Merchants find their way to the township during pandemic

Economic report focuses on improving revitalization efforts

Washington Township Council held its monthly meeting on Oct. 28, addressing economic development and naming the September employee of the month.

Council heard a report from Economic Development Consultant Nancy Mozzachio about the township’s business revitalization, an environment that had previously been deemed unfriendly to new businesses. For the last three years, the township has been working to change that.

Shopping center owners are investing in capital in facades and signage, new developments are under construction, long-abandoned properties have been purchased and retrofitted or have plans to raise and rebuild and multiple land purchases and redevelopments are in the planning stages,” Mozzachio said 

She also discussed future plans for the township, including developing businesses on the Black Horse Pike, Delsea Drive and Egg Harbor Road, and detailed plans for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28.

“We are partnering with the Greater Washington Township Chamber to hold an event throughout town where we will have craft vendors, food trucks and the first displays of our new mural arts program,” Mozzachio noted. “(The program) includes step and repeat banners which will eventually be displayed along with multiple murals in Washington Lake Park.”

Council also named Lisa Collins employee of the month for September of 2020. She is the Park Manager and Events Coordinator for Washington Lake Park.

“After 20 years of working for Washington Township, it was very nice to feel appreciated and to be recognized by Mayor (Joann) Gattinelli and town council,” Collins said.

Due to COVID-19, council is still behind in naming its employees of the month. Members wanted to keep attendance at the meetings to a minimum for everyone’s safety, given that award announcements usually allow for family members and friends to attend. So the awards were delayed as  council got up to speed.

“We had Zoom meetings, and then when we went back to open public meetings. We didn’t want to have big crowds in there,” said Council President Joseph Perry. “We want everybody to be safe.”

In other news:

  • A resolution was passed approving snow plow services to multiple vendors across the township for the winter of 2020-2021.
  • A large gathering application was approved for the annual Wigs and Wishes by Martino Cartier event on Nov. 14. 
  • Washington Township resident Richard Bennett attended the council meeting and spoke about speeding on Altair Drive, despite electronic  signs. He requested that signs in the area be reexamined and possibly replaced with stop signs.