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Bellmawr Feature Stories Local Government News Recent News

Bellmawr Recreation Enhancement Waterfront Access Project Nears Completion

The Bellmawr Recreation Enhancement Waterfront Access project — on Creek Road and across from Larc School — is nearing completion.

At Council’s August 24, 2017 monthly meeting, Councilman Steve Sauter said that the work is being performed utilizing Highway Department personnel who are working along with SealMaster.

Sauter said: “We perform all the labor and SealMaster supplies all of the equipment, material, and the knowledge on how to get this done. They are using thermoplastic material. It is working out really well.”

He also stated that the area will also be nicely landscaped. “We are looking into obtaining quotes for an irrigation system so that once we do expend those funds to make it look nice, we want to keep it looking nice.”

Mayor Filipek added that trees will also be planted there.

Councilman Ray Bider said the veterans’ memorial is still being worked on. Plans include an All War Memorial and for each branch of the military to be represented.

The goal is for the memorial to open on Veterans Day with a ceremony, he said.

Continuing with his committee report, Councilman Sauter said that under Public Works, the Salem Avenue project was completed in July and that Hart Avenue reconstruction was completed on August 11.

“The Vaughn Avenue project that was slated to begin is on hold due to American Water replacing the water main to the homes on Vaughn,” Sauter said. “Our concrete and asphalt work is back about a month.” Because of that, the Kingston and Leaf Avenue project is also on hold.

As for the line striping and painting in the middle section of town, which goes from the Black Horse Pike to Route 42, Sauter said that is nearly compete. “That went well and was headed up by Mike Williams, who does a fantastic job for us.”

Shared services projects are slated for Mt. Ephraim, Runnemede, and Hi Nella. “Shared services agreements are really working out well for us in helping to reduce our taxes,” Sauter said.

With regard to the water tank replacement project on Warren Avenue, Sauter said: “That is estimated to be completed and operating by the end of the year, weather permitting. We will keep everybody apprised of that.”

Warren Avenue Water Tank
Photo by SJO taken of the Warren Avenue Water Tank replacement project taken August 27, 2017. The new water tank will be built adjacent to the old one. Once the new tank is fully constructed and operational, the old tank will be removed.

Councilman Paul Sandrock

“Our Court and our Court Administrator [Amanda Cubbler] have been doing a fantastic job,” Sandrock said. “There has been an increase in the amount of court cases that the municipality has been hearing and that is due to our new officers are more aggressive and of course, the aggressiveness of our code enforcement for our property maintenance that is occurring here throughout the municipality.”

He stated that a lot of court cases have been heard in front of the judge, which increases the volume. “They’ve been handling that very well and doing a fantastic job,” he said.

Councilman Jamie Casey

Councilman Casey stated that the Borough’s Building and Lands Department will be entering into a shared services agreement with Audubon Park. “This is a great way and keeps our guys busy, makes us money, and helps out other towns. It’s another example of how Bellmawr helps the County with shared services,” he said.

Mayor Frank Filipek

Councilman Jim D’Angelo was absent from the meeting and Mayor Filipek gave the report for the Recreation Department.

“The batting cages are almost finished,” Mayor Filipek stated. “It is nice and huge. The kids are going to enjoy it.”

He hopes that it will be open in the middle of September.

The Mayor added: “We got donations for the balls and the machines. Everything is ready to go. Josh Tregear [Borough Administrator] did a good job working with the state getting everything finalized and making sure everything is up to par and up to State regulations,” Filipek stated.

He also spoke about the Summer Rec program. “I’ve been getting nothing but raves about our Summer Rec program. People can’t believe that a town like Bellmawr does what we do for the kids… hiring 60 kids in the summertime for five weeks.”

All the kids go for free. It’s a very good program and went well, Filipek stated.

He thanked the Recreation Department for maintaining the fields and stated: “We have been working on different ideas on how to utilize the Little League building.”

Councilman Steve Hagerty

Bellmawr Park Fire Department is continuing their membership drive. If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer fireman, they can stop by the firehouse. Updates are posted on their Facebook page. 

For the Police Department, Hagerty said that patrols will be boosted around the schools to make sure everyone is aware of the drop-off and pick-up areas.

