An application was recently made to the Borough of Mt. Ephraim to transfer the liquor license for Guiseppi’s Restaurant in Mt. Ephraim to Bobby Ray’s BHT, LLC.
The application is a person-to-person transfer to Bobby’s Ray’s BHT, LLC, for the plenary retail consumption license that was issued to Ed Dawn Corp., trading as “Guiseppi’s Restaurant” located at 13 South Black Horse Pike. Bobby Ray Harris is the sole and managing member of Bobby Ray’s BHT, LLC.
SJO reached out to Bobby Ray’s Pennsauken Tavern, which is located at 6324 Westfield Avenue to find about what the plans for Guiseppi’s Restaurant are.
Are there plans to convert or renovate Guiseppi’s into a second location for Bobby Ray’s Pennsauken Tavern? Will similar beer and drink specials that are regularly posted on their Facebook page be offered in Mt. Ephraim?
Recent Bobby Ray’s Facebook posts include specials for “Bobby’s Famous Tater Tots” and a Brago Burger made with one-half pound of Angus beef that’s “layered with a tangy slice of pork roll, crisp scrapple, and a fried egg, smothered in cheese and secret Brago sauce.”
Bobby Ray’s also recently began offering “Flights” — four flights of craft drinks for $10. “Perfect for when you want to try a new one or you just can’t pick a favorite,” a recent post read.
We will update this story as information becomes available.
On March 12, 2018, the Mt. Ephraim Planning Board granted minor site plan approval and variances for various signs, exterior improvements, and a re-facing of thefaçade for the McDonald’s on the Black Horse Pike.
According to a Legal Notice that was published on April 27, 2018, the Mt. Ephraim Planning Board granted minor site plan approval and variances:
To allow for the construction, establishment and maintenance of improvements to the existing McDonald’s restaurant with drive-thru lanes to include a re-facing of the restaurant building façade
To install new wall-mounted and freestanding identification signs, directional signs and drive-thru menu board/pre-menu board signs
For maximum building height, maximum number, and maximum area of outdoor illuminated signs
For maximum number and maximum area of directional signs
For maximum number and maximum size of freestanding identification signs
For maximum of building-mounted (wall) identification signs
For upgrades to existing parking lot with repairs, signage and ADA-compliant improvements in and upon the property
The Planning Board’s decision was memorialized in a written Resolution adopted by the Board on April 9, 2018 and is available at the office of the Secretary to the Planning Board in the Municipal Building, 121 S. Black Horse Pike, Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey.
At their January 11, 2018 monthly meeting, the Mt. Ephraim Commissioners approved the 2018 annual appointments.
2018 Annual Appointments
Department of Public Safety and Public Affairs
Police Chief – Brian Conte
Police Captain – Vacant
Police Desk Clerk/Matron – Joanne McGrory
Crossing Guards – Cathy Hall, Debbie Gardner, Diane Keel, Anna Marie Conley
Municipal Court Bailiff – Paul Bibk
Senior Citizen Coordinator – Karen Herman
Fire Chief – Brian Gilmore
Emergency Management Director – Jay Vilardo
Safety Coordinator – Michael Williams
Assistant Safety Coordinator – Jason Green
Department of Revenue and Finance
Borough Clerk – Terry Shannon
Tax Collector/Treasurer – Dorothea Jones
Sewer Collector/Deputy Clerk – Tara Martin
Payroll/Benefits/AP Clerk – Patricia Moriarty
Tax Assessor – Brian Schneider
Planning Board Secretary, Assistant to the Assessor – Tara Martin
Finance Officer – David McPeak
Registrar of Vital Statistics – Tara Martin
Deputy Registrar – Dorothea Jones
Alt. Registrars – Terry Shannon, Patricia Moriarty
Tax Office Clerk – Kim Beebe
Department of Public Works, Parks & Public Property
Public Works Superintendent – Joseph L. Ciano
Assistant Superintendent of DPW – James Beebe
Highway Department Employees – Michael Hughes, David Carey, Harry Smith, Michael Minutola, Jason Green
Sewer Operator – Jeff Baker
Zoning Enforcement Officer – Tara Martin
Building Code Secretary – Tara Martin
Construction Code Official – Stephen Beach
Plumbing Sub-Code Official: Charles Johnson
Building Sub-Code Official: Stephen Beach
Electrical Sub-Code Official: Mark Lagge
Fire Sub-Code Official: Ralph Jones
Property Maintenance Officer – Stephen Beach
Rental Inspection Officer & Chicken Inspector – Ken Herman
Municipal Court Personnel
Effective January 1, 2018, the following individuals have been appointed to the Municipal Court positions as indicated under the Shared Services Agreement for Municipal Court Services with the Borough of Oaklyn.
Court Administrator – Dawn Abate
Deputy Court Administrator – Sharon McMaster
Deputy Court Administrator – Karen Eckert
Deputy Court Administrator – Cynthia White
Municipal Court Prosecutor – Andrew Viola, Esq.
Public Defender – Charles W. Wiggington, III, Esq.
