Last Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Evesham Township Council included a presentation by the Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority that included updates on capital projects and resolutions accepting the donation of “Little Free Libraries” to the township from Girl Scout Troop 28515, supporting the Mayors Wellness Campaign and approving the township’s application for the 2019 Burlington County Municipal Park Development Program.
At the top of the meeting, Evesham MUA Director Jeffrey Rollins led a presentation to council giving an overview of what his department does for the township and providing updates to capital improvement projects. According to him, throughout the township the MUA serves 17,648 customers.
His presentation started with a restatement of the MUA’s overall mission.
“Everything circles right back to that, and that is to supply the highest quality drinking water and efficient waste water disposal services through the use of sound management principles, modern scientific practices and effective planning to maintain our infrastructure and safeguard public health while imposing minimal impact on the environment,” said Rollins.
According to the director, modern challenges affecting his department include things like rising water and sewer costs, aging infrastructure, emerging contaminants of concern, an aging workforce, more stringent regulatory requirements and population growth and migration.
To face these issues, Rollins says the MUA aligns its objectives with the effective utilities management framework outlined by the EPA’s Ten Attributes of Effectively Run Water Sector Utilities. These attributes include things like product quality, customer satisfaction, employee and leadership development and operational optimization.
Currently the MUA is in the process of completing several capital improvement projects, including the replacement of water mains at Heritage Village, Greenbrook Drive, a portion of Woodlake Drive and on the eastbound side of Route 70, from Conestoga to Route 73.
Other projects include condition assessment and improvements to the water storage tower, pump station rehabilitation on Locust Avenue and several improvement projects at the Elmwood Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Asked by Mayor Jaclyn Veasy whether there was a timeline in place for these projects, Rollins replied that water main replacements would be rolling out this fall. Other projects like improvements to the water storage tower, he said, will be more difficult to lay out a timeline for as unforeseen delays are fairly common. Overall he predicted the projects to take place over the course of the next two and a half to three years.
Several resolutions were passed at the meeting including one in support of the Mayors Wellness Campaign. According to the mayor, this campaign is part of the township’s Sustainable Jersey certification.
“One of the things they asked us to follow up on was our Mayors Wellness Campaign status, so we re-pledged to once again follow through with the Mayors Wellness Campaign and support a resolution for that,” said Veasy.
The Fourth of July run and the Turkey Trot 5K are both examples of events held throughout the year that count toward that campaign and, in turn, earn points toward the Sustainable Jersey certification.
Another resolution passed at the meeting approved the township’s application for the 2019 Burlington County Municipal Park Development Program, which provides grant funds in connection with municipal acquisition of lands for county park, recreation, conservation and farmland preservation purposes, as well as for municipal public park and recreation development purposes.
With its application, the township is hoping to obtain program funds totaling $250,000 to fund improvements to Green Lane Farms, Kain Memorial Park and Cambridge Park.
The council also accepted the donation of two “Little Free Libraries” from Girl Scout Troop 28515. According to the girls, who lined up single file to address council, the libraries will be located in the park in Ravenscliff by the tennis courts and the park in Westborough Chase.
One Scout described the libraries as a take-a-book, leave-a-book exchange housed in a small wooden box set on a pole that anyone can access.