Bellmawr Local Government News Recent News

Bellmawr Council Approves Several Appointments Re: Bellmawr Waterfront Development

Bellmawr Council approved several Resolutions at their January 25, 2018 meeting regarding the Bellmawr Waterfront Redevelopment project.

  • Michael McKenna, Esquire was approved as special counsel for redevelopment.
  • Econsult Solutions, Inc. was approved as financial advisor for redevelopment matters.
  • Davis Weinstein, Esquire was approved as special counsel to assist Michael McKenna, Esq. for redevelopment contracts.

Resolution #01:52-18

Resolution #01:55-18

Econsult Solutions

Resolution #01:56-18

Agenda & Resolutions

All other items on Council’s agenda were approved.

Councilman Jim D’Angelo voted no on Resolution #01:54-18 — authorizing an agreement for professional services for Garrison Architects.

Councilman Steve Sauter voted yes to the bill list with the exception of those bills that pertain to pest control.

Click to view the meeting Agenda, supporting Resolutions and the bill list in greater detail.

Borough Employees Congratulated & Thanked

During the meeting, Mayor Frank Filipek and all of the Councilmen congratulated Joe Ciano for his appointment as Director of Public Works and Pat Gallagher for his appointment as Highway Department Superintendent.

Ciano said: “I would like to thank Mayor and Council for having the faith in me to do the job that they appointed me to do, which is to direct the whole Public Works.”

Ciano continued by saying he watched Pat Gallagher come up through the ranks. “He threw trash for many years. He learned every aspect of Public Works and worked his butt off, went to school, and passed a very difficult test. I know because I took it. I am proud of him and all of these other guys. Every one of them works hard everyday.”

(All Photos & Video by SJO)

Public Works Director Joe Ciano addresses Mayor and Council.

Joe Ciano, Mike “Juice” Williams and Pat Gallagher.

The Bellmawr Highway Department’s Mike “Juice” Williams received a letter of appreciation from a resident thanking him for his hard work. The letter was read aloud by Borough Clerk Frani Wright.

In response to the letter, Williams stressed: “It’s always a team effort.”

Highlights From Council’s Committee Reports

Councilman Paul DeAngelis spoke about Bellmawr Municipal Court and the possibility of expanding the court system. “It is in the early stages and I don’t have a lot of information on it. Last year, there were over 54,000 cases. We also take care of Route 42 and 295.”

DeAngelis said that tickets written by the State Police out of the Bellmawr station also come before the Bellmawr Court system.

In 2016, 44,000 cases were heard.  “We increased it by 10,000 in one year,” he said.

Councilman Steve Hagerty said that in 2017, the Fire Department responded to 960 calls and the EMS responded to 3,200 calls.

The Fire Department’s new ladder truck has been delayed because of the holidays, but it should be arriving soon, Hagerty said.

Councilman Ray Bider said that the budget is being worked on. The auditors will be finished and submitting by February 10. The Annual Debt Service Statement is also due in February and will be uploaded to

Bider also said that there will be a budget presentation this year.

Mayor Frank Filipek said he recently called former Gov. Chris Christie’s office to ask when the governor was going to give him a report on the Hugg Harrison Glover House that was demolished last year. The mayor said he was told it was the aide’s last day on the job.

Filipek also stated that a lawsuit was filed, but could take years to resolve.

Public Portion

A Spruce Avenue resident asked about the status of his neighbor’s bush.

Lou DiAngelo presented a dividend check to the Borough from the South Jersey Regional Health Insurance Fund for $332,000. “You can apply this towards your next premium or whatever Mayor and Council decide to do with it,” he said.

Bellmawr Feature Stories News Recent News

Bellmawr Planning Board Approves Revised Landfill Redevelopment Study Plan

On December 4, 2017, the Bellmawr Planning Board approved the revised Route 42/Landfill Redevelopment Study Area Redevelopment Plan.

SJO was the first to report that the Route 42/Landfill Redevelopment Study Area Redevelopment Plan was revised as of November, 2017 and includes plans for a park. The Redevelopment Plan consists of more than 150 acres and three project phases.

Exclusive SJO Video:


Bellmawr Feature Stories News Recent News

Revised Bellmawr Landfill Redevelopment Study Area Plan Includes Park

The Route 42/Landfill Redevelopment Study Area Redevelopment Plan has been revised as of November, 2017 and includes plans for a park. The Redevelopment Plan consists of more than 150 acres and three project phases.