Public Defender (secondary) – William J. Stopper, Esq.
All other Resolutions on the Commissioners’ agenda were approved, including vouchers totaling $820,881.17
Excerpts From Commissioners’ Reports
Commissioner Andrew Gilmore
Commissioner Gilmore provided the reports for the Mt. Ephraim Police and Fire Departments for December, 2017:
15 calls for mutual aid
4 motor vehicle accidents
3 dwelling fires
7 incidental calls
1 vehicle extrication
The Fire Department also assisted the Police Department and EMS 6 times
There were 41 total calls for the month. One drill was conducted — with a total of 26 total man hours.
The amount of volunteer man hours for the month totalled 214.
548 total calls received
322 case numbers assigned
26 answered alarms
80 ambulance assists
7 animal complaints
6 calls for criminal mischief
1 disorderly person
3 domestic violence offenses
11 drug offenses
21 calls for information
2 missing persons
15 motor vehicle accidents
Three 911 verifications
8 suspicious vehicles or persons
11 vacation or business checks
18 warrants served
167 motor vehicle summonses issued
There were 19 adult arrests for the month:
1 for burglary
1 for criminal mischief
1 for disorderly conduct
1 for hindering apprehension
10 for possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS)
3 for possession of drug paraphernalia
2 for shoplifting
Two officers attended an Internal Affairs training session.
Commissioner Michael “Traz” Tovinsky
Commissioner Tovinsky stated that there were 83,700 pounds of single stream recycling. Trash tonnage amounted to 163 tons at a cost of $11,839 to Camden. The Borough received $227.10 for 3,420 pounds of metal.
Archie’s Plumbing took care of plumbing problems at the Dougherty Center.
PSE&G was called to repair the street lights on Kings Highway.
Construction Office Report for December
22 permits were issued totalling $3,665.
2 vacant property registrations for $1,000.
5 re-sale of COs (Certificates of Occupancy) for $600.
There were 55 construction permits issued that brought in $41,704 and 51 vacant property registrations that brought in $60,291. Resale of COs totalled 97 and brought in $11,520.
Borough Engineer’s Report
The Borough engineer, Joe Federici, said that design for the Northmont Avenue project is underway and is expected to go out for bid within the next month or two. Construction is slated to begin in spring or summer.
Mayor Joe Wolk
As part of his report, Mayor Wolk said that taxes received for December totaled: $142,194.91.
He thanked everyone who participated in the Christmas parade and all of the volunteers.
The 2018 budget is being worked on. “Our sense is that we have may have an introduction for April reading,” he said.
Monthly Meeting Time Change
Caucus will be Thursday, January 23 at 3:00 p.m. and Mayor Wolk said that the time for the regular meetings has been changed from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“This is our new time and this is the first time the has been changed in the Borough for a number of years,” he said.
During the May 4, 2017 Commissioners’ meeting, Commissioner Andrew Gilmore reported on the Mt. Ephraim Police and Fire Departments’ activity for April.
For police, Gilmore stated that the total number of calls received were 710. Of those 710 calls, 392 were assigned case numbers.
Some of the highlighted offenses were: 13 answered alarms, 58 ambulance assists, four responses to fires, and eight animal complaints.
There were six assaults, one burglary, four death investigations, ten domestic violence offenses, and 16 drug offenses.
There were 26 calls for information and six juvenile complaints.
There were two Megan’s Law violations, 23 motor vehicle accidents,10 shoplifters, and 14 calls for suspicious vehicles or persons.
Fifty-four vacation or business checks were conducted and there were five 911 verifications.
Adult arrests for April totaled 43. Three for hindering apprehension. Two for disorderly conduct. One for driving while suspended. One for driving under the influence. One for forgery. One was a fugitive from justice. One for harassment. Two for obstruction of justice. Eight for possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS). Six for possession of drug paraphernalia. Two for scrapping. Eight for shoplifting. Five for simple assault. One for trespassing. One for urinating in public. One for violation of a restraining order.
There were four juvenile arrests — one for assault and one disorderly person. One for possession of CDS, and one for possession of drug paraphernalia.
There were 39 out-of-town warrants served. Two officers went to training sessions.
The total number of motor vehicle summonses issued for the month were 390. There were 54 moving violations, seven parking offenses, and 329 summonses issued other than moving.
As for the Mt. Ephraim Fire Department, the incidences responded to totaled 33.
Two alarm systems were answered and they assisted the EMS or the police three times. They had four brush fires, one building fire, six incidental fires, four motor vehicle accidents, and 13 calls for mutual aid. Three drills were conducted and there were three community service assignments.
Total weights for the Public Works Department for the month of April: Single stream recycling 77,720 pound trash tonnage. 6,000 pounds of metal were picked up for $345.
Trees were trimmed back for the Little League. Additionally, the Department assisted during the recent craft fair and car show by setting up the barricades, tables, and chairs.
Commissioner Tovinsky said: “We put out for bid for a used trash truck that was inspected by our Department of Public Works foreman and a mechanic. We only had one bidder. We are going to purchase a trash truck that we desperately need.”