Councilman Ray Bider

As for finance and the audit, Bider stated that the Best Practices Worksheet is due in October will hopefully be done in September, he said. “Bottom line, we need to achieve around 80% or higher to receive the entire portion of State Aid. Last year, we were around 90%. This year, we are looking to hopefully be in that same range. Most [municipalities] are in the low 80s.”

Bider spoke about working with the auditors to try to further expand shared services with surrounding communities. “Not just in the areas that Steve [Sauter] mentioned, but also in some others. Hopefully, we will have some good news for you.”

Bider commented on recently passed legislation concerning veterans that involves the appeals process and also the building of new medical centers.

During the public portion, a resident commented about trash, water bottles, and rocks from a contractor doing work. Another resident asked to see if there was any assistance available to help with mosquitoes.

Agenda Items

All business on Council’s agenda was approved, with the exception of Resolutions #08-191-17 and #08-192-17, which were tabled. (Click the image below to view the meeting agenda with all supporting Resolutions.)

Bellmawr Council August 24, 2017 AgendaThere were two add-on items not listed on the printed agenda, but were read aloud, voted on and approved:

  • 08-194-17, which authorizes the proper officers of the Borough of Bellmawr to execute a deed of vacation from the Borough of Bellmawr for Block 55 lot 3 to the State of New Jersey Department of Transportation.
  • 08-195-17, which authorizes a shared services agreement by and between Audubon Park and Borough of Bellmawr relative to maintenance services at the Audubon Park old school building to be provided by the Borough of Bellmawr.

The bill list was also approved, but Councilman Paul Sandrock abstained.

Bellmawr Council August 24, 2017 bill list

Finally, Ordinance #07-15-17 second reading, public reading and final adoption Salary Ordinance for the Borough of Bellmawr was approved, but Councilman Sandrock voted no.

2017 Bellmawr Salary Ordinance

Council meets next for its caucus meeting on Thursday, September 21 at 5:00 p.m Council’s regular monthly meeting will be Thursday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m.

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Bellmawr Council To Vote Again on Borough Administrator Appt.

(Part 2 of 2)

At its Re-Organization meeting on January 6, Bellmawr Council voted to approve all of the 2017 appointments of Borough employees, Boards, and Commissions, with the exception of the Borough Administrator appointment.

Council was split 3-3 as it relates to this appointment and on roll call, each Councilman voted as follows:

Paul Sandrock – Yes. Abstain from any type of family member appointment.

Jamie Casey – Yes, with the exception of the Business Administrator.

Jim D’Angelo – No.

Steve Sauter – Yes, with exception to family appointments and no to the position of Administrator.

Steve Hagerty – Yes.

Ray Bider – Yes.

Because there wasn’t a majority of votes cast either way – to either approve or not to approve the appointment of Borough Administrator – Council will vote again as it relates to this appointment at its next regular meeting on January 26 under old business, Borough Clerk, Chuck Sauter, confirmed via telephone on January 12.

If that vote still results in a tie, then Mayor Frank Filipek will cast the tie-breaker. As head of the Borough’s municipal government, Mayor Filipek presides over Council and votes only to break ties, according to the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

(Screenshot: New Jersey League of Municipalities)

 

(Click the image to view all three pages of the list of appointments. In addition to the Borough Employees, this list also contains the names of those who are serving on the Planning and Zoning Boards, along with those appointed to the Board of Health and the Beautification Committee.)

2017 Council Committee Assignments

Council also voted to establish various Committees for 2017 and approved which Councilmen will serve on those Committees. (See below.)

Remaining Agenda Items

The remaining items on the meeting agenda were approved, including the bill list for December, 2016, from which Councilman Sandrock voted yes, exception of payment of insurance.*

January 6, 2017 Re-Organization Agenda & Resolutions

January, 2017 Bill List

Bellmawr Waterfront Development

Three Resolutions were approved on the agenda concerning appointments regarding Bellmawr Waterfront Development:

  • Bellmawr Waterfront Development, LLC, as re-developer for the Borough of Bellmawr.
  • McMahon & Associates for professional traffic consultant services.
  • Attorney Michael McKenna as special counsel for Bellmawr Waterfront Development. Mayor Frank Filipek stated in part: “The lawyer will be paid by the developer, not us.”

(*A follow-up article on the previously ordered traffic study and other information regarding Bellmawr Waterfront Development will be posted shortly.)

