Below please find the Council Reports from the July 13, 2020, Borough Council Meeting. As always, please feel free to reach out at any time with questions or concerns:
Paul Blass firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Rudley email@example.com
Matthew Weng firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa E. James email@example.com
Adam Mazzola firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Report from Council President - Paul Blass
The Historic Preservation Commission met last Thursday. Five applications were considered. Three were approved without issue. Two were denied because there were questions involving the applications and no representatives were there to answer them. Since the meeting a subcommittee met with one resident and clarified that application, which will be able to go before the next Planning and Zoning meeting for approval.
On June 23rd representatives from the EDC, Chamber of Commerce, and Police Department met with myself and Councilmen Weng and Mazzola to discuss bikes in the Uptown district. One idea is to install bike racks in more convenient areas. I have had the engineer look into the possibility of installing the racks in bump outs along Broadway.
Recycling Report – June 2020
97.08 Tons of Single Stream Recycling at a cost of $ 9,257.14
5.18 Tons of Metal to Sims Metal; Borough received $ 640.20
799 Cubic Yards of Mulch, leaves, and/or brush hauled out to various places
62 Cubic yards of Mulch delivered to residents
.84 Tons of E-Waste recycled:
Solid Waste Collection – June 2020
228.96 Tons to Wheelabrator @ $74.50 per ton, for a cost of $ 15,145.86
144.86 Tons to Gloucester County Landfill @ $77.50 per ton, for a cost of $ 11,226.68
Since our last meeting, here is a brief summary of the Public Works Department tasks:
• 74 water & sewer mark outs requests.
• Plunged out 4 sewer stoppages.
• Water samples.
• Read 9 meters for settlement.
• 9 Truckloads of bulk trash collected.
• Repaired or replaced street signs in town.
• 8 hours spent cleaning the tops of storm drains.
• 6 hours patching and repairing potholes and sink holes.
• 10 hours grinding leaves and brush for mulch.
• Delivered 70 loads of mulch to residents.
• Spent 10 hours mowing.
• Repaired the trash/recycle can @ various locations.
• Dropped off a truck for yard debris to 12 residences & picked up the next day.
A couple times a year Public Works Director Rodi drives me around and gives me a full update on “issues” in town. Today we had one of those meetings.
• There have been more and more manhole covers that are sinking, which causes a driving hazard. The roads department must replace the mortar supporting the opening.
• In the near future Laurel Avenue will have to be closed to remove a bump that has developed. Due to the extent of the work this will be contracted out.
• Also in the near future the entrance to the parking lot at Sixth Avenue and West will be closed so that the apron can be replaced. This work will be done in-house.
• A crew was dispatched to fix the pump at Lakeside Avenue. Here is where I remind everyone that despite the advertising flushable wipes are not to be flushed. They clog the sewer system. This time, however, the culprit was a T-shirt.
On many occasions residents have let me know of their positive experiences with the Public Works Department. Two weeks ago a resident wrote trying to find out the names of several employees. She owns a business and had forgotten to put out her trash, but the trash cans had been moved and emptied. She checked her security footage and saw that it was the borough workers who did it for her. This is just another example of our dedicated employees going above and beyond for their community.
Please note that construction will take place at the railroad crossings on both Pitman and Holly Avenues. Work on Pitman Avenue will start around July 21st while the work on Holly Avenue will start around July 28th and will take two to three days. Expect detours between 7AM – 5 PM.
Council Report from Councilwoman Amy Rudley
Parks and Recreation
The Summer Tennis Program is going well. They have been following USTA guidelines for COVID-19 safety precautions, including having accessible hand sanitizer, gloves on site, and masks. We should also be receiving $2,000 in grant monies from the Association in the next couple weeks to help with any modifications necessary due to COVID precautions.
Pitman Recreation is currently looking into holding a second year of the Heart of A Champion (HOC) Basketball camp at Shertel Park during the week of August 10. Only limited attendance will be permitted and social distancing guidelines will be met.
We are also hosting six games for the "Last Dance" high school baseball tournament starting tomorrow, first game is 4pm. Pitman Panthers play at 7pm. Games for this tournament will be played at Alcyon Park on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.
We are now taking registrations for fall Micro Mini soccer with plans to begin sometime in September.
If you would like to submit a video for the Pitman Camp-In, please see me or Director Fox for more information. They should be 90-120 seconds, e-mailed to email@example.com and should cover some educational or instructional topic about camping. Videos are due by Saturday, July 18, for consideration in the final program.
The Freedom Four Miler was a great success as a virtual run. There were over 300 registered virtual runners. Tee shirt pick up will be on July 30 at Alcyon Park 6-7:30 p.m. and will be arranged as a drive through.
