By ROBERT LINNEHAN
It was a typical summer meeting, as members of the Evesham Township Council wrapped up some business at its quick regularly scheduled meeting.
Members of council unanimously passed the second reading of an ordinance which would make minors in the township immune to charges of underage consumption or possession of alcohol if they are in several specific situations. If underage children are consuming alcohol in connection with a religious observance, in the presence of a parent or guardian of legal age, calling 9–1–1 seeking aid for someone who is suffering from the effects of alcohol or in need of medical care and calling 9–1–1 to remove non-residents from private property, they can have safe harbor from prosecution.
According to representatives, the provision that allows underage consumption in the presence of parents or legal guardians is intended to take place at private property and if the minor becomes intoxicated they are to remain on the property under the control of their parent of guardian.
The goal of the ordinance is to ensure minors in distress receive the assistance they needed without hesitating to call 9–1–1.
Underage callers will not be charged with consumption or possession of alcohol nor will the person who needs medical attention.
The state created a law in 2009, which allowed municipalities too pass these specific types of ordinances.
In other township news:
n Council introduced an ordinance to restructure several positions for the Evesham Township Police Department.
Township Administrator Tom Czerniecki said the council agreed to eliminate a captain position to reflect just one captain on the force, to reduce the number of corporals from six to three, and to increase the sergeant positions by two.
No member of the police department is being eliminated through this ordinance, he said, just the positions. They were all currently unoccupied and need to be taken off the books, he said.
n Council is still meeting on a proposed ordinance that was tabled in late July which would regulate the buying and selling of precious metals and gems as well as secondhand goods.
The aim of the ordinance is to prevent the easy disposal of items that have been obtained unlawfully, as well as deterring dishonest fencing businesses from opening in the township. Fencing is described as the business of buying and selling stolen property.
Deputy Mayor Joe Howarth previously raised concerns that the possible enforcement of the ordinance would be too burdensome on existing businesses in Evesham Township. He also questioned the need of a $100 per year license fee and $25 per employee fee.