Two Bellmawr residents addressed Mayor Frank Filipek and members of Council during the public portion of Council’s January 26 monthly meeting. Resident, Shane Mertz, asked for the status of an ongoing easement issue and wanted to know how things are progressing. He asked for a meeting with all of the parties.
After some back and forth between Mertz and Mayor Frank Filipek, Councilman Jim D’Angelo said to Mertz: “I understand your frustration. We have to wait until we see an expert report with the absolute facts who goes over and double check. We have to wait.”
Resident, Mary Tanealian, also addressed Mayor and Council by stating she is “at a loss” for the situation involving Vero Pizza’s use of a neighboring property.
She spoke of a recent incident that involved a truck taking down a light, pole, and transformer. She said because of the incident, wires were down and blocked her driveway. She feared that this incident could have happened during the week and not on a Saturday.
*Subsequent to Council’s meeting and following the publication of this article, Tanealian contacted SJO to add the following information relating to the incident:
Three PSE&G poles had to be replaced because of this incident.
Although we did get our power back within a half hour, Cundiff Oil did not since they were connected to the transformer that was down.
There was hazardous material spilled from the transformer and had to be cleaned up by a haz mat company. This was not completed until 10:20 that night.
She also had concerns that the driveway for the new Royal Farms and the driveway for Vero Pizza may both meet at the same place, should the pizzeria eventually be granted a variance.
Councilman Paul Sandrock said that a court summons had been issued and that the situation is being monitored. “We want to keep it as safe as possible.”
He added that the owners of Vero Pizza must hire an attorney and apply to the Zoning Board and go through a process to make changes.
“We are trying to work with the business, too. We are trying to work with them and listening to you and trying to make everything safe for children and you and meeting the needs of that business,” he said.
As for the potential of both businesses’ driveways matching up, Sandrock said that Royal Farms revised their plans and honored Tanealian’s request in moving the driveway 20 feet towards the Black Horse Pike. “That will eliminate the possibility of the headlights shining into your bedroom,” he said.
Council Approves Agenda Items
Council also voted to approve all business on its agenda. (Click images below for the meeting Agenda and supporting Resolutions.)
Among the approvals were:
• The bill list. (Councilman Paul Sandrock abstained.)
• Authorizing a settlement between the Borough of Bellmawr and PBA Local 375 to resolve a grievance filed by local 375 on behalf of three retired members. Captain Craig Wilhelm will be paid $1,078.14, which represents the difference for the seven pay periods immediately prior to his retirement date. Sgt. Matt Gillis will be paid $438.21, which represents the difference between for the four pay periods immediately prior to his retirement date. Corporal Joe Falcone will be paid $1,260.54, which represents the difference for the nine pay periods immediately prior to his retirement date.
Local 375 had filed for arbitration with the Public Employment Relations Commission on behalf of the three retirees, who claimed that they were shorted pay when the Borough changed the payroll divisor from 26 to 27 days.
• New hires for the Borough of Bellmawr for the period of October 8, 2016 through January 12, 2017. (Details are included in the Resolutions above.)
• Authorizing the sale of fire apparatus – 1994 E one ladder truck to East Greenwich Township.
• Authorizing the decrease of the performance guarantee with WaWa on Creek Road to a maintenance guarantee in the amount of $89,520.15. When emailed for clarification about this Resolution, Chief Financial Officer, Maria Fasulo responded: “Once the improvements are completed, the governing body needs to adopt a Resolution reducing or releasing the performance guarantee. In this case, the Borough adopted a Resolution reducing the performance guarantee to a maintenance guarantee based on the municipal engineer’s certification.”
• Awarding the contract for the roof replacement of the Public Works Maintenance Garage to Laurant Construction Co. of Pennington, N.J. in the amount of $134,100.
Council will meet next for its Caucus session on Thursday, February 16 at 5:00 p.m. in the Conference Room of Borough Hall. Council’s monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of Borough Hall.
(*Article edited on February 9, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.: to include additional information/clarification from Mary Tanealian; and again at 1:50 p.m. to indicate that SJO had contacted Mrs. Tanealian to let her know that this article had been posted. )