Township Purchasing Agent position created

An ordinance was adopted the Monday, March 19 Mount Laurel Township council meeting creating the position of Township Purchasing Agent.

Maureen Mitchell, who serves also as Manager and tax collector, was appointed to the position.

She is a certified purchasing agent, which qualifies her for the job.

“(A) township purchasing agent is the person who reviews and authorizes all municipal purchases for the township,” Mitchell said.

According to Mitchell, a qualified purchasing agent is needed to increase township purchases from $17,500 to $36,000.

The ordinance defines the powers of the agent as, “the authority, responsibility and accountability for the purchasing activities for the municipality, to prepare public advertising for bids, and to receive bids for the provision or performance of goods or services on behalf of the contracting unit, and to award contracts in the name of the municipality.”

Meanwhile. the “Taxicabs” ordinance, on its second reading, was also adopted at the meeting.

“‘Taxicabs’ was just a minor verbal change,” Mitchell said, to treat all car-service companies in the township equally.

The ordinance states under section three, “taxis, taxicabs limousines or other car services, and other car services, are all expressly subject to all terms, conditions and provisions of said ordinance.

Prior to the passage of the ordinance, limousines could not be charged for registration. They will now be charged for licensing as taxicabs and other car services are.

“It was just a loophole that we closed,” she said.

Budget hearing

The township budget’s public hearing will take place on Monday, April 16, according to Mitchell.

There will be a 1.9 cent tax increase, which translates to a $27.14 average household increase based on the average assessed home value in the township at $142,100.

No layoffs or furloughs are expected to occur this year.

Recognizing an Eagle Scout

Councilman David D’Antonio recognized resident John Vito, who recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout at the meeting.

According to a proclamation, “John Vito, a member of Boy Scouts, completed a community service project demonstrating his leadership skills for his Eagle Scout Project. For his Eagle Scout project, John created two wooden/wheeled food collection containers for Our Lady of Good Counsel Church. These boxes replaced duct taped cardboard boxes, which were falling apart.

“The wheels allow staff to move the donated items from one building to another with less physical strain. He created a ‘One Can a Week’ logo and promotion to encourage donations throughout the year, rather than just at holiday times. The food donations go to needy people throughout Burlington County.”

Community garden to open

The community will soon be rallying together in another way with the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for a community garden, slated to take place on Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m.

“We had purchased a property through Open Space,” Mitchell said.

Residents will be able to rent plots of land to farm.

The biggest plot, she said, is 20 by 20 feet long. More information will be released about the community garden soon.

The garden is the latest attempt by the municipality to become more eco-friendly, said Mitchell.