Council at a crossroads

Township officials weigh options to end traffic issues at Corkery Lane, Black Horse Pike intersection

At the latest council meeting, Councilman Greg Wolfe discussed the process of having a traffic study done at the intersection of Corkery Lane and the Black Horse Pike with the hopes of having a green arrow light installed to make it easier to turn from Corkery Lane onto the Black Horse Pike. (Anthony J. Mazziotti III/The Sun)

A change could be coming to the intersection of Corkery Lane and the Black Horse Pike. Councilman Greg Wolfe brought the issue to council’s attention at its latest meeting.

Wolfe met with the Gloucester County engineer and expressed concerned with the intersection, specifically being able to turn left from Corkery Lane onto the Black Horse Pike. According to Wolfe, to have a study done, the township would first have to pass an ordinance saying it would pay for 25 percent of the cost of the construction if action were to be taken.

No action was taken at the meeting, but council discussed plans.

“We’re not on the hook initially with the resolution until we want to move forward with the project,” Wolfe said. “The problem is, [if] they make a recommendation, we have to widen roads and put a green arrow in, where does our liability stand if we don’t follow through with it?”

Council solicitor John Trimble noted the intersection is county and state roads.

“I don’t know how they can hold us responsible for their failure to improve their roads,” he said.

Council Vice President Joe Marino is in favor of passing a resolution to have a study done because it puts the onus back on the county.

“They’re more on notice if you ask me,” Marino said. “Now they’re on notice that there is an issue – ignore it, don’t ignore it. I’m in favor of moving forward at least with a resolution to see where we’re at. Then, somebody’s feet get held to the fire with this.”

Mayor Rich DiLucia tried to keep the township’s financial interest in mind. He recalled a traffic study done on Route 322 and Fries Mill Road where the township was asked to guarantee payment of up to $300,000 for a traffic light. This cost represented more than 1 percent of taxes, according to DiLucia, and was the reason they backed out of the project.

“I’m not saying we don’t need it,” he said of the Corkery Lane light. “I think we have to find a better avenue to put the financial responsibility on the people who are responsible. Last I checked, we pay taxes to the county. They get almost as much tax as we get.”

The discussion ended with no action, but the issue is on council’s radar and it will revisit the issue in a May meeting.

In other news:

  • Resident Don Cullen addressed council about the possibility of legalizing marijuana. Among other points, Cullen claimed taxes would not be lowered by legalizing marijuana.

“It seems to me like the marijuana is getting driven down our throat to legalize marijuana and I don’t like it. I think we should have a vote, why let somebody in North Jersey tell us what’s good for us,” he said. “I can foresee little kids in the backs of cars and vans and people smoking the marijuana. That might not be legal, but they’re going to do it. We’re going to grow kids that are used to having marijuana smoke around. I have a lot of grandkids that live here and I don’t want that smoke around them. I don’t want to go to Walmart and smell it. That’s why I’m here tonight, I think we should have a vote. I spent three-eighths of a million dollars in the last 40 years [in taxes] and I don’t have a vote on something as important as drugs near our kids. This is the Garden State, this is not the pot head state. This is not some fancy Colorado or Nevada. This is New Jersey. We’re the Garden State, and I wish it would stay that way.”

  • DiLucia named four people to the parks and recreation commission: Jodi Deery, Jacqueline Derieux, Scott Eubanks and Chuck Terzian.
  • DiLucia, alongside council President Ron Garbowski and Marino, awarded two proclamations. One went to Carol Slemmer in coordination with Autism Awareness Month, and the other went to Tara Park for Building Safety Month.
  • The next council meeting is scheduled for April 24 at the municipal building. The work session will begin at 7 p.m. and the regular meeting will start at 8 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.