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Report Evaluates Bellmawr’s Building, Construction & Enforcement Bureau

A recent report received from the Insurance Services Office evaluated Bellmawr’s building, construction, and enforcement bureau.

At Council’s April 25 monthly meeting, Bellmawr Councilman Paul Sandrock spoke about a report that was recently received regarding the Borough’s building, construction, and enforcement bureau. The extensive report from the Insurance Services Office is an evaluation tool for the Borough, Sandrock explained.

“Every five years, the building code and grading system comes up and this report is an evaluation,” Sandrock said. He noted that the report pointed out two deficiencies:

The first issue related to understaffing. “We are understaffed, but we are not going to address it. We are going to stay understaffed because we feel as though we are making and maintaining good results,” Sandrock said.

The second deficiency concerned a construction code issue. To provide context, Sandrock cited a lightning rod as an example. “That is something that will be adjusted and addressed over time,” Sandrock said.

The report will allow the Borough to make adjustments and recommendations, Sandrock explained. “It also spotlights the hard work that our construction office and our code enforcement people do, who are part-timers and do all of these inspections on a yearly basis. I thank them.”

Regarding the local 2017 local budget, Sandrock said: “Our town provides tremendous services at all hours of the night and throughout the year. It’s one of the rarities that you find in a community of this size. The Public Works workers do a terrific job. The supervisors hold the line and keep the spending down. It really was an effort and an eye-opening experience to work with the supervisors.”

As for the recent and ongoing property maintenance efforts, Sandrock said: “There has been a lot of chatter in the community about our property maintenance enforcement and that is something that has been addressed dramatically over the past month or so.”

A lot of compliments are being received due to the efforts. “This is being done by our Borough employees and they doing a tremendous amount of work. It is an aggressive approach to address some of these dilapidated or vacant homes and also junk and unregistered vehicles on properties that have been there for many years,” Sandrock stated.

Once vehicles have been ticketed and removed, Sandrock said: “We found that there was a lot of thanks from the neighbors who have had to look at those eyesores for years. Again, another testament to what these employees do on a daily basis. I would like to extend my thanks.”

All of the other Councilmen gave Committee reports except Councilman Steve Sauter, who was absent, and Councilman Ray Bider spoke during the budget presentation.

The following are excerpts:

Councilman Jamie Casey

Councilman Casey said improvements have recently been completed at Borough Hall to upkeep it and modernize it as much as possible. “The Borough workers came in and stripped the wax off the floors and re-waxed them. It looks pretty good. It saved the town a lot of money rather than having to go out to a vendor to get it done. We were able to do that in-house.”

Casey stated that he attended April’s School Board meeting and stated that Scott Doyle has been hired as the district’s business administrator to replace Amy Capriotti, who resigned earlier in December to take a position in a another district. Mark Ritter has been serving as the interim business administrator.

Councilman Jim D’Angelo

“It’s the season for the [Recreation Department]. The fields are getting cut, lined, and everybody is playing so that’s a good thing. Fences are being painted and that’s another good thing. All of the opening days went well,” D’Angelo said.

Bellmawr Hockey hosted Nationals earlier this month. D’Angelo spoke of the newly constructed hockey rink by saying  “It’s awesome. We did not put it up and we did not pay for it either. The hockey association did.”

The Rec Department is taking care of abandoned buildings and if something needs attention, residents are asked to call the Borough, he said.

Councilman Steven Hagerty

The Police Department continues to be busy, Hagerty said. “On the agenda, we would like to welcome back Craig Whilhelm who was sworn in as a Class II officer along with John Reader IV. We want to welcome them. You will see them on the streets doing some different things – working courts and different projects.”

The Fire Department has also been extremely busy, he said. They were called to the scene of a recent tractor trailer accident where there was spilled orange juice on I-295. The Department also assisted with a motorcycle accident and was called to a house fire on Second Avenue where two cats were lost, but no human lives, Hagerty said.

On Tuesday, May 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the EMS is holding a free First-Aid course geared for babysitters between the ages of 14-17. The class will take place at the Bellmawr Fire Department, 29 Lewis Avenue. For an application or more information, call Chuck Hannum at 856-933-3225.

Mayor Frank Filipek

The mayor stated the he and Joe Ciano (Supervisor of the Highway Department) recently met with PSE&G because of the numerous complaints about Browning Road. “It is getting dug up with the construction going on and will not be re-surfaced until the end, but the potholes will be patched.”

Public Portion

There was discussion between the mayor and a resident about an ongoing easement issue and a fence.

In another matter, a resident said that he wants to circulate a petition that would allow the Borough’s newly installed handicap lift to be named after his mother.

Agenda Items

All business on Council’s Agenda was approved. Councilman D’Angelo abstained from Resolution #04:106-17, which is the Borough’s new policy and procedure manual. Councilman Casey abstained from Resolution #04-115-17, which was the adoption of the 2017 Municipal Budget, and Councilman Sandrock abstained from Resolution #04:116-17, which is the bill list.

Click the images below to view the bill list and also Council’s meeting agenda with all of the supporting Resolutions.

Bellmawr Council April 27, 2017 Meeting


Borough of Bellmawr April 27 Bill List

Next Meetings

Council will meet on Thursday, May 18 at 5:00 p.m. for its Caucus meeting and again on Thursday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m. for their monthly meeting.