Moorestown Council has been working hard over the past year on various improvements to the town. The treatment of the township’s water and treatment plants, improvements to the Lenola community and the old library demolition have been things the township has been working on and will continue into 2016, along with much more.
The state of the township’s water and water infrastructure was a big topic in 2015. When Trichloropropane (TCP 1,2,3), an unregulated compound and possible carcinogen, was found in the drinking water in October 2014, council took multiple steps to work on the township’s water, water mains, treatment plants and infrastructure in 2015.
Moorestown invested in a pilot plan to treat the TCP 1,2,3 found in Well 9, and that pilot study was recently completed. At the same time, the township is interested in the removal of other substances found in the wells and has invested in that as well.
According to Township Manager Scott Carew, the township’s engineer is reviewing results of the pilot study and preparing a recommendation to be presented to council early this year.
Moorestown is also interested in improving the treatment plants on North Church Street, Kings Highway and Hartford Road and have everything run by the township by 2020.
“We anticipate going out to bid and begin construction on the treatment for the Church Street water treatment plant and the rehab of the Kings Highway water treatment plant during the first half of 2016. We are also already moving forward with improvements to some of the township’s major water mains,” Carew said.
The Lenola Ad Hoc Committee, created in early 2015 in partnership with the Burlington County Bridge Commission, has held two sessions with the general public to gather feedback and a clear picture of what citizens expect moving forward.
The township has applied for various grants that will begin implementing the streetscaping concepts the public has advocated, including improved sidewalks. Also, Moorestown received permission from Burlington County to start working with the Tree Planting and Preservation Committee to plant trees along Camden Avenue, a concept that has been pushed, but never achieved, for the last few decades.
According to Mayor Victoria Napolitano, in the near future the Burlington County Bridge Commission will present council with a comprehensive list of recommendations that will outline the steps to make the vision of the Lenola community a reality.
The old library demolition has been a hot topic in Moorestown for the last few months. There was a delay due to asbestos being found in the building. The contractor is working inside the building, removing utilities and taking other steps necessary before the building can come down. The schedule calls for the building to start coming down on Jan. 11, according to Carew. The township plans on utilizing this space for additional parking and green space, Napolitano said.
On the topic of parking, council said the complete overhaul of the municipal parking lot is on track for the spring. These improvements will add 25 percent more parking spaces, increase safety and create a more visually appealing environment.
Moorestown continues to re-vamp the Community Development Department to improve efficiencies and provide better customer service. The township began using new software in 2015 as recommended by the Environmental Development Advisory Committee. New hardware will be incorporated into the department in 2016 to complement the new software. According to Carew, re-organization of the department personnel is taking place that will save money and make things more efficient and user friendly.
Council has furthered its commitment to protecting the township’s natural treasures and moving into a more sustainable future. Early in 2015, council voted to enact an ordinance that will crack down on encroachments onto protected open spaces. It is also working with the Boenitsch family to officially preserve Flying Feather Farm, which will protect this land from development and keep this family-owned farm around for future generations to enjoy.
Council also adopted Deputy Mayor Phil Garwood’s Safe Streets Initiative, which will examine the feasibility of adding bicycle lanes to any road that is being redone throughout town.
Garwood and Napolitano have also spent a significant amount of time visiting local businesses and plan to continue to do so in 2016. Council will continue to look into new ways to partner with businesses to encourage residents to shop local and continue to improve Moorestown’s various retail districts, Napolitano said.
The township will continue to invest in its roads, utilities and parks, according to Carew.
“2015 has been a great year for Moorestown, and it looks like we are on track for more progress in 2016,” Napolitano said.