Committee responds to public concerns regarding burglaries, sale of Garden State Inn demolition…

Committee responds to public concerns regarding burglaries, sale of Garden State Inn demolition site to Lidl

Find out what you missed at this week’s Township Committee meeting

Mayor Howard Evans addressed a rash of burglaries in Cinnaminson during Township Committee’s Jan. 22 public meeting, pleading with community members to use designated emergency and non-emergency channels to report suspicious activity.

While Evans, the liaison to public safety, said neither committee nor the Cinnaminson Police Department could provide specific information regarding three successful and two attempted burglaries that rattled the community from Jan. 11–13, he emphasized CPD’s efforts to increase patrols and urged residents to follow proper emergency-reporting protocol.

“We cannot comment further due to the ongoing investigation, as it could corrupt the process. Facebook is not the appropriate place to report things,” Evans said.

The string of crimes was not the only item on the community’s list of concerns. During public comment, resident Marie Birbeck requested more information about the reported sale of the Garden State Inn demolition site for an agreed $3.5 million to German discount supermarket franchise Lidl. The property was previously purchased by the township as part of a 12-year redevelopment effort to reduce the number of motels along its portion of Route 130 and replace them with local commerce.

Evans declined to comment on the alleged price point, stating the information leaked on Jan. 12 to Reuters was not approved for release by committee.

“What we can tell you is that there is an agreement in place, and I’m weighing my words carefully because I don’t want to jeopardize the current agreement,” he said.

In other news:

• In light of Planning Board member Richard Cureton’s resignation last week, the committee appointed Christopher Sztenderowicz to fill his term, which expires in December. Two alternates, Robert Gorgone and Paul Conda, were appointed in the event of further resignations.

• The committee also accepted the resignation of municipal Judge Richard Andronici. Evans said the committee will provide more information on this at the Feb. 5 public meeting.

• Responding to what some residents have called insufficient recognition of the township’s fallen service members by local elected officials, senior committee member Don Bruackmann introduced a proposal to dedicate two of Memorial Park’s upgraded baseball fields to State Trooper Sean Cullen and Cinnaminson firefighter Lt. Chris Hunter.

Cullen and Hunter, both longtime Cinnaminson residents, died in the line of duty over the past several years. Previous committees were criticized for not doing enough to pay tribute in the township.

“There is nothing we can do to replace your loss or to make it right. What we can do as committee members is try to do something to recognize their service and sacrifice,” Bruackmann said, addressing the families of the deceased present at the meeting. “We’re sorry it took us this long.”

Committee gave unanimous approval of the dedication, which is set for opening day on April 7.

• Evans recognized and applauded efforts to raise awareness of FOP, a genetic disorder in which muscle and connective tissue is replaced by bone, and to support individuals and families affected by the disorder. Cinnaminson is now the 552nd of 565 municipalities in the state to sign a proclamation that aims to increase awareness of FOP.