Haddonfield Board of Commissioners meet for first time in 2020

Stormwater remediation heads list of concerns from borough residents.

At its first meeting and work session of calendar year 2020, the Haddonfield Board of Commissioners updated a small gathering of residents on the issue of stormwater remediation for the borough.

Three residents of Concord Drive — the one thoroughfare that suffered extensive damage to multiple houses in the aftermath of a late-June storm — pressed town governance on the status of the Princeton Hydro analysis of issues plaguing that area. 

Jonathan Nasuti asked the lead question about the still-outstanding report, and Mayor Neal Rochford stated he reached out to the borough’s point person, but she was on vacation so  action was not taken. 

“She is putting together scenarios for not only Concord Drive but some of the other areas of town where we have flooding issues,” Rochford said. “She’s supposed to be giving a presentation back to us on Thursday (Jan. 9) for our review.

“I talked with Sharon (Borough Administrator McCullough) this morning, and then we’ll reach back out, probably a week after that, when we will get a chance to review the findings.”

McCullough additionally stated that she reached out to a Princeton representative, who said he would expect the second phase of its report to reach him Jan. 14. 

In response to another Concord resident, Steve Springer — who questioned why there would be multiple phases in Princeton’s analysis — Rochford stated the company wanted to perform additional work to provide the borough with a more comprehensive picture of damage and potential solutions.  

“We could have just said, ‘No, we’ll just take the analysis they gave us.’ But they wanted to have a fuller scale on the activities down there and they felt it would be a more complete product,” the mayor revealed.

McCullough then confirmed Princeton Hydro’s report would deal solely with damage from the June 20 storm regarding Concord. 

“When we get that, once they’ve (commissioners) reviewed it, then we will let everybody know that it’s available,” she added. “The mayor has spoken with the neighbors and we will probably provide a copy of it from that,” she added. 

When asked by Springer, Rochford confirmed the borough would have no set stormwater remediation plan or temporary correction to ward off the hazard potential of spring storms until the results of the analyses were presented to the commissioners and subsequently reviewed. 

Once that occurs, said Commissioner Jeffrey Kasko, the mayor will go ahead with a neighborhood meeting to discuss the findings. McCullough also said the public would be notified by letter regarding the date and time of any future neighborhood meetings with borough officials. 

With input from Nasuti and Springer, Rochford consented to a meeting with residents in the Concord Drive area on Wednesday, Jan. 29. McCullough offered that the borough could make an overture to Princeton Hydro to have one of its representatives attend that meeting. 

Kasko added that the bids for municipal engineer were on hold until the process of receiving and reviewing the Princeton Hydro report was complete. The contract for Remington & Vernick, which has acted for years on behalf of the borough, expired in 2019. 

In other news

  • Commissioners also voted to authorize a temporary budget for 2020. Included in the placeholder budget appropriations were almost $1.1 million for the Department of Public Safety, nearly $1 million for the Department of Revenue and Finance, $886,000 for the Department of Public Works and $263,000 in reserves for uncollected taxes. 
  • The triumverate authorized a rate of interest charged on non-payment of taxes, settling on 8 percent per annum on the first $1,500 in delinquency and 18 percent on any amount above $1,500. In addition, an additional penalty of 6 percent will be charged on an amount above $10,000 that remains unpaid at the end of calendar year 2020. 
  • Commissioners additionally authorized the acquisition of parking kiosk services, on a  one-year contract, with Global Parking Solutions USA of Philadelphia.