Council’s Next Meetings

Council will meet next for its Caucus meeting Thursday, January 19 at 5:00 p.m. in the conference room of  Borough Hall and its regular meeting will take place on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the courtroom of Borough Hall.

(*Article corrected on 1/12/2017 at 11:30 p.m. to correct the wording of Councilman Sandrock’s vote regarding the bill payment list.) 

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Ray Bider & Jamie Casey Installed to Bellmawr Council; Steven Hagerty Named Council Pres.

(Part 1 of 2) This post will feature the installation of Ray Bider and Jamie Casey to Bellmawr Council and also the committee reports from the January 6, 2017 reorganization meeting. The second post will focus on the agenda items and approved business.

Installation of Newly Elected Council Members

At the Borough of Bellmawr’s January 6 reorganization meeting, V.F.W. Post #7410 presented the flags and led the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the installation of Jamie Casey and Ray Bider to Council. Both Bider and Casey were elected to serve three year terms.

Also in attendance were many elected state and local representatives.

VFW Post 7410, Paul Sandrock Jamie Casey
All Photos by SJO. Members of V.F.W. Post #7410 presented the flags. At right, are Councilmen Paul Sandrock and Jamie Casey.
Ray Bider Fred Madden
Councilman Ray Bider receives the Oath of Office from Senator Fred Madden.
Jamie Casey Congressman Donald Norcross
(Above and below) Councilman Jamie Casey receives the Oath of Office from Congressman Donald Norcross. Also pictured are the Casey Family.

From left to right: Congressman Donald Norcross, Councilman Jamie Casey, Councilman Ray Bider and Congressman Fred Madden.

Steve Hagerty Named Bellmawr Council President

Council member, Steve Hagerty, was named Council President and was sworn in by Borough Solicitor, Robert Messick.

Steven Hagerty Robert Messick
Councilman Steve Hagerty is sworn in as Bellmawr Council president by Solicitor Robert Messick. Also pictured are Arlene & David Hagerty.
Donald Norcross Fred Madden Bill Moen
Congressman Donald Norcross with Senator Fred Madden and Freeholder Bill Moen
Senator Fred Madden recalled the “many times” he had been in the Bellmawr Borough Hall building as a New Jersey State Trooper. “Your Police Department has always been gracious to the New Jersey State Police. It’s a fantastic partnership that is still there under Chief [William] Walsh,” he said.  As a child, Madden played for the Bellmawr Tigers.
Runnemede’s Freeholder Bill Moen remembered when his first stint in public service was being sworn in as a Bellmawr Police Explorer. “That’s where I got my start in understanding and appreciating how much public service meant to me.” During the May, 2016 Freeholder Board meeting that Bellmawr hosted, Moen stated that several Bellmawr’s police officers were honored for “some of the great work that they do.” He also added: “My door is always open. My colleagues and I on the Board share the same views and values. If we can ever be helpful, feel free to reach out.”
Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones speaks during Bellmawr’s Re-organization meeting.
Arthur Barclay Nilsa Cruz Perez
Assemblyman Arthur Barclay and Senator Nilsa Cruz Perez also attended Bellmawr’s re-organization meeting.

Excerpts from Committee Reports

Councilman Jamie Casey

I want to wish a Happy New Year to everyone. I want to thank everyone who got me here. There are a lot of people in this room who worked really hard to make sure I was in this position.  I put up with a lot of stuff too.

Bellmawr Council Jamie Casey
As he gave his first Committee Report, Councilman Casey quipped: “I look forward to working with you guys to make Bellmawr great again.”

Councilman Paul Sandrock

To Jamie: It’s nice to see a known man step up and serve his community. He brings a nice family and certainly, a great deal of experience to the table and it’s going to be a pleasure serving with you.

To Ray: We’ve had the esteemed pleasure to work with you for the past few months, and it’s been a certainly enlightening experience. Congratulations.

To all the residents in town and to all of our Borough workers that mean so much to all of us: We wish you a happy New Year and a healthy New Year.

Our Borough workers do a terrific job day in and day out and we do have a great community and we do great services here and I am proud to be part of this Council.

Councilman Jim D’Angelo

First of all on behalf of everybody at the Rec Department: Happy New Year. I hope everybody has a healthy New Year.

Congratulations to Mr. Bider. I’ve known him for a very long time through Bellmawr Hockey, [it’s] a great fit. You deserve to be here. I am looking forward to an exciting year. I think we will have a lot of fun. I wish you the utmost congratulations.

