Following the celebration of Christmas and New Years, planning for 2013 has begun for the township council.
According to Mayor Randy Brown, the township will have major projects on its radar, some stemming from the past year.
The largest project the township will be taking on this year will be the redevelopment of multiple properties.
It will be “in full swing” for the township, according to Brown.
“I’m interested to see how it pans out,” he said.
A resolution was passed at the Dec. 4 township council meeting kick-starting the investigation process of areas in potential need of rehabilitation or redevelopment.
The meeting determined the businesses in question include the Tri Town Plaza, Olga’s Diner at the intersection of Route 70 and Route 73, G Boys located at 801 W Route 70, Scooters loated at 471 Evesboro-Medford Rd., Borders located on Route 73 and the Beneficial Savings bank on Main Street.
“These are properties that the planning board will investigate,” said township manager Bill Cromie in December. “This resolution gives the board permission to investigate the status of the properties to be included in the redevelopment plan.”
According to Cromie, the investigation is expected to last approximately four months.
“The toughest, biggest project will be redevelopment. All of the other projects have a road map,” said Brown. “Redevelopment can go in so many different directions. To me, it could be the toughest and the longest.”
According to Brown, the project will bring jobs and further development to Marlton.
“We aren’t one to shy away from challenges,” said Brown.
Another goal for the township includes re-evaluation of an emergency plan for the schools and police force.
Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Brown has been looking into creating a shared services summit to work with officials in the school district, emergency services and officials at the high school.
“My goal is to upgrade and work with the Evesham and Lenape Regional High School District on school security,” said Brown. “We need to find a way for the police force to work with the school district.”
Following the events on Friday, Dec. 14, Brown made calls between Police Chief Michael Barth and Board of Education President Sandy Student to ensure police presence before- and after-school.
Currently, there is a short-term plan in place with police presence at arrival and dismissal of the students each day. It will continue through the middle of January, Brown said at a township council meeting on Dec. 18.
A final decision about police presence will be made later in January.
According Cromie, officers have been asked to remain in the vicinity of a school, so if an emergency should arise, responders can arrive quickly to any call.
Unmarked cars have been parked at district schools at different times throughout the day.
“As the parent of a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, both of whom I had to drop off on Monday [Dec. 17], it was obviously one of the toughest days I’ve had. It was challenging for all the parents, but we need to move forward,” said Brown.
According to Cromie, the meeting would be held sometime in early January.
“We’d like to find out what our options are,” said Brown. “At the end of the day, my goal is to make our schools as safe as possible so we can avert a tragedy from happening.”
The management of the Indian Springs golf course will change hands to the township this year.
Currently, Billy Casper Golf Management runs the course; the company has been running it for the past six years.
With the course under direct management of the township, it will save approximately $81,000 per year, officials said.
Additionally, Marcos Catering will do the catering for the course. The company has a 10-year agreement beginning in 2013.
Other goals for the new year include the upgrade of roads in the township.
Brown hopes to have the repaving finished in the remaining developments within the township in 2013.
The council will also be working on the budget.
“By July we’d like to pass the budget for the year without having to raise any taxes,” said Brown.
Until work begins on the budget, the council does not have an accurate idea of what taxes may look like.
“The status of taxes will not be decided until council adopts a 2013 budget. However, we will remain fiscally responsible while continuing to provide outstanding services to our residents,” said Cromie.
New fields will be built in Evesham beginning in 2013.
According to Brown, baseball and softball fields will be constructed to accommodate multiple games.
The township introduced an ordinance at the Dec. 18 meeting appropriating $5.1 million for the construction of a new baseball and softball complex. It was passed Dec. 31 on second reading.
The money came from the open space bonds, not taxpayer money, according to Brown.
He hopes to throw out the first pitch in approximately 15 months.
“This is a facility we can play four baseball games at one time or four softball games at one time. This field won’t be stagnant,” said Brown.
Additionally, the fields can host a total of 12 tee ball games at once.
The reorganization meeting will be held on Jan. 7 at the municipal building located at 984 Tuckerton Road in Marlton.