Borough Clerk, Terry Shannon, stated that the truck was expected to be delivered May 5.
Mayor Joseph Wolk
Mayor Wolk reported on various amounts that had been received in April, 2017:
Tax collected for 2017: $564,589.31. Sewer for the month of April: $85,331.96. Construction code official: $3,893. State fees: $344. Court fines: $22,790.80. Licenses $1,025. Police reports: $59. Board of Health: $54. UCC Housing Code: $360. Recycling $1,505.46. Workman’s compensation: $1,408. Vacant properties $4,000. Zoning fees $75.
2016 Safety Incentive Award $1,500. Payment of taxes for the West Center $9,000. Clear Channel billboard $76,990.
The Mayor also stated that there were several lien redemptions in the amount of $7,502.57.
The Borough engineer, Joe Federici, gave an update on the Grant Avenue project by stating that the project is “substantially complete” except for striping and a punch list.
He stated that the next project is Northrop Avenue, which will probably begin in the next few weeks.
The Lowell and Harding Avenue project was awarded to R.E. Pierson. Federici said: “After we hear back from the Solicitor, we will begin the process with the bonds, insurance, and contracts.”
He also stated that the traffic counts were received from the police chief regarding stop signs at Pennsylvania Avenue at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and also at Hartka Avenue at the intersection of Lambert.
“I have that information and we will prepare an engineer’s report for those stop signs and I will present that at the May Caucus,” Federici said.
Mayor Wolk stated that for the three projects that are going on now: “Each one we have gotten funded through the State.”
Federici added: “Two of them were $200,000 and one of them was $219,000. A total of $619,000 from the State.”
He said of particular interest was the Winthrop Avenue discretionary aid project. “We have to compete with all of the other towns in the State for the money. But the Winthrop Avenue was a discretionary aid project and a highly competitive project. Because of the efforts of the commissioners, it is really a feather in the Borough’s cap.”
A resident from Lambert Avenue thanked the mayor and the commissioners for looking into the stop sign situation at Lambert and Hartka. The resident said it was “serious” and he was glad to hear that the engineer’s report is moving along. “We noticed today that there was a box put on Lambert Avenue for traffic,” he said.
Police Chief Brian Conte stated: “It’s been there for two weeks.”
The resident responded: “We thank you for doing that. I appreciate all the work that you have done. The Chief came to my house.”
The resident then stated that there was a serious, near fatal accident that had occurred in April at Lambert and Hartka. “I, and the neighbors, understand that the wheels of government grind slowly and we can’t do everything overnight. Even though I was willing to pay for the sign to put it up myself. That’s how serious that situation is. Hopefully, by June we will have a report for the town.”
Borough Solicitor, Eric Riso, explained that with regard to installing new stop signs, there has to be an Ordinance in place saying that these two particular streets will be subject to a stop sign. “The way that an Ordinance is adopted and becomes law is it’s introduced first. That is what is going to happen at the June meeting.”
Then, the Clerk will publish the Ordinance in the paper. There will be a second reading that will happen at the July public meeting, where any public comment can be heard. Then, the vote will be taken to adopt the Ordinance. If it is adopted, it will take effect 20 days thereafter, Riso stated.
Another resident asked about the possibility of having a fence installed at a half-way house.
Solicitor Riso responded: “While we understand your concern, we can’t force an owner of a private property to put a fence up. It’s not municipal property. Just like we couldn’t force you to put a fence up.”
The resident asked if he would be able to get a report that shows how many times over the last 18-24 months the police were called to that residence.
Chief Conte stated that an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) would need to be filed. “If you are entitled to the information, the clerk would disseminate [it] to you,” he said.
There was some back and forth about recent car break-ins and people knocking on doors. Chief Conte encouraged him to call the police and said that until police are called and reports are investigated, complaints are undocumented and unsubstantiated.
Another resident asked for clarification about Megan’s Law violations. Chief Conte said: “Generally, certain Megan’s Law have to be registered at certain times and we are just doing the registration. They are not being arrested. They are just being processed according to the law.”
He further stated: “When he [Commissioner Gilmore] read the arrests off, no one was arrested for Megan’s Law. It was just part of our documentation that we processed two.” Chief Conte suggested that the resident visit NJSP.org to look at the Megan’s Law that are currently registered.
The resident also spoke of people driving through the ball fields. Commissioner Tovinsky stated he would handle that.
In other matters, the Commissioners all commented that the recent Car Show and Craft Fair “was a great day” and thanked everyone involved.
Memorial Day – Monday, May 29
Mt. Ephraim Fire Chief Brian Gilmore stated that the Memorial Day observance will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the firehouse on Bell Road. It will continue at the Norcross Park located at Centre & Jersey and then at the Veterans’ triangle at Davis and Garfield.
All business on the meeting agenda was approved. Click the image below to view the meeting agenda for the approved items.
The commissioners will meet for their Caucus/Workshop on Tuesday, May 23 at 3:00 p.m. at Borough Hall. The next public meeting will be Thursday, June 1 at 8:00 p.m.