To my friend, Mr. Casey:  I’ve have known [you] for a number of years through school board, which is another thing we have in common besides being cops. I wish you the best and I think you also deserve to be here, especially with all of your experience going back to the school board. I think it is a good fit. I am excited for you as I am for all of us. I am excited to be here, quite frankly. I have known the Casey’s for a long time.

Councilman Steve Sauter

I also would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2017. I would like to extend my congratulations to Ray and to Jamie, for being sworn in to their terms for Council. As it’s being said, it’s well deserved.

To Steve Hagerty for being sworn in as President of Council, I am sure you will do an excellent job.

On behalf of Public Works, if you missed it: We were featured on CBS-3. It was the Public Works Department all lined up and ready to go prepared for whatever we get. We are ready.

Councilman Steve Hagerty

To Ray: Congratulations. To Jamie: Congratulations. To all of the residents: Happy New Year.

Councilman Ray Bider

I won’t congratulate myself, but to Jamie: I look forward to a very successful three years and maybe beyond, working together. Steve, I think the mayor made a tremendous choice in you [as Council President ]… I’d like to wish all of you a Happy New Year.

Mayor Frank Filipek

I’d like to thank everyone for being here today and have a nice New Year. I hope it’s healthy and it’s a good one. Bellmawr has always been God’s country. We’ve been great from the beginning and it’s still great. It’s great because of the Norcrosses and the Assembly people and the Freeholders who work with all of us. But most important, it’s because of our Chief of Police, our directors, our public works, recreation, sewer departments, and all of our employees. They make us look good. We have a good working relationship.

We work together very well. It’s been like that for years and that is why Bellmawr is such a clean, close-knit town. We have our problems and we get them straightened out, we hope.

We miss our friends. I miss two people especially: [former council members] Regina [Piontowski] and Dave [Duncan]. I miss Tony Infanti, ex-mayor. They were friends of mine and we get older and that’s what happens. I have to give credit to Angelo Errichetti. He might have been in jail, but he was a close friend of mine and brought me into politics. The other one is George Norcross, Donald’s brother. We started in politics together. I’ll be 76 and I started way back.

To the citizens: We hope there aren’t as many complaints as last year. When something is wrong, you’re on the phone blaming us. But, you have to remember something, we don’t make major decisions. We can only do what we can do.

We work along well with the Freeholders at the County. We work along with the Senate, also Congress.

For the first time, we have somebody in Washington who I can call and he will answer my call right away.

I want to thank [Borough Clerk] Chuck [Sauter] for all the work he has done for us. And [Borough Solicitor], Bob Messick has been here. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the work that you do.

Josh, our Business Administrator, is doing a great job and …he continues to work hard.

God bless you all. We have a good working group.

(Part 2 of this article will be posted later in the week.)

SJO’s Photo Gallery of Bellmawr Council’s Re-Organization meeting:

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Bellmawr Borough Committee Reports: Dec. 13 Council Meeting

 

(This article is the first of two parts.)

Editor’s note: SJO is splitting up the report for council’s December 13 monthly meeting into two parts because of length. This was David Spector’s last meeting as Bellmawr Councilman and Mayor Frank Filipek and all of the other Councilmen acknowledged his service. In addition to the agenda items and Resolutions that were approved, three residents spoke during the public portion with questions. 

This first part includes excerpts from Mayor and Council’s committee reports. Part Two will be posted on December 20.

Councilman Paul Sandrock

I would like to publicly thank all of the employees and the residents in town for making the Christmas parade this past year. It worked out really well and shines a good light on this town and this great community. I wish all of the residents a safe and Happy Holiday.

Chairlift Project to Start Jan. 11

We are still working on the ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act] compliancy within the municipality with getting a chairlift installed. We did run into a few glitches, one of them being asbestos abatement. We had to address that first before continuing on. That project is slated to begin January 11.

Court Administrator Retiring

Our Court Administrator is retiring and we are going through the process now. The Judge [Deborah Silverman Katz] has appointed an acting administrator. After the first of year, we will be doing a solicitation for a new Court Administrator, as per the judiciary system within Camden County.

Also, I would like to thank Dave Spector for serving as Councilman for the past several months filling the seat of Dave Duncan. I wish him well in his endeavors. He served with dignity.

