnecessary or unusual noises include but are not limited to the following: horns and signaling devices (except under necessary driving conditions); radios, televisions, musical instruments and phonographs (heard from more than 25 feet from the origin between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.); loudspeakers or amplifiers for commercial advertising purposes, except between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; yelling or shouting; animals; and construction or repair work (except during the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays and during the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. by a homeowner at his or her own residence).

According to the township code, any conviction of a violation of any section of the township code is punishable by a maximum penalty of one or more of the following: a fine of no more than $1,000 or a prison sentence or community service of no more than 90 days.

The committee also adopted an ordinance regulating the use of motorized recreational vehicles. These vehicles include snowmobiles, mini-bikes, trail bikes, motor scooters,  all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and go-carts.

The ordinance makes it illegal to operate these types of vehicles on private property owned by another without permission, and within 75 feet of adjoining property or public road; on public property; before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m., and while endangering any people or property by operating it in a reckless manner.

According to the ordinance, it is also unlawful to operate such vehicles without wearing a helmet and without proper headlights, taillights, brakes and mufflers.

The penalties for violation of this ordinance are the same as for violation of any township code. However, there is also an additional penalty of impoundment of a motorized recreational vehicle found to be operated in an unlawful manner.

Any resident interested in reading the full ordinances can do so at the Woolwich Township municipal building.

In other reports from committee members, Committeeman Ted Otten reported that he has heard nothing but very positive reflections on Recycle Bank. In early June, Woolwich kicked off a RecycleBank program in which residents are rewarded for their recycling efforts.

Each residence was given a recycling container containing an imbedded barcode which records the weight of the recyclables in each pick-up. All recyclables, including paper, plastic, glass, tin, aluminum and metal, are placed together in one container.

Residents who participate will receive “RecycleBank Dollars” based on the weight of recyclables collected from their container. These coupons will be redeemable at participating retailers.

According to Otten, residents have been telling him what a good idea it is and that they never thought much about recycling before, but now are trying to recycle as much as possible. Otten concluded that recycling is on people’s minds, which is really the whole point of doing this.

Otten also reported that Locke Avenue Fun Day on June 9 was an “amazing success and it exceeded all of our expectations”. For the first time, Woolwich hired a vendor to run the rides. Tickets were sold ahead of time at the municipal building and at the event. According to ticket sales, between 3,000 and 3,500 people attended over the course of the day.

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