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Feature Stories Recent News

Creek Road Strip Stores (Across From Bellmawr Lake) Under New Ownership, Undergoing Major Face-Lift

The strip stores on Creek Road, across from Bellmawr Lake, have recently sold and are undergoing a major face-lift.

We recently noticed that serious rehabbing of the property is currently underway. There is no word as to what future businesses will be leasing there once renovations are complete.

This unit used to be the corner store. (SJO Photo)

I grew up in the “Dead-End” of Bellmawr – where Booth Drive and Peach Road intersect and right down the street from these strip stores. I remember that the end unit closest to Peach Road was once a corner store and used to have video games — Asteroid being one of them. If we had money, we would get candy, soda, or ice-cream there.

Sometimes when we rode our bikes, we’d head up the street to the stores. Starting from the “top,” we rode down each descending “step” that’s in front of each store. I’m sure the owners just loved that.

We would ride our bikes down these “steps”, starting at the top left and riding down each step past each store. (SJO Photo)

At one time, there was a limousine service, a gym, a martial arts academy, and up until recently, a Cash 4 Gold store and a hair salon.

This unit was once a martial arts academy. SJO Photo

Looking forward to watching these renovations progress and seeing what business will set up shop there.

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Education Feature Stories

Bellmawr School District Releases Restart & Recovery Plan for Education

The Road Back – Restart and Recovery Plan for Education 2020-2021 Reopening Academic Plan for the Bellmawr School District was presented at the August 5, 2020 Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

Core Beliefs & Guiding Principles for Reopening Bellmawr Schools:

  • Health and Safety: for all students and staff
  • Communication: Ongoing among all constituents
  • Learning: Uphold the integrity of instructional programs
  • Engagement: Ensure equitable access for all students
  • Wellness: Prioritize social and emotional needs and development
  • Empathy: Caring for one another

Survey Responses

Parents/Guardians were recently surveyed.

One survey question asked: “Given the current situation, what do you believe would be the best course of action for the district in September?”

Parents/Guardians also responded about having their child/ children return to school physically at half capacity following social distancing guidelines.

Parents/Guardians also responded about how they felt about the various precautions being put in place.

Screenings

  • Temperature screenings will be conducted upon entering school.
  • Isolation rooms will be utilized.
  • All visitors will be screened prior to admittance into the building.
  • Bellmawr staff will conduct self-screenings at home.

Social Distancing

  • All students are sitting at 6 feet apart with the class size from 10-12 students per class.
  • All special area classes are held in the classroom to limit the mixing of cohorts.
  • Grades K-4 lunch will be held in classrooms.
  • Grades 5-8, students will eat lunch in the cafeteria of 6-feet apart.

Face Coverings

  • Parents/Guardians have been asked to begin working on mask or face covering “endurance” so that the child/children are comfortable wearing and gradually building up the time they can tolerate wearing them.
  • There is an exemption for medical concerns.

Enhanced Cleaning Procedures

The district has comprehensive cleaning procedures for all buildings that are being expanded in response to COVID-19.

Extra Curricular Activities

Until February 1, 2021, field trips, extra curricular activities and clubs have been cancelled. There will be no assemblies.

Hybrid Schedule Option 1

Remote Learning Option 2

Special Education

First day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Plans are still fluid until the final number of students is ascertained.

Parents/Guardians should be prepared to pivot in the event of school closure.

To view the entire Power Point Presentation, click the image below:

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Feature Stories News

$161M in FY21 County Aid Funds Help Make Infrastructure Improvements Locally

(Trenton) – On July 31, 2020, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti announced the release of $161.25 million in Fiscal Year 2021 County Aid grants to help make infrastructure improvements on the local level. The grants are funded through the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).

“County Aid is just one of many programs that demonstrate the Murphy Administration’s commitment to our communities by improving infrastructure throughout New Jersey at every level of government,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “County Aid provides millions of dollars to local governments to help ensure their roads and bridges are maintained in a state of good repair without burdening local property taxpayers.”

