Council OKs decreased speed limit on road adjacent to municipal building

Members also approve bill to ease restrictions on alcohol advertisement.

Residents of one township thoroughfare close to local governance are one step closer to breathing easier and feeling safer.

At its May 24 public meeting, Cherry Hill council approved an ordinance on first reading —  amending a previous ordinance dealing with on-street traffic regulation — to lower the speed limit on all of Mercer Street from 35 to 25 miles per hour. 

Among the landmarks on Mercer, a two way residential road that runs for approximately one mile from Chapel Road to Route 70, parallel to Haddonfield Road, are St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church and town hall.

“This is in the wake of residents’ feedback. We heard you and we are taking this to action,” stated Mayor Susan Shin Angulo. 

Carlos Reuthner, a homeowner on Mercer, thanked council for its diligence on the matter, adding, “It’s been a long time coming, and it will not only increase the safety of our community, it will also limit the (speed of) cut-through traffic. I’m very appreciative of your efforts.”

Second reading and public comment on the ordinance are expected at council’s  next public session on June 14. 

Sales and advertisements for adult beverages in the township will take on a different look, as council approved on second reading an amendment to an ordinance loosening the rules for how alcohol is promoted in markets. 

According to Township Business Administrator Erin Patterson Gill, the new legislation will allow displays and merchandising of alcoholic beverages outside a  liquor-store area. Previous township regulations stipulated that locales selling liquor acted as separate entities within a larger store, prohibited from having promotions or displays outside. 

The newly minted measure will now permit liquor retailers to feature certain displays in the actual supermarket. Customers will still have to purchase any alcohol from the liquor store itself, according to Gill. 

Implementation of the new legislation is dependent upon review and approval by the Department of Community Development. 

In other news

  • Council additionally approved a resolution providing for one stair-climbing robot for the Cherry Hill Police Department, for an amount not to exceed $17,900. Police Chief William “Bud” Monaghan touted the new addition; it will be utilized in resolving mental-health crisis situations where the person or persons have barricaded themselves inside a residence. Monaghan also said the robot will be equipped with audio and visual equipment, can be deployed closer to the situation than an officer might be and cannot be  armed. 
  • The governing body also approved legislation authorizing medical- , prescription- and dental-insurance carriers for township employees. Three contracts were awarded: medical to Aetna on a six-month contract, prescription to Express Scripts via a three-year pact and Delta Dental on a two-year deal. 
  • Moms Demand Action, represented by Margaret Regan, was given a proclamation by council that formally recognized June 4 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day in the township.
  • Second reading of an ordinance dealing with township rights-of-way and the positioning of telecommunications equipment by cell carriers was again listed on the meeting agenda, but once more put off until a future council session.