At last Monday’s meeting, township council adopted an ordinance on second reading approving three redevelopment plans for the Route 73/Howard Boulevard redevelopment zone, the Midlantic Drive redevelopment zone and the Route 295 redevelopment zone. All three plans are connected, as they share the same developer and will all include new “Welcome to Mt. Laurel” signage.
One of the three redevelopment areas will also include a brand new building for Mt. Laurel EMS. The new building will allow EMS to relocate from Church Street to a location on Route 73 just east of the New Jersey Turnpike. The new EMS building will be located roughly across the street from Wawa.
“We’re moving our EMS building from Church (Street) to Route 73, which will greatly assist in response times,” township solicitor George Morris said after the meeting. “It’s so close to 295 and the (New Jersey) Turnpike, getting on and off, it’s such a great location.”
In a separate resolution, council designated L&P Holding Company NJ LLC as the redeveloper for all three projects. As part of the agreement, Morris said the developer would construct the new EMS building for the township. He estimated it would save the township approximately $4 million.
All three redevelopment projects will also include “Welcome to Mt. Laurel” monument displays. Displays will be constructed at the Midlantic Drive redevelopment zone, located at the intersection of Route 38 and Midlantic Drive, as well as the Route 295 redevelopment zone, located along vacant land between Interstate 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike. A third monument sign will also be a part of the new EMS building on Route 73. It will be located along the second level of the structure.
In other news:
- Council approved a resolution to submit a grant application for improvements, including milling and paving, to Union Mill Road. Resident Alan Kramer asked if the improvements would include the installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Union Mill and Academy Drive. Township manager Meredith Tomczyk said a speed study is currently being conducted to see if the intersection qualifies for signage. Tomczyk added the speed study would determine what type of signage could go up at the intersection.
- Mayor Kurt Folcher briefly addressed the amount of work township first responders and public works have had to do over the past month due to weather events and major traffic accidents in the township. Over a period of about 10 days earlier in July, the township had two tornadoes touch down and saw two major accidents involving tractor trailers take place along a stretch of Interstate 295 in the township.
“Our first responders, our police, EMS and the municipal workers…are doing a fantastic job,” Folcher said.
With another severe storm dumping rain and knocking out power to thousands in Mt. Laurel roughly one hour before the meeting started, resident Karen Cohen spoke during public comment to ask the township to continue investing in storm water basin management.
“We’re seeing more and more storm water and more and more of these big rainfalls,” Cohen said. “I think it’s important that we spend the money in public works to maintain the quality of life that people have come to enjoy here.”
- The next Mt. Laurel Township Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Mt. Laurel Township Municipal Court Room.