At its most recent public session, Cherry Hill Township Council unanimously passed several pieces of legislation, upon second reading, which authorized the appropriation of funds and issuance of bonds regarding numerous projects requiring upgrades throughout the township.
The first ordinance appropriated almost $4.4 million and authorized bonds in the amount of $4.15 million toward new or improved township equipment, information technology equipment, upgrades to parks, recreation sites and edifices, along with manpower and equipment intended to improve various municipal-owned structures in Cherry Hill.
The second ordinance set aside $4.5 million in funds and authorized $4.1 million in bonds intended to cover the cost of various sidewalk and roadway improvements, traffic signal upgrades and storm-drainage improvement projects. Funds for these projects were given a boost thanks to a $210,000 Municipal Aid Grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The final ordinance is set to provide $1.05 million in both funds and bonds toward miscellaneous sanitary sewer improvements and equipment upgrades throughout the township. Intended study, design, construction, installation and/or rehabilitation of sewer mains and the roads above them are expected to cost more than $900,000.
Having been approved on both first and second reading with appropriate public-comment periods, the above ordinances are set to take effect 20 days from final passage.
A fourth ordinance, which was approved upon first reading, dealt with the codification of compensation for officers and other township employees. Second reading and further public comment is expected to occur at council’s next public session scheduled for Dec. 9.
One member of council who will not witness that discussion is Sara Lipsett. After serving on township council for 12 years, Lipsett – who had long served as its vice president – will be moving to the Board of Fire Commissioners.
Lipsett’s commitment to public service in Cherry Hill was commemorated with a proclamation in her honor and celebrated by fellow council members and Mayor Chuck Cahn, as well as a slew of Cherry Hill police officers, including Chief William “Bud” Monaghan, and Fire Chief Chris Callan.
In addition, former councilwoman and current Camden County freeholder Melinda Kane offered her support in person, while former township Mayor Susan Bass Levin sent well wishes to Lipsett in a written message.
“It’s truly a testament to you as a person – not as a councilperson but to who you are as a human being – to work in the capacity that you have for the last 12 years. And always come to a council meeting or to an event with a smile. I don’t think I have ever seen you not smile, no matter how difficult the situation was or how heated the room might have been. You’ve always addressed it professionally and with class,” Monaghan said.
“She’s the face of public safety – fire, EMS and police – and they often cite the fact of the role that local government plays in our ability to do our jobs.”
Monaghan also presented a plaque to Lipsett in appreciation for her dedication and tireless support for the men and women of the Cherry Hill Police Department.
Although unable to attend the session, fellow council member Carole Roskoph offered: “It has been an honor and a privilege serving with you on council for the last six years. You have served the residents of Cherry Hill with integrity, diligence and fairness. You will take these same traits with you to the fire commission. As you know … you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Lipsett is set to be sworn in on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at Central Command, 1100 Marlkress Road.
In other news:
• Council passed a resolution to allow Cherry Hill Police Department to purchase 16 new utility vehicles – eight of which are to contain the standard V6 gas engine and eight which are to have a V6 hybrid engine.
• Council also moved to pass additional legislation granting a waiver of roadway opening moratorium for Prince Drive, a thoroughfare due east of Springdale Road, due to hardship.
• Also approved by council was a resolution to allow for the purchase of an upgraded amplifier system for J.C. Penney and Macy’s within the Cherry Hill Mall, for improved communication between the stores and the CHPD.