The State’s 21 counties will share a total of $161.25 million through the County Aid program that will help maintain local roads and bridges in a state of good repair for the thousands of motorists that count on them each day.

County Aid funds are appropriated annually for the improvement of public roads and bridges under county jurisdiction.  County Aid funds are apportioned based on population and road mileage in each county, and each county selects the projects that receive funding. Counties are required to submit eligible projects, identified in the County’s annual Transportation Program to NJDOT for approval prior to December 1, 2020. 

Projects may be improvements to public roads and bridges under County jurisdiction, or other transportation related work.

Governor Murphy recently signed into law a new schedule for County Aid in which NJDOT must inform counties of their allotments for the current fiscal year by July 31 to help counties better plan future projects.

For NJDOT news follow on Twitter @NJDOT_info and on the NJDOT Facebook page.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

Community Foundation of South Jersey Announces A Sixth Transform South Jersey Grant Recipient

Haddonfield, NJ – The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) announced today that a sixth community has been selected to receive a $100,000 Transform South Jersey grant.  The City of Woodbury in Gloucester County, through their local convening partner the FAF Coalition, now joins previously announced locations including the Town of Hammonton (Atlantic County), Willingboro Township (Burlington County), Winslow Township (Camden County), Downe Township (Cumberland County), and Salem City (Salem County). 

Transform South Jersey is a collaboration between the Community Foundation of South Jersey, the Geraldine R. Dodge FoundationNew Jersey Health Initiatives (the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), the OceanFirst Foundation, the Orton Family Foundation, the PSEG Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation.  Using the Orton Family Foundation’s national Community Heart & Soul model, which has been implemented in almost 100 communities across the United States, the Transform South Jersey grants will support initiatives in the six recipient locations that bring people together to build stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant communities.  For most locations, completing the four phases of Community Heart & Soul takes about two years.

“We are thrilled that additional funds from our partner organizations have allowed us to provide this Transform South Jersey grant to the FAF Coalition in the City of Woodbury,” said Andy Fraizer, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of South Jersey.  “Community Heart & Soul is a proven process that empowers people to shape the future of their communities by creating a shared sense of belonging that improves local decision-making, and ultimately strengthens social, cultural, and economic vitality.”

More than 190 South Jersey communities with populations of 50,000 or less spanning the eight counties CFSJ serves, including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem, were eligible to apply for Transform South Jersey grants.  From this group, 32 municipalities were ultimately nominated for consideration and of those invited, 21 municipalities submitted final applications.

“The key component of the Heart & Soul process is learning what matters most to the community by engaging as many residents as possible, including those who do not normally participate in public discourse,” Fraizer continued.  “With full engagement as an integral part of the planning and development process, these often-unheard voices and their ideals become the foundation for building communities that are united, innovative, competitive and resilient.”

“We are incredibly grateful to be selected as a Transform South Jersey grant recipient,” said Jared Hunter, FAF Coalition Program Director.  “It has been a rigorous process getting to this point, but I believe it has given us the opportunity to create a positive environment in the community.  We also developed connections among various groups throughout the city that are excited to work alongside us in the near future.  We want to thank the Community Foundation and all of the funding partners for showing confidence in our city.”

As a Transform South Jersey grant recipient, the FAF Coalition will have access to up to $100,000 in funding to support ongoing staffing, marketing, and communications needs associated with a full-scale implementation of the Community Heart & Soul model in their town. They will also receive exclusive coaching, training, and technical assistance.  Each community has also committed to working with CFSJ to raise at least $25,000 to serve as an endowed portion of their own individual community fund. The proceeds from these investments will be used to support additional projects identified by the communities for many years to come.

To learn more about the selected communities and their progress as they embark on Community Heart & Soul, visit transformsouthjersey.org.

