Bellmawr Local Government News

April 23, 2020 Monthly Meeting of Bellmawr Mayor & Council to be Conducted Remotely; 2020 Budget to be Presented

The April 23, 2020 monthly meeting of Bellmawr Mayor and Council will be conducted remotely beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The 2020 budget will also be presented during this meeting. Click the image below to view the budget presentation.

Public Participation

Those wishing to participate in the meeting can do so by phone or online as follows:

Dial-in number (US): (978) 990-5166 Access code: 1390205# Online meeting ID: boroclerk1

To join the meeting using a computer or device: For additional assistance, connecting to the meeting text “Call Me” to the Dial-In number above and you will be called into the conference. Message and data rates may apply.

All public participants will be muted until the public portion of the meeting, which will be announced at the appropriate time. If you have a comment or question please start by giving your name and address and you will have a total of 5 minutes for questions or comments.

To view the meeting agenda, click the image below:

Article has been updated.

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DEP Launches Online Stay-at-Home Activities, Learning Tools & Virtual Park Visits

To celebrate Earth Day and its 50th birthday, the Department of Environmental Protection is introducing new online resources, including stay-at-home activities, virtual tours of state parks and distance-learning opportunities. The online resources were developed and curated to enable New Jerseyans to celebrate Earth Day while still staying at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The DEP was established on April 22, 1970 — America’s first official Earth Day, through a state law consolidating New Jersey’s environmental, resource protection and conservation agencies under the umbrella of one state agency.

“Earth Day 2020 is a milestone for New Jersey and the entire nation,” said Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Fifty years ago, New Jersey committed itself to a new legacy of environmental protection, cleaning our air, water and land; today, we celebrate that vision and re-commit ourselves to the new challenges of protecting against climate change. This new website provides fun activities for learning, guides to environmentally themed crafts, and virtual visits to some of New Jersey’s most popular parks – all designed with an eye toward reminding us of just how important it is to take care of our fragile planet and each other. Today is also a day to publicly recognize the dedication of the DEP’s many employees – current and past – and the collaboration of the state’s environmental advocates.”

The DEP50 website provides a special section providing online resources to help residents celebrate Earth Day in the safety of their homes.

It provides step-by-step instructions on creative crafts that help remind us of the importance of conserving resources, reusing materials and recycling. Crafts include a bird feeder made from an orange peel and peanut butter, bracelets fashioned from soda can pull-tabs, and a decorative flower made from a plastic bottle. These activities use items found readily around the home.

Families can also download and print coloring and activity books and enjoy photos and fun facts about New Jersey’s wildlife. Links are also provided to distance-learning opportunities such as webinars and online classes from Rutgers University, New Jersey Audubon, the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education and others.

“Although interactions with the natural world are limited for most environmental educators at this time, we are still able to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by offering ANJEE’s Remote EE Hub to all New Jerseyans,” said Michael Chodroff, President of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education.

Visitors can also check in on active peregrine falcon and bald eagle nests through the live webcams maintained by the Wildlife Conservation Foundation of New Jersey, as well as the group’s many other interesting wildlife video and educational offerings.

New Jersey’s Division of Parks and Forestry is also bringing New Jersey’s parks to visitors virtually. 

Its popular #IHeartNJParks campaign now connects with the public through virtual access through its Facebook and Instagram pages:

On Facebook:

New Jersey State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites

On Instagram:

New Jersey State Parks

The campaign posts new content each day, including a special collection of park tours and projects, interviews with experts and never published historical photos.

In addition, through a series of stunning, even inspiring, videos, families can make virtual visits to popular parks and historic sites from High Point to Cape May Point.

Visitors can:

  • Soar above the unique maritime forest that surrounds Barnegat Light, or Old Barney as the venerable lighthouse in Ocean County is affectionately known; enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Batsto Village, the historic heart of the Pine Barrens in Wharton State Forest.
  • Explore the eerie, concrete gun emplacements of historic Fort Mott along the Delaware River in Salem County; enjoy stunning views of the pristine beaches and dunes of Island Beach State Park in Ocean County.
  • Tour the wetlands and beaches of the ecological gem that is Cape May Point State Park; and soak in inspirational mountain views of High Point State Park in the extreme northwestern corner of the state in Sussex County.

For New Jersey DEP’s Earth Day resources, visit:

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NJDOT Recommends Revisions to Bellmawr’s Benigno Blvd. & Anderson Avenue Rail Crossings

The Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation has received two two Diagnostic Team Reports recommending revisions to the highway-rail at-grade crossing of Benigno Boulevard & Anderson Avenue across the track of Consolidated Rail Corporation’s Grenloch Industrial Track, in the Borough of Bellmawr.

The installation of any new at-grade crossing or changes to an at-grade crossing requires the Commissioner of NJDOT approval.

Revisions at Benigno Boulvard

If approved, the revisions to the at-grade crossing at Benigno Boulevard would include the installation of new twelve (12) inch LED railroad flashing lights post-mounted, two crossing bells, vegetation clearing, and railroad related signs and pavement markings.

