Mayor Ken Paris, RAC Chair Joe Parento discuss what they’re looking forward to in 2020

While discussing 2020, Mayor Paris talks about road development program and the Anderson Farm Project, while Parento discuss events coming up next year.

Serenity Bishop The Sun: Delran Mayor Ken Paris poses with Recreation Advisory Committee Chair Joe Parento at the Delran Municipal Building on Dec. 13.

For residents of Delran, 2019 was a year to remember.

Looking ahead at 2020, The Sun recently spoke with Mayor Ken Paris and Recreation Advisory Committee Chair Joe Parento about the upcoming year and their excitement at  what’s to come from the township. 

Delran currently participates in two county projects that will ultimately benefit residents. The first is the Anderson Farm project, currently awaiting freeholder approval of the sewer line extension in front of Anderson Farm park to allow for restrooms.

“It’s a distribution center for Farmers Against Hunger,” Paris explained. “They provide fresh, healthy produce and access to food to families through surplus fruit and vegetation collection, reduced food waste by giving fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded and engaging in local communities’ environmental stewardship and recreation.

“They provide educational activities and workshops for the public on topics of health and fitness, nutrition, food preparation, food waste, food insecurity and agriculture and stability,” he added.

“With our green team and the high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)  program’s greenhouse, Anderson Farm will be able to tie in a lot of what the elementary and high school and learning continue to teach in this type of activity.”

Outside of the Anderson Farm Project, Delran and the county are working a river trail along River Road that will be four miles long and will connect Amico Island to Pennington Park. According to Paris, the project will cause River Road to be repaved, an improvement that  is part of the current road program. 

The township is currently working on the 2020 road program, a million-dollar venture that goes toward fixing township roads. Each road is categorized in three tiers, with tier one being the worst, 

“We look to do the tier one roads in a certain area,” Paris explained. “We don’t want to do one road on one side of the town and another road on the other because of the cost of moving the equipment.

“We try to be cost efficient.” 

But Paris also said Conrow Road will be fixed outside of the annual road program. 

“Two years ago, we received a $255,000 grant from the Department of Transportation,” he related. “We just received a second grant for $250,000 and with all of that, we will redo Conrow road in 2020 and remove the median island near Fairview Boulevard.

“I know a lot of people have been upset or complaining about the backup that happens around 4 or 5 (o’clock). We’re going to get rid of that so you can drive right up and use all three lanes.”

While the road program, removal of the median and participation in the county’s projects are some of the things Paris is excited for, there are several other projects in the works for Delran. They include a kiosk at Delran Community Park and an upgrade of the municipal building’s cooling system. 

Recreation Advisory Committee 

Parento looks forward to several RAC annual events. In 2020, Delran will see the continuation of its two yard sales, one in in the summer and one in September. The RAC also will host the Easter Egg Hunt at Delran Community Park, trunk or treat in October, a Veterans Day Commemoration, National Night Out and the Christmas tree lightning.  

Two changes residents may see from the RAC include a potential Christmas in July as well as lights on the municipal building tree to bring awareness of township activities.

“With the tree being at the municipal building now, I want to get lights that are able to be  programmed for the different months,” Parento explained. “For example, October is breast cancer awareness, so we could light them up pink or have them purple in November for men’s (cancer) awareness.

“I am looking forward to doing this because it allows people to be aware of what’s going on.”