Bond ordinances for various township upgrades passed on first reading

Community members, first responders lauded for saving a life.

At Cherry Hill Township Council’s Nov. 12 public session, six members of the community were honored for saving the life of Eric Schmetterling (second from right), who collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while playing pickleball on Sept. 21. From left, Chai Chuenmark, Hezi Nahum, Jeff Lorman, Avi Yehuda, Annemarie McCartney, Lorie Schmetterling and Officer Gerald Gares.

At its most recent meeting, Cherry Hill Township council passed, upon first reading, three ordinances relating to the intended upgrading of a wide range of municipal services and structures.

The main piece of legislation was a bond ordinance which earmarked more than $4 million so that the township could improve six main areas: 

  • Park services, including but not limited to playground equipment, trail improvements, upgrades to Croft Farm and security measures
  • Township equipment, including but not limited to a pair of new four-wheel-drive trucks, wheel loaders, sign shop service vehicle, and all necessary materials to perform upgrades
  • Computer equipment such as PC replacements, IT storage, phone system upgrades and other materials needed to maintain upgrades
  • Police department improvements including efforts for traffic calming, and all associated design, engineering and installation costs
  • Facility upgrades such as building maintenance and improvements for all municipal-owned structures, including environmental considerations
  • General building renovations, improvements and all associated design, engineering, materials and work involved for the Cherry Hill Public Library 

The total appropriation and estimated costs, according to the ordinance, is expected to be $4,368,279 with a down payment for above services in the amount of $218,413.95. 

Two other pieces of legislation submitted for first review involved a bond ordinance appropriating $4.5 million for various improvements to roadways, including sidewalks, traffic signal upgrades and storm drainage work, and a bond ordinance appropriating just over $1 million intended for sanitary sewer improvements and related equipment upgrades.

Second reading and further public comment on the ordinances are expected to occur at council’s next public session, scheduled for Nov. 25. If passed, they will officially take effect 20 days later. 

Council also honored five members of the township community who banded together to save the life of Eric Schmetterling. Schmetterling was playing at the DeCou pickleball courts on Sept. 21 when he felt dizzy and then collapsed before going into cardiac arrest. 

Due to the intervention of Officer Gerald Gares, Jeff Lorman, Annemarie McCartney, Hezi Nahum, Chai Chuenmark and Avi Yehuda, CPR efforts which lasted for seven minutes, and thanks to the efficiency of the Automated External Defibrillator device retrieved from a nearby soccer field, Schmetterling was able to be revived and has progressed well since the incident. 

“Gerry picked up the paddles, it discharged, my heart started working and I kinda woke up,” Schmetterling said. “The odd thing was, I felt fine when I woke up. Thanks to these fine people and their quick response.” 

Joining Schmetterling in his moment of public thanksgiving was wife, Lorie, as well as Cherry Hill Police Chief William “Bud” Monaghan and more than a dozen members of the CHPD. 

“There’s nothing we could say or do – nothing – for saving a life. It’s unbelievable and I know how you must feel. It was incredible just hearing the story and it gave me shivers. I’m sure all of us feel the same way. Just to say ‘thank you’ is the least we could do along with a small certificate of appreciation,” said Mayor Chuck Cahn. 

In other news:

  • Cahn also issued a proclamation to Cherry Hill residents who participated in the 2019 Special Olympics Summer Games. Eight athletes and three coaches were on hand to receive the honor. 
  • Council passed a resolution cementing the shared-services agreement with the Borough of Haddonfield to provide domestic-violence counseling to the neighboring municipality. Haddonfield’s Board of Commissioners had passed similar legislation entering into the agreement with Cherry Hill at its Oct. 22 public session.