Revisions at Anderson Avenue

The revisions to the at-grade crossing at Anderson Avenue would include the installation of new twelve (12) inch LED railroad flashing lights post-mounted, two crossing bells, vegetation clearing, and railroad related signs and pavement markings.

The Department’s Bureau of Railroad Engineering Services recommends to the Commissioner the above-mentioned recommendations be approved, unless contested.

At the April 16, 2020, caucus meeting of Bellmawr Mayor and Council, Borough Engineer, Steve Bach said: “NJ-DOT is the entity that controls the railroad, and they can compel upgrades. Gates were lobbied for, but the NJ-DOT did not deem that gates were warranted.

All related documents are available for inspection between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Bureau of Railroad Engineering & Services, Division of Bridge Engineering & Infrastructure Management, 1035 Parkway Avenue, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.

Any interested party may submit questions, comments or objections in writing no later than May 22, 2020.

All submissions regarding this matter should be directed to:

Todd Hirt,
NJ-DOT Supervising Engineer Bureau of Railroad Engineering Services
P.O. Box 600
E&O Building-5th Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08625

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Somerdale Man Charged With Aggravated Assault on a Mt. Ephraim Police Officer, Resisting Arrest & Shoplifting

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced the following recent enforcement actions related to COVID-19, including those involving individuals in violation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders:

John Abdullah, 57, of Somerdale was arrested on April 18 by the Mt. Ephraim Police and charged with third-degree aggravated assault on an officer, fourth-degree resisting arrest, shoplifting (disorderly persons offense) and violating the emergency orders.

Abdullah allegedly shoplifted candy from a store on the Black Horse Pike, and when he was approached by a police officer, he led the officer on a foot chase, causing the officer to be injured.

Assaults and Threats Against Police Officers, EMTs, or Others

Robert Schaub, 35, of Lindenwold, was arrested yesterday, April 18, by the Somerdale Police and charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency. Schaub had been prohibited from entering the Wawa store in Somerdale after a recent incident in which he was charged with trespassing there.

On April 13, he entered the store again, and a clerk who recognized him told him to leave. Schaub allegedly threatened to spit on the clerk, telling her he had the coronavirus and hoped she would get it and die. Police identified Schaub and arrested him last night. He allegedly was uncooperative and refused to be fingerprinted at the jail.

Other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order

  • Newark Enforcement. The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 30 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered one non-essential business closed in enforcement actions yesterday, April 18.
  • Cristobal Sanchez, 62, of Plainfield, the owner of the Tequila Club restaurant and bar on East 5th Street was charged last night, April 18, by the Plainfield Police with serving alcohol to patrons inside the bar in violation of the emergency orders. Police received a report that the bar was open and found three patrons seated at the bar consuming alcohol. A few additional patrons were seated at tables. Sanchez was present and indicated that because the patrons were waiting for take-out orders, he thought he was allowed to serve them alcohol inside the premises.
  • Trennajia Robinson, 26, Nyajah Levister, 22, Angela Dominguez, 22, and Nicole Thomas, 25, all of Passaic, were charged yesterday, April 18, by the Passaic Police with violating the emergency orders. Police responded shortly after 1 a.m. to a report of a group of individuals involved in an altercation in the first block of 4th Street. Police observed the defendants in a verbal dispute and asked them to disperse. They allegedly refused to disperse and caused a disturbance. They were not near their homes and had no essential reason to be at the location.
  • Wilson Caraballo, 41, of Paterson, was charged yesterday, April 18, by the Paterson Police with violating the emergency orders for loitering outside a store in the 300 block of Main Street with no essential reason for being there. He was warned several times before about this conduct.

The defendants who were charged strictly with violating the emergency orders and who do not face more serious charges were charged by summons— they were not arrested. Those cases will be adjudicated in municipal court.

“Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis. Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Staying home and maintaining social distance isn’t just the best advice to stay healthy, it’s the law. Make no mistake, we will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators.”

“Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Because lives are at stake, enforcement action will be taken without hesitation against those who are blatantly placing the lives of others at risk.”

Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses.

On April 1, Attorney General Grewal announced enhanced charges against six people who were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and violating the emergency orders. Specifically, those enhanced charges included making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, which is a second degree offense carrying a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Fifteen additional defendants, including Robert Schaub, have been similarly charged since that time for alleged assaults and threats against police officers, emergency medical technicians, or others.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here

The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior.

No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas. COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.

Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.

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Deptford Township & City of Woodbury Look to Establish “Deptford Township Joint Municipal Court”

On Monday, April 20, 2020, the governing body of Deptford Township will consider for final adoption and passage an Ordinance that will establish a Joint Municipal Court for Deptford Township and the City of Woodbury.

The Ordinance was introduced at the April 6, 2020 Deptford Township Council meeting and will be considered for final passage and adoption at the Work Session on April 20 at 6:00 p.m. There will be an opportunity for a public portion so that any interested person may be heard.

The Work Session meeting will held by teleconference. To join the meeting:

  • Dial Phone Number 1-253-215-8782
  • Enter Meeting ID Number: 783 208 1421
  • Enter Password: 432083

To view the draft copy of the meeting Agenda, click here.