Board of commissioners takes first steps to amend vehicle code

Ordinance passed to accommodate expected influx of electric vehicles.

At its latest open public meeting, Haddonfield’s board of commissioners began the process of amending the borough’s existing transit code to accommodate an expected influx of electric vehicles for personal use, along with all related supply and spacing needs.

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During that Oct. 26 session, an ordinance was introduced with four chief goals: to provide adequate and convenient supply and service equipment for such vehicles; to provide opportunities for borough residents to have safe and efficient electric-vehicle personal supply and service equipment (EVSE) located at or near a place of residence; to provide opportunities for non-residential entities, their customers and employees; and to create standard criteria for safe, efficient and cost-effective charging in all zones for those who utilize electric vehicles. 

The state had previously adopted the rules and regulations laid out in the ordinance and officially enacted them as of Sept. 1. 

In response to questions from a resident about preparedness for things like battery disposal and vehicle fires, Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said police and fire personnel went through training several years ago, but would have to continue as needed. 

Fire Chief Lou Frontino revealed there is online training the department can undergo, but properly dealing with such issues would only be planned when initially encountered. 

“They can be tricky. I know we’ve gone back and forth with the Cherry Hill Fire Department,” he added. “So we would probably have them come in on an electric-vehicle fire to assist with us.”

The same resident asked if a plan was in place for a vehicle fire that may affect surrounding vehicles or property, then expressed concerns over water pressure for battling a potential blaze that could take multiple hours. Frontino responded that the approach would be the same as if the department encountered a fire near a large structure.

“We would have dedicated pumpers with personnel, basically keeping any type of structure cool while the other crew is affecting the fire fight,” he explained. “With the electric fires, it takes it up another level. I feel that our water system has come up, pressure and quality wise, twofold in probably the past three years.”

Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich said she’d like to “do some homework” to find out what other communities with similar expectations have done to address these issues. 

A full description of the code change and related conditions can be found within the agenda for the meeting at https://tinyurl.com/2k57jhre

Second reading and public comment on the  legislation is expected at the board’s next public session on Nov. 29. 

Commissioners also unanimously approved a resolution to once again join with neighboring municipality Cherry Hill in a shared-services agreement for the latter to provide the borough with counseling services for victims of domestic violence. Haddonfield will pay Cherry Hill a sum of $2,500 for the above services, beginning Jan. 1, 2022 and extending through Dec. 31, 2022. 

“I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Our partnership with Cherry Hill enables our police to be better able to respond to domestic violence,” Bezich noted. “And as you heard both the chief and I say previously, those calls are up across the board both in our town and elsewhere.”

In other news

 

  • Through a proclamation, commissioners declared November World War II Veterans Remembrance Month, in honor of the 16 million American men and women who served,  the approximately 400,000 soldiers who died and the millions at home who supported the four-year conflict. A dwindling number of citizens who comprise The Greatest Generation remains from a global conflict that began in Europe in September 1939 and ended in August 1945.
  • The board gave its approval to the Haddonfield Police Department for a new hire, Special Law Enforcement Officer Class II Kirk Earny. In addition, two members are set to join the auxiliary force: Edward J. Veneziale III and Santiago B. Velazquez, both serving through Dec. 31.
  • As is tradition, commissioners signed off on the holiday parking moratorium in the downtown core. Residents and visitors to Haddonfield shops and restaurants will not have to pay to park between Nov. 26 and Dec. 24. But one stipulation in the resolution indicated that no parking will be allowed along Kings Highway, from Grove Street/Potter Street to the PATCO bridge from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, for the entire month of December. 
  • The borough will join Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing to procure parking kiosks for the impending parking system switch. The order will be for no fewer than 32 kiosks along with the necessary software from Premium Parking Inc. costing $8,215.75 per machine and software for $90 per month per kiosk.
BOB HERPEN
BOB HERPEN
Former radio broadcaster, hockey writer, Current: main beat reporter for Haddonfield, Cherry Hill and points beyond.
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