Councilman David Spector

David Spector’s remarks were featured in a SJO article dated December 13th.

Councilman Jim D’Angelo

Christmas in the Park was successful. It was nicely done. Thanks to Bellmawr Fire #1 and Bellmawr Park Fire for their participation in the parade and all the Fire Companies that took part in the parade. It was extremely successful.

Bellmawr Christmas in the Park
Photo by SJO. Earlier this month, two employees from the Borough’s Recreation Department make preparations for Bellmawr’s annual Christmas in the Park.

We had a gentleman in town [named] John Biaselli, who passed away. He was 95 and lived in San Diego. He was a Marine and a Veteran of World War II in Korea. He was a former U.S. Olympic Weightlifting coach, former member of the U.S. Weightlifting Federation and the AAU. He was also a longtime weightlifting coach in Bellmawr.

He was somebody who had such a history in our town and did something cool by taking over the Rec Department and had a weight lifting program for the kids.

Finally, Mr. Spector: I know we haven’t seen the last of you. You’re going to be back because, if nothing else, I think everybody learns things in life. I think we all learned something this past year. You have a good heart and that’s really what you need. If you are going to do anything in life, you have to have a good heart and you have one. I wish you the best. I have no doubt that I will see you again.

Councilman Steve Sauter

On Public Works, the street signs [replacement] project has commenced. It is in accordance with Municipal Uniform Traffic Code (MUTC) well in advance of the deadline that we have to meet. It will make a great difference in town.

Bellmawr Highway Dept.
Photo by SJO: Bellmawr Highway Department’s Tony Davey and John Patterson replace a street sign at the corner of Chalmers & Lucille Aves. in the Crescent Park section of town. All of the Borough’s 448 street signs will be replaced. Public Works has advised SJO that the old street signs are not available for purchase at this time.

To David, I wish you all the best. It’s been a pleasure.

On behalf of myself and the Public Works Department: I would like to extend to everyone a very Merry Christmas a healthy and a happy 2017.

Councilman Steve Hagerty

As for the Fire Department [in Councilman Sandrock’s absence], Frank Sandrock stepped up and did a hell of a job and took the reins [for the Christmas parade] and, along with the other guys from the department, he made sure everything was running smooth.

Bellmawr FD Visits Larc School

On December 15, the Fire Department along with the officers from the Camden County Correctional Facility, like they do every year, take toys over to Larc School and present each child with a toy. The Fire Department helps out by delivering Santa Claus. These guys take time out of their day to make sure that the kids at Larc School have a good time for the holidays.

Bellmawr Fire Department Larc School
Photo by SJO. Bellmawr Fire Dept. delivers Santa to Larc School to visit with the students.

Our Police Department, did a sting to crack down on prostitution in the hotels along the Black Horse Pike, especially where the exits are for the Turnpike where it’s easy access. Thanks to Det. Sgt. Bill Perna and his guys for the job there and for cleaning up some of that.

As for Christmas in the Park: great job. The workers got there around 4 o’clock. They didn’t leave until around 11:00 p.m. and made sure everything was put up and secured safely overnight. There were two shifts during that time for the residents and surrounding towns to enjoy. The Rec Department and the Public Works Department do a great job with that.

Dave, Like everyone said: We know we will be seeing you around. You did an outstanding job, not only here, but also in the Democrat Club, and especially with the seniors. All of the seniors speak highly of you and are very appreciative of you taking care of them the way that you do and making sure that their voice was heard.

Councilman Ray Bider

On January 8, VFW 9563 will be installing a new auxiliary. If anybody is interested, they need to have a relative that was in the service during an overseas war zone during conflict and have to produce a DD214 form. They could give it to me or drop it off at the VFW. We are still open for additional members. Right now, there are about 45-50 that will be on the new charter.

Finance

The Finance Committee met with the auditor to look at any deficiencies or findings in the audit. Everything is being finalized now for these deficiencies and the corrective action plan will be completed, if not before the first of the year, then shortly thereafter. Nothing major has been cited.

Our policy book is being redone by our labor attorney to ensure that we are in adherence to all state mandates so we won’t have any problems now or down the road.

Our goal for finance for 2017 is to really look at the State Aid that we get, the State mandates that we are required to do, and any other issues that impact our local budget. Then, we will develop a multi-year three to five year projection with the goal of trying to come through with a zero or minus tax increase. That is my goal as finance chair.