The Environmental Commission is working to determine the impact that sediment runoff may have had on Glen Lake from construction at the old K-Mart location. They are meeting with John Phelps with SOLITUDE Lake Management to assess and discuss the erosion. Parks Director Andy Fox has also been in touch with Gloucester County Soil Conservation to help ensure that all proper protections are in place for local construction sites in an effort to keep our lakes and parks healthy.
Senior Outreach Committee
Senior Outreach is hoping to hold an in person outreach fair in the fall this year. This would be our Fourth Annual Outreach Fair and we are waiting a few more weeks to see if it is possible to do this safely. Of course, our Seniors are our most vulnerable population and we will not take any risks with their safety.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July celebrating in a new way. You are always welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-214-6342.
Council Report from Councilman Matt Weng
On July 6, Chief McAteer ended the Emergency Action Plan and General Order that the PPD had been working under since the State of Emergency was imposed by Governor Murphy. Special Order SO 2020-04 was issued in its place carrying over the COVID-19 precautions that still apply.
On July 10, Cpl. Decker and PO Baker attended a virtual training on Report Writing.
On July 15, Chief McAteer will attend a virtual open house for the nationally renowned Georgetown University Innovative Policing Program.
On July 18, 10 PPD officers will attend a virtual training on Real World De-Escalation techniques. The remaining officers in the PPD will attend the same training on a different date.
Finally, Chief McAteer, Deputy Chief Zander, and the entire PPD would like to acknowledge the many members of the Pitman community that have thanked them. The PPD has continued to serve with professionalism and committment during these difficult times. Our officers are honored by the many well wishes they've received, and they are well deserved.
Council Report from Councilwoman Vanessa James
Liaison: Finance & Audit, Personnel, Welfare Office, Library Board, Chamber of Commerce, Municipal Alliance, Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion
Greater Pitman Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Pitman Chamber of Commerce will hold its next monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 21st at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Laurel Market Pitman is online this year at https://uptownpitman.com/laurel-market/ You can order online and pick-up your order on Saturdays between 9 am and 12 pm at the Words Matter Bookstore, 52 S. Broadway in Uptown Pitman. Laurel Market looks forward to being back at Sunset Auditorium next season, but still plans to keep an online component.
I urge everyone to please continue to support all our local businesses during this challenging time.
McCowan Memorial Library
After two weeks of curbside service, the library opened to the public at 25% capacity on Monday, July 6th. Public computers are available by appointment only. So far, patron visitation has been slow but steady and compliance with COVID policies has been very high. Library patrons are very happy to have the library back and operating at its normal hours. At this time the library cannot check out materials to patrons from other libraries in their consortium due to a lack of delivery service. They are unsure when and if the delivery company will return. The library will revisit this policy and the public computer policy in the coming weeks depending on demand.
The library did experience some flooding in the basement during the tropical storm that hit on Friday. Fortunately, no damage was done to any important materials as they were able to remove almost all the items from the floor. A small leak in the roof during the storm was also noticed, but may have been caused by water volume and wind direction rather than damage. The library will continue to monitor that situation. Thank you to Public Works, the Recreation Department and the Pitman Fire Departments who responded very quickly to the flooding issue and prevented any serious damage to library materials.
Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion
We were pleased to receive over 50 applications from a diverse and dedicated group of residents willing to volunteer their time to promote diversity and inclusion in Pitman. Thank you to everyone who applied! Thirteen applicants were selected to serve and the first meeting of the Task Force will take place on Thursday, July 23rd at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall. We will either meet outside or socially distanced in Borough Council Chambers depending on the weather. Please wear a mask if you plan to attend.
Council Report from Councilman Adam Mazzola
Liaison: Public Property, Board of Education, Clean Communities, Memorabilia Committee
Board of Education - Pitman Public Schools held their in person formal graduation ceremony on July 8th, including a speech from Fran Yearwood and parents or guardians presenting the graduates with their stoles. I have heard from several in attendance that it was a wonderful ending to a difficult year. I would like to thank the Staff, administration, and the Board for their hard work in meeting the challenge presented by shifting to virtual learning and continuing through the socially distanced, in-person commencement.
Public Property - The recent storms in the past week hit Pitman with 5+" of rain and high winds. I was only notified of one down tree in Walton Park that thankfully fell with no damage to the surrounding properties, the tables, or the memorial in the park. Thank you to Borough personnel who were able to respond quickly and remove most of the fallen tree.
Clean Communities - I am happy to report that the Executive Director of the NJ Clean Communities has cleared municipalities to resume cleaning efforts based on local approval and adherence to all current COVID-19 restrictions. I will be socializing this change via social media and will reach out to the organizations that have previously participated. We already have interest in a cleaning day at Alcyon Lake with residents using kayaks to clean hard to reach areas in addition to walking the surrounding shores.