About the Partners

Community Foundation of South Jersey

The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give.  The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region.  CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity.  By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all.  Currently, CFSJ manages assets of $22 million in donor-advised funds.  Along with its fund-holders, CFSJ has issued more than $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships. Learn more about CFSJ at CommunityFoundationSJ.org.

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation envisions an equitable New Jersey through creative, engaged, sustainable communities.  Dodge supports arts, education, environment, informed communities, and poetry to connect communities and influence social change to achieve this vision.  Dodge stewards and leverages all our resources, financial and human, and partners with and supports the nonprofit sector to be valued and effective influencers for community-level change in New Jersey, with a priority focus on elevating the voices and power of those communities that have been historically and systematically excluded from investment and opportunity.  For more information, please visit grdodge.org.

New Jersey Health Initiatives

New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) is the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Established in 1987 in honor of the New Jersey philanthropic legacy of RWJF’s founder, Robert Wood Johnson, NJHI supports innovations and drives conversations to build healthier communities through grantmaking across the State of New Jersey.  To meet the many health needs of our state’s diverse populations, regions and communities, the NJHI national program encourages collaboration across sectors to foster deep relationships committed to long-term change affording all New Jerseyans the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.  Learn more about NJHI at njhi.org.

OceanFirst Foundation

Since its founding in 1902, OceanFirst Bank has built a solid reputation and legacy as a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen.  The Bank’s strong commitment to helping families, organizations, schools, and communities throughout central and southern New Jersey meet their financial needs has spanned several generations reaching new heights in 1996 with the creation of OceanFirst Foundation.  

Made possible by a one-time endowment of $13.4 million approved by OceanFirst Bank depositors, OceanFirst Foundation provides grants to organizations that meet community needs within the OceanFirst Bank footprint.  Through the Foundation, hundreds of local charities and schools have received more than $39 million in grants to enrich lives in areas such as Housing, Youth Development and Education, Improving the Quality of Life, Health and Wellness, and the Arts.  Learn more about the OceanFirst Foundation at oceanfirstfdn.org.

Orton Family Foundation

The Orton Family Foundation’s mission is to empower people to shape the future of their communities by improving local decision-making, creating a shared sense of belonging, and ultimately strengthening the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy of each place.  

The foundation is focused on building stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America.  Founded in Vermont in 1995, the foundation devoted more than a decade to working with small towns to create Community Heart & Soul® a model that helps build trust and empowers residents to shape the future of their communities.  

Community Heart & Soul projects are underway across the country creating positive change that is resident-driven and recognizes the value in the unique character of each place and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there.  To learn more about the Orton Family Foundation and its Community Heart & Soul model, visit communityheartandsoul.org.

PSEG Foundation

The PSEG Foundation, the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), prioritizes investments in the environment, safety, STEM education & workforce development, diversity & inclusion, and the communities served by PSEG.  Headquartered in Newark, N.J., PSEG is a diversified energy company with approximately 13,000 employees.  

In 2019, PSEG was named one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity.  In addition, PSEG was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the 12th consecutive year in 2019 and received a Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index 2018 rating of 100 percent.  Learn more about the PSEG Foundation at corporate.pseg.com.

Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation

The Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation (CDC) makes investments to nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses for select ventures that are designed to promote community and economic development opportunities to improve the quality of life for children and families living in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.  The work of the Wells Fargo Regional CDC is closely aligned to the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation which invests resources in comprehensive, neighborhood-based economic and community development initiatives within the same geographic area.  

For more information, please visit WellsFargo.com/about/regional-foundation.

Categories
Feature Stories Recent News

Borough of Bellmawr Tax Lien Sale to be Held as Online Auction Aug. 11

The Borough of Bellmawr has given notice of the Lien Sale of property for non-payment of 2019 taxes, assessment, and other Municipal charges.

The sale will be conducted on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 and will be held as an on-line auction.

For a listing of all parcels, click here.