As far the holidays, as everyone said have a Merry Christmas and healthy, Happy New Year.

Finally, Dave: You know I am advocate of yours. I am here for any endeavor that you choose to participate in and will do whatever I can to help further whatever your envisions are. You deserve it.

Mayor Frank Filipek

Christmas in the Park was a big success. We had it for five nights and I’d say we saw between 6,000-8,000 people from all over the county. It is amazing what we did. It did not cost the tax payers one cent. Everything was given away for free. Santa Claus, toys, hot chocolate, cookies, [pony] rides. Some of the businesses donated cookies or donated money and everything was paid.

I just want to thank all of the businesses and everyone that donated. I just don’t want to say all the names because if I miss someone then I would feel bad.

I want to thank Chuck for being Santa Claus. You did a fantastic job. Thanks to all the guys that work at the Rec and all the people that work in the Borough of Bellmawr who gave up their time. Everybody donated their services. It was cold a couple of nights and it was a tough job. I want to thank the Council. They all showed up and came out to help. Everybody worked together as a team, which is the key to the whole thing. You work as a team and things get done.

To Dave: you have your whole life ahead of you. You’re 28 years old. You win some. You lose some. I’ve won some and I’ve lost some. People hate you then they love you. You have to remember one thing: If you are doing it for the right thing and you get up in the morning and you look in that mirror and you say to yourself: “There is nothing that I did wrong, Everything I did was for the people and I didn’t do it for myself,” that is all you have to worry about.

Don’t give up. Keep fighting. You’re 28. I wish I was 28 years old again. You have your whole life ahead of you. Whatever you want to be, you can do it. I think this taught you something. I hope it did because sometimes a defeat teaches you more than a victory. For the Borough of Bellmawr, we’re going to miss you. You did a hell of a job. Anything that I asked you to do, you did. We fought. We had our arguments. Sometimes, you didn’t want to listen, but you’re young. My kids don’t listen to me either, so I don’t feel too bad.

You did a great job. You did what you’re supposed to do. You helped the seniors and you helped everyone that you could.

To your family, you should be proud. You did a fantastic job. We are proud of him. Sometimes, we don’t act it, but that’s the business of politics. You see what happened in November.

I know you are going to stay with us. You’re not going to leave. You’re going to be a Bellmawr resident. You never know what’s going to happen. My door is always open.

From my family and Council, to all of the employees that do a great job and to all of the citizens, have a Merry Christmas, have a happy and holy New Year. I hope you get what you want from Santa.

Hugg-Harrison-Glover House

It’s not being knocked down and I haven’t heard from the State about what they are going to do. December 1 wasn’t a deadline. They’re trying to find a way to move it, not through the cemetery, but a back way. I think we saved the building. I think the State has to find a way to come up with the $400+ thousand dollars to move it.

One day, I was thinking: We have a piece of land that no one is using so that helped us.

To Rev. Vincent Kovlak, to everyone else that got involved, and the newspapers all did a great job.

We will still be on top of it.

(Part 2 will be posted December 20.)

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Bellmawr Baseball Champs Honored; Anthony Abbate Joins Bellmawr PD

Bellmawr Mayor Frank Filipek and Council honored Bellmawr Baseball’s Babe Ruth team for clinching their 13-15 age division. The team received their jackets at last week’s council meeting.

Bellmawr Baseball President, Rick Dougherty, said that the team went undefeated in their regular season and that it was “pretty amazing that they won every game.”

Anthony Abbate Sworn in Patrolman

Also at the meeting last week, Anthony Abbate was introduced as the newest member of the Bellmawr Police Department. Abbate, formerly of the Oaklyn Police Department, was sworn in as a Patrolman.

Committee Reports

The Councilmen gave committee reports, with the exception of Steve Sauter, who was absent. Following are excerpts:

Councilman Paul Sandrock:

“Construction permits have been issued for the chairlift project here at the Borough Hall. A pre-construction meeting will be October 3. Our Borough employees will begin this project next week. We’ve also been granted monies to make improvements to our Borough owned homes on Alcyon Drive and we are waiting on final documents from the County.”

“With regard to Municipal Court, we continue to explore the possibility of a shared services agreement with Runnemede.”

“Regarding personnel, we are working with our Borough Auditor on payroll and pension issues that were revealed in our audit and we are investigating our best practices as per the corrective action plan.”