(Click all images to enlarge)

Objectives of Redevelopment Plan
The Borough’s objectives in redeveloping the study area focus on the remediation of the existing landfills, attracting new investment to the Borough, enhancing the waterfront, and supporting multimodal transportation networks.


To view the report in its entirety, click the image below:

Bellmawr Feature Stories Local Government News Recent News

Bellmawr Council Authorizes Revisions for Waterfront Park; Approves Redevelopment Agency

At their October 26, 2017 monthly meeting, Bellmawr Council approved Resolution #10-233-17, which authorizes the Borough’s engineers, Remington & Vernick, to prepare revisions to the Bellmawr Waterfront Development Plan to depict the Waterfront Park.

Bellmawr Waterfront Development
Photo of the proposed area for the future waterfront park taken by SJO.

Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency

Also at Council’s meeting, Ordinance #09-16-17 was approved, which creates the Borough of Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency pursuant to the local redevelopment and housing law.

Michael McKenna, who has been appointed special counsel for the Bellmawr Waterfront Development project, provided an explanation about the Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency.

Calling it a “real good idea,” McKenna stated: “Council’s already introduced it. The State is waiting on a copy of it so that we can complete our application.”

He continued by saying there are multiple ways to do a redevelopment property. “One of them is for the Borough to be the entity. Another is for there to be a redevelopment agency.”

McKenna said he favored a redevelopment agency “for a number of reasons. “One, because this is a very substantial redevelopment project that is going to be going on for a long time. It’s not a part-time, small thing. It’s going to require a lot of effort, a lot of expertise. The commissioners are volunteers, but they have a five-year term. So, there will be stability.”

The commissioners cannot be all Council people and public employees, he said. “It will be people from the community, so you’ve got stability there.”

He continued: “You’re going to need to develop some expertise and quite candidly, it is a step removed.”

McKenna spoke of the environmental piece by saying: “We’ve already had the environmental aspects of it reviewed very, very carefully. We are now satisfied that subject to it being finished — and it’s very near finishing — that the property is going to be safe. It has been remediated properly. It has been overseen properly and we’ve had engineers say to us as much and certified it. But for all that, you can never be too careful.”

He said that a buffer agency, instead of the Borough, “is a really, really good idea in addition to those other ideas.”

If the Borough had to be the redevelopment agency, which is the more normal course with more simpler jobs, McKenna explained, then Borough staff would have to be paid and someone would need to be the director and someone would need to be the accountant.

However, with a redevelopment agency, McKenna stated: “They have their own funding and the funding will be from the revenue sources from the development. So, the same job is getting done, but on the development dime.”

Bellmawr Feature Stories Local Government News Recent News

Bellmawr Council To Appoint Big Timber Junction, LLC As New Re-Developer

Bellmawr Council is set to vote on a Resolution at their meeting on September 28 appointing Big Timber Junction, LLC as a new re-developer.

SJO reached out to Borough Administrator, Josh Tregear, for clarification on this appointment and Tregear provided the following response via email:

In short, Big Timber Junction will replace Bellmawr Waterfront Development as the Borough’s designated re-developer. Big Timber Junction will be owned and managed by the same principals who own and manage BWD – namely, Charles Gallub, Mike Esposito, John Contrevo, Ed Esposito, and Haines and Kibblehouse, Inc. The only thing changing is the name of the LLC named as the “Redeveloper” under the Redevelopment Law.

In large-scale commercial real estate projects, it is generally desirable for the developer to be a “Single Purpose” real estate entity, or “SPE” for short. The use of an “SPE” is considered “best practice” in commercial real estate development. Partners, lenders, large end users and also public entities often require that the developer establish an “SPE” to serve as the developer. An SPE is an entity that is formed for the sole purpose of developing a particular site – and that site only. In the Borough’s case, the site is the entire BWD site- Phases I, II and III. There are end users that the Redeveloper wishes to approach and engage in discussions about coming to our redevelopment site. Letters of Intent (“LOI’s”), should be issued to end users, in the name of the SPE Redeveloper. However, Bellmawr Waterfront Development, LLC (“BWD”) will remain the “permittee” under all of the NJ-DEP remediation permits, and BWD will remain bound to the contracts that require BWD to complete all of the remediation work- just as BWD is now bound.

Click the image below to view this and all of the September’s Resolutions in detail:

Big Timber Junction LLC