Borough of Bellmawr tax bills have been mailed out and the due date for payment must be received by August 31, 2017 to avoid interest charges.
During Council’s July 27 monthly meeting, Councilman Ray Bider spoke about the tax bills. “As we said before, Black Horse Pike [Regional School] District and the Borough of Bellmawr are at 0%. The local school is at 2.6% and 4.3% for the County. So, the County has a much higher increase. We were really anticipating them [the county] to come in near zero which would have brought us in below three cents totally. But now, you are going to be above 6 cents due to the high county increase.“
Mayor Frank Filipek added: “We did keep Bellmawr taxes to zero. We run your whole town on 23.8 of your dollar and almost 25 cents goes to the county.”
Continuing with his committee report, Bider said that the Borough received a Clean Energy Direct Install Grant for the replacement of LED lights in the Borough facilities in the amount of $6,264. “The Borough will be responsible to pay 25% of the total cost. The grant pays 75%. Bottom line overall, we will see a 15% monthly decrease in our electric bill due to the new LED lighting. We are pretty happy with that.”
He also stated that on the recommendation of the auditor, Bowman & Company, multiple stale checks were listed on the agenda to be cancelled.
Bider stated that he has been working with a committee called Return Your Old Glory to ensure that old flags are retired properly. Bins resembling old mail boxes will be delivered to each VFW. “We have money donated by two businesses to pay for each of the bins so it will be no cost to us,” Bider said. “Those bins will collect the flags. Once a year, the Boy Scouts and the VFW members will hold a retirement ceremony for the flags.”
As for the Creek Road Recreation Enhancement Project across from Larc School, Bider said that “is moving along well.”
He stated that in the rear, an All Wars Memorial will be built. “We have a tentative model. We are trying to finalize the cost now. It will include one central theme [with] each of the individual services represented with flag poles behind and lights on each end. If it works out, [there may be] a small fountain in the front of it where we could have fish,” he said.
Councilman Jamie Casey
In reference to school funding, the Bellmawr School District received an additional $352,000, Councilman Casey said. “More than they expected. After speaking to the school board, with the superintendent, and also the president of the school board, it is their intention to use that money to push that forward to next year to offset the cost … of the grants from the pre-school [next year].”
Councilman Jim D’Angelo
Councilman D’Angelo stated that July 27 was the last day of the Summer Rec Program and Work Program. “It was very successful. Projects were completed.” He said that he spoke with Mike Williams, who wanted to acknowledge his crew for doing curbs and a couple of other projects in town. “It kept the kids busy throughout the summer,” D’Angelo said.
Councilman Steve Sauter
Councilman Steve Sauter said: “I am happy to report that the Department of Public Works is running smoothly. Currently, the highway guys are working on Hart Avenue reconstruction. It’s a little behind due to weather. That project consists of the replacement of all the curbs, driveway aprons, and select sidewalk installation. Upon completion, the roadway will be milled and paved. It will take approximately 800-man hours to complete that project.”
As for upcoming road construction projects, Kingston and Leaf are lined up, Sauter said.
Councilman Steve Hagerty
For fire, Councilman Hagerty stated that there were 113 fire calls for the month of July and 221 EMS calls. “They are working pretty hard.”
He stated that Bellmawr Park continues to have its membership drive. “They have a few members that are starting their programs, starting to take their physicals, and get fitted for different equipment. They will register for the schooling that they have to do. They continue to have their membership drive. If anyone is interested, they are still accepting applications.”
Mayor Filipek added: “Mayor and Council did not close Bellmawr Park Fire. Their membership is down.”
Councilman Paul Sandrock
Councilman Sandrock was absent from the meeting.
A resident spoke about alleged activity and problems at an apartment complex and asked for guidance with the situation. The resident was advised to report it to the police.
A resident of Braisington Avenue asked for “something to be done” since cars are trying to avoid the light, speeding, not stopping at the stop signs, or rolling through them.
A resident of Princeton Avenue said she is also having problems on her street with cars exiting the liquor store driveway and going the wrong way. She said there is a one-way sign at the beginning of Princeton, but asked if another one-way sign can be placed at the driveway.
A resident of Anderson Avenue asked if any consideration had been given into prohibiting left turns from Anderson onto the Black Horse Pike. “It’s bad,” she said.
Mayor Filipek responded that the Borough doesn’t have jurisdiction over County or State roads.
A resident asked if police officers have to be EMT certified. Councilman Casey said that police are First Aid, First Responders, and CPR trained.
A question was asked also about Special II Officers. Councilman Casey provided that clarification by explaining that there are some restrictions placed on a Special II as opposed to a full-time police officer. “He can only act when he is working in the Borough of Bellmawr. He has the same police powers, but he is considered part-time.”
A resident of Belmont Road spoke on behalf of the neighbors on her street regarding the recent road resurfacing project. She said that when dirt was removed, replacement dirt was brought in “and grass seed tossed in. The dirt that was brought in was not clean topsoil.”
She said the Borough was contacted. “Weed whacking was not the answer. The stuff kept growing.”
She asked where the dirt came from since “crop growth consists of nettles, inkberry, morning glories, thistles, and a plant that grows over three feet tall. There are others and these plants are going to re-seed. Weed whacking isn’t going to solve it.”
She stated: “Our lawns were presentable prior to the road work We don’t feel like we should have to pay to have this corrected or have to do it ourselves.”
Mayor Filipek said: “First, we have to check where we bought the topsoil. We have to go back to the topsoil company.”
All items on Council’s agenda were approved, including First Reading and Introduction of the 2017 Salary Ordinance for the Borough of Bellmawr.
To view the meeting agenda with supporting Resolutions and the bill list, click below: