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Medford Looks Forward to 2018

Here is a brief look at what to expect in Medford for the upcoming year

Medford has a lot on the horizon this year. Mayor Charles “Chuck” Watson, who was named mayor again at the beginning of 2017, is optimistic and looks forward to doing what he can to better life for residents.

“There is work to be done within the community, but I am sure council will continue to be able to accomplish great things this year,” he stated.

Watson plans to continue the township’s trend of fiscal responsibility and putting residents first.

“I’m confident that we have the right people in place to do the right thing for the residents of Medford,” Watson said.

Coming up this year will be improvements made to Still Park (formerly Cranberry Park) to make it more accessible to handicapped residents. In early November, council announced the award of the Community Development Block Grant, from Burlington County, in the amount of $78,000.

“The grant funds will be utilized for the re-construction of code compliant handicapped walkways and handicapped ramp curb cuts to provide accessibility to Still Park, which is bordered by Church, Filbert and Mulberry streets in the historic Village section of Medford Township,” Watson said.

This municipal park includes walking paths, a shuffleboard court, a butterfly garden gifted by the Pinelands Garden Club of Medford, sitting areas and some playground equipment. It is utilized by both the senior citizens who visit Cranberry Hall and by neighborhood families. An accessible picnic area will also to be added as a part of this proposed project.

Work is expected to begin in the spring.

Another grant was awarded to Medford Township in the amount of $200,000 for renovations to Bunning Baseball Field, located on Mill Street. Watson has been a lifelong resident of Medford and recognizes there is a lot of history at Bunning.

“The Bunning Baseball Field has a long and storied history in Medford, beginning with its construction by residents in the early 1900s,” Watson said.

The baseball field, which is part of Medford Park, will be restored to its former glory with the installation of a new wooden fence in the outfield to replicate the original fence of the early 1900s; additional perimeter fencing, a new backstop, dugouts and batting cage a new irrigation system, the entire field re-sodded, and the Bunning Field sign will be restored. New signs for Medford Park will also be installed.

In addition, given the anticipated increased usage of Bunning Field, the adjoining Medford Park parking lot areas would be redesigned and reconstructed to maximize parking, and the existing pavillion and comfort station in Medford Park would be refurbished.

Should funding for these improvements exceed the county grants funds, the Medford-Vincentown Rotary has committed to help seek additional funding and sponsorships.

Work is expected to commence in the spring.

For more information or to be involved in this project, please contact Beth Portocalis of the township manager’s office at bportocalis@medfordtownship.com or by calling (609) 654–2608 ext. 324.

Medford school district

Superintendent Joseph Del Rossi is a firm believer in teamwork and feels this upcoming year all students, faculty, parents and community members are what will make the 2018–2019 school year one of Medford’s best.

“Our school community realizes that there are many formidable challenges that we must overcome and benefit from. The economy, the upcoming PARCC and the Achieve New Jersey Initiative are but a few of that will take a great deal of time, effort and resources from everyone. Throughout, our focus will remain on our students, and providing them with an excellent education via a force of highly qualified teachers,” DelRossi stated in a letter to the district.

Due to the overall district budget remaining virtually the same as the previous year’s there are no program changes scheduled for Medford schools in the 2017–2018 school year. The budget for the 2018–2019 school year is still being developed.

PARCC state-mandated testing will be done in April and May of this year for grades three through eight at all schools in the Medford district.

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