Councilman David Spector:

The [Camden County] Health Fair is going to be held Wednesday, September 28 at 10:00 am at Cooper River. They are going to be giving out flu shots and other giveaways. It’s a nice event. A lot of our Bellmawr seniors go to that event.”

“The Bellmawr seniors are having a pasta luncheon/dinner Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. This is something they do every year. So I think that will be a nice event if anyone would like to attend.”

“In regard to our town wide clean up, we are in the process of finalizing another work session to discuss the clean up and getting folks involved to volunteer.  We are going to work on meeting in the next coming weeks.”

“If you need a flyer or need any information, please contact me or Chuck Sauter. It’s going to be Saturday, October 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Rec Center. We will have lunch and giveaways and it should be a nice day.”

“I also had the pleasure of participating in Brooklawn Shop-Rite’s Partners in Caring Bag for Hunger. I joined with Mayor Teri Branella, Brooklawn Fire and EMS and I was happy to be invited to attend. A lot of our residents shop there so I thought it would be a good idea to support such a good cause.”

“I want to congratulate new officer Anthony Abbate. I am looking forward to having him join our Department. I think he is going to do a great job.”

“As for Sgt. Chris Cummings and his heroic actions, I think with all of the different movements happening across the country, it is such a good thing to see law enforcement in a positive light and I think it needs to be that way and it needs to stay that way. The Department is lucky to have him and it’s such a great honor.”

“Lastly, I want to congratulate Bellmawr Baseball coaches and players on the championship.”

Councilman Jim D’Angelo:

“The Rec Department continues to keep up with properties vacated by residents.”

“The parking lot at the Rec has been completed. We took out the old fence and inserted a parking area and it’s been striped and the signs are up. It looks good and it’s being used so that’s even better. We continue to paint the fences up there. We continue to take down the damaged portions. We are still waiting for the new gate at the Bell Road entrance. We are going to improve the volleyball court. We are going to add new sand and put up a new net to make that better.”

“Our Fall Festival is October 15. There are going to be kiddie rides, pony rides, and beer garden. The inflatables will be up and fire prevention will be set up. Vendors are pending. They usually wait two weeks before the event to see what the weather is going to be like. About two weeks before the event, we will have a better idea of how many vendors we are going to have. Right now, we are not sure.”

“Last thing, on October 28, Bellmawr Police PBA 375 and the Rec Department are going to hold the 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat at the Rec Center. Flyers will be sent around. It’s going to be 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s $5 for a wristband to trick or treat. There won’t be a charge for cars if you’re going to come in to hand out the treats. The concession stand is going to be open for hot dogs and sodas.”

“Trick or treat bags are going to be supplied by Bellmawr Police PBA 375. There will be a couple of contests. There will be more information on that next month.”

Councilman Steve Hagerty:

“I want to congratulate Patrolman Anthony Abbate for being hired here as a Bellmawr Police Officer and to Sgt. Chris Cummings for his heroic actions down in Atlantic City.”

“Under Police, I rode around with the Chief [William Walsh] on opening day for school and surveyed all three schools when they were letting out. I think we did alright at Bellmawr Park. We aren’t going to solve the whole problem. I think mainly it’s just communication once everyone falls in line and sees the proper procedures and how to do it.”

“I would like to thank the Highway Department, the Rec Department, the Sewer Department, and the Water Department for getting this project done to help alleviate some of the problems over at Bellmawr Park.”

“EMS had a very busy week with two house fires – one was in the Bellmawr Park section and one in the Crescent Park section. In the Crescent Park section, the Shannon family lost their home. On Facebook, if anyone wants to reach out, there are different ways to help raise money to help them get by and to help them get back on their feet. Great job by those guys who were able to get there.”

“As far as Fire, Chief [Jim] Burleigh was awarded a $24,500 grant.”

Chief Burleigh added: “It was a Port Security Grant from Homeland Security. We applied for it to enhance our flammable liquid firefighting capabilities in town.”

Councilman Ray Bider:

“The superintendent, Annette [Castiglione] sent me an email asked me if I would read it:”

I believe things are going pretty well with the parking. The parents are getting used to the new procedures and we are tweaking things as they come up. We are grateful to you, Joe Ciano, Mayor and Council, and the Police, etc. for all the help they have given us and I hope that it will continue to improve.

