Committee approves three ordinances, 2019 road program

Three ordinances passed on first reading, regarding massage parlors, smoking within the township and gasoline stations

The Voorhees Township Committee amended three ordinances, on first reading, at its Monday, Sept. 9 meeting. The ordinances involved massage parlors, smoking on township grounds and gas stations.

The first of the three readings was the ordinance regarding the regulation of massage establishments. According to Township Administrator Larry Spellman, the Voorhees Police Department performs background checks on such establishments and its employees.

The ordinance, as amended, would exclude certain types of businesses from requiring the background checks.

“This now precludes establishments where their primary business is cosmetology, as well as places where massages are medically prescribed,” said Spellman.

There are also additional laws and regulations regarding massage parlors in New Jersey. Spellman also said Voorhees Township will continue to ensure massage parlors currently in or coming to the township are ruled correctly and legally.

Spellman also noted businesses that would be except from the background check from the Voorhees Police Department moving forward will still be required to go through other licensing procedures before setting up shop.

Committee also voted in favor of amending the township’s ordinance regarding smoking on township property, now updated to include the exclusion of “electronic cigarettes, also known as ‘vaping devices,’ and smokeless tobacco,” according to the proposed ordinance.

“I believe that when the original ordinance was done that vaping and e-cigarettes weren’t really around,” said Spellman. “So in trying to keep the township smoke-free for people to avoid secondhand smoke, we just hand to amend it to include this.”

While cigarettes, cigars and tobacco products are currently not allowed on township grounds, such as parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities, the Voorhees Town Center and any other township-owned location, the amendment now includes more modern devices as well.

The final ordinance was regarding gasoline stations, amending the existing one to state that gasoline stations are not allowed to operate between midnight and 6 a.m., unless granted approval through process of the township boards.

All three of the ordinances passed on first reading. If passed on second reading at a future committee meeting, the ordinances will go into effect.

Also at the meeting, committee awarded the 2019 Road Improvement Program to DiMeglio Construction Co. in the amount of approximately $2.26 million. Of the total amount for the project, nearly $1.2 million will be covered in grants from the state Department of Transportation, county and other areas.

Roads included to be paved during the 2019 Road Improvement Program are Echelon Road from Kirkbride to Van Buren roads and Kirkbride Road from Echelon Road to Franklin Square, as well Middlesex Avenue, Burlington Avenue, Kestrel Drive, Millbank Lane, Millbank Court, Willowbrook Way, and more.

The township also approved additional projects through the program, including a new traffic signal at the intersection of Kirkbride and Town Center Boulevard, an extension of the Lions Lake Bike Path from Kresson Road to Dutchtown Road through Lion’s Lake Park and a new bike/pedestrian push button, with handicapped ramp and striping, for the intersection of Old Egg Harbor and Centennial Boulevard.

Spellman said, through hearing the concerns of township residents, many of these projects hope to make walking and biking throughout the township easier.

“At the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and Old Egg Harbor, that’s always been a crossing point for kids heading to school. With a light there, that means pedestrians, bikers or kids can push that button to get through safely, which is our main priority,” said Spellman. “Also with that in mind, the new traffic lights at the intersection of Kirkbride and Town Center Boulevard will mean plenty for pedestrians that come to the Town Center. We want people coming here … and we want them getting here safely.”

Both improvements coming to the intersection, according to Spellman, were paid for by grant funds. Additionally, he says work on the 2019 Road Improvement Program is expected to begin in late September and be completed sometime shortly after the winter season next year.

The next scheduled meeting for the Voorhees Township Committee is Monday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. in the courtroom at the Voorhees Town Center.