Shared services agreement between Shamong, Tabernacle and Southampton working well

“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” Humphrey Bogart’s Rick tells Captain Renault at the end of the movie “Casablanca.” The same could be said for the shared service agreement between the townships of Shamong, Southampton and Tabernacle.

The Shamong Township Committee unanimously approved the continuation of a shared service agreement for tax assessor services at its monthly meeting on Dec. 3.

“It’s been a good relationship for the township,” administrator Sue Onorato said. “Definitely one that has saved us money as well.”

Tabernacle township administrator Doug Cramer echoed Onorato’s sentiment.

“It’s been a good partnership for the township, and I would expect that it will continue,” township administrator Doug Cramer said. “Administratively, it has been approved but it will not be officially approved until the committee has a chance to review and discuss it.”

Jay Renwick has served as Shamong’s tax assessor since 1998. The township first came to an agreement with Southampton in 2010 to allow his services to be used between the towns. The partnership with Tabernacle followed in 2011. If the other two towns vote to approve the continuation as well, it is expected to be a three-year agreement. Both Tabernacle and Southampton are expected to discuss the resolution at future committee meetings.

If approved, Onorato said the agreement will have saved the township more than $50,000 since its inception through 2016 when it would end.

In other news:

• Mayor Sean Gray opened the meeting by recognizing two Eagle Scouts, Brandon Siedlecki and Joseph William Browne, for their service to the township. Browne completed 26 merit badges in addition to working 109 service hours on his Eagle Scout status. His Eagle project was to build a lightweight, portable bridge to be used by the Building Bridges Ministry of the Holy Eucharist Church. Browne also organized a Krispy Kreme donut fundraiser, which generated $1,000 in donations from which the $463.50 surplus was donated to the ministries of Holy Eucharist Church.

Siedlecki developed a “One Nation Under God” flag project through which he raised the necessary funds to erect a 35-foot tall flagpole at the Holy Eucharist Church and executed a dedication ceremony where multiple community and civic groups were able to participate. He completed 33 merit badges in addition to working 400 hours of community service in his pursuit of his Eagle Scout status.

• The committee approved the purchase of a new Sharp all-in-one copier, printer and fax machine. The funds for the purchase were a part of a capital funds project allotted in this year’s budget. Onorato said the device would cost $6,895 outright with a mandatory maintenance fee of .8 cents per copy. Once it is delivered, the township will donate the existing copier to the fire department.

• Township engineer Dan Guzzi recommended the creation of a subcommittee to address land use ordinances as a part of the recently updated master plan. The committee is hoping to better monitor businesses that are operating out of homes.

“Let’s keep our neighborhoods as neighborhoods,” Onorato said. “It’s one thing to have an accountant who rarely has people coming and going to having a construction company with trucks or a dentist’s office with cars in and out constantly.”