“Also, at Bellmawr Schools beginning October 6 at 3:30 in the afternoon, they are going to be having family support groups that are basically for English Language Learners.”

“[Regarding] Triton, I met with their administration. QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum) is a New Jersey State monitoring group. What they did was give Triton a high performing grade for all of the work that they are doing educationally with their Green program, etc. So the State Board of Education issued them a high performance rating for three years before they are monitored again.”

“As far as finance, again it has been a pretty good week with donations – benches for the municipal building, jackets [for Bellmawr Baseball] and Compassionate Science [in all] totaling $5,750. We are very fortunate.”

“Every Borough completes best practices. Bellmawr usually comes in the 80, 81, 82 percent. And now they are up to 87 percent, which is highly commendable. We should thank [Borough Administrator] Josh [Tregear], [Borough Clerk] Chuck [Sauter] and [Chief Financial Officer] Maria [Fasulo] for the work they have done to raise this score.”

Mayor Frank Filipek:

Mayor Frank Filipek said that the Borough had recently applied for a $50,000 grant for the historic Harrison-Hugg-Glover House to try to save it.

Public Portion

A resident from Rose Avenue complained that the property next to his has been vacant. He also said that the grass hasn’t been cut since mid-July and also that the shrubbery is overgrown. Mayor Filipek responded that someone would be sent out to take care of it.

Council Approves Agenda Items

All items on the meeting agenda were approved:

September 22, 2016 Council Agenda

September 22, 2016 Resolutions

Among the approvals were:

  • To authorize an emergency appropriation in the amount of $55,000 to settle a certain lawsuit captioned William Brody & Kathleen O’Hara vs. Borough of Brooklawn and Borough of Bellmawr. The basis of the lawsuit involved the annual required Certificate of Occupancy inspection for all rental property units. (Note: SJO filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) Request for the settlement documents and will post them once they’ve all been received.)
  • To authorize emergency appropriation in the amount of $6,800 due to a water main break at Holly Place and Carter Avenue with the installation of a 6” Insta-Valve.
  • To authorize an extraordinary unspecifiable services agreement for Southern New Jersey Regional Employee Benefits Fund. (Councilman Paul Sandrock abstained).
  • To authorize an amendment to the shared services agreement with the Borough of Haddon Heights for the maintenance of fire apparatus.
  • To authorize extraordinary unspecifiable services agreement for Fire Line Equipment, LLC to purchase parts to upgrade Ladder 32.
  • To award a contract to South Jersey Technology Partnership (SJTP) for the roof replacement at the Public Works garage in the amount of $134,200.
  • To appoint Chester Dirkes as  Building Sub Code Official for the Borough.

Council accepted the following new hires for the period of July 8, 2016-September 22, 2016:

  • Thomas Schultz, Jr., Highway Department
  • Gloria Lloren, EMT
  • Michael Karas, EMT
  • Colin Rider, Class II Special Officer for the Bellmawr Police Department.
  • Mark DeBerardinis, Class II Special Officer for the Bellmawr Police Department.

Council also authorized payment of the September, 2016 bill list. (Councilman Paul Sandrock abstained).

September, 2016 Bill List

Batting Cages

Regarding Resolution 09:200-16, which authorized Bellmawr officials to execute the escrow and payment agreement with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the batting cages, SJO asked Borough Administrator, Josh Tregear, to provide clarification.

Tregear responded via email: “The Borough appropriated the money ($480,000) in order to get the project started by inserting a line item into the budget, but with full understanding that any incurred costs will be pass-thru to the NJ-DOT.  The project is in the bid process now, and the educated assumption is the bids the Borough receives will be at, or lower than the lowest original quote.  If construction costs begin trending higher, the Borough will do ‘deducts’ to ensure we do not go beyond the funds committed by the DOT.”

In other Borough related business, an Invitation to Bid was posted on Bellmawr.com on September 21 with regard to EMS billing services. The current contract is set to expire at the end of this year. The purpose of the Request for Proposal (RFP) is to see if the Borough can get a better price for EMS billing services. Bids will be opened and publicly read on on Monday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m. at Borough Hall.

Mayor and Council will meet for its Caucus meeting on Thursday, October 20 at 5:00 p.m. in the conference room at Borough Hall. The Regular meeting will take place on Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the courtroom at Borough Hall.