Deptford Township has big plans in store for the new year, and Mayor Paul Medany is up for the challenge.
The first task for the year is developing the 2022 budget, which takes a five year, revolving financial plan into account.
“As we borrow money for capital projects, we pay off our debts,” Medany explained. “We try to keep our debts paid.”
One of the capital projects that will be included in the budget is the road program. Deptford repaves roads every year, cycling within the 550 local municipal roads. The township council decides what roads need to be repaired at the start of each year.
Another priority is recreation, including improvement of the township’s playgrounds and recreation complexes.
“We always spend money on recreation,” Medany said, citing last year’s funding for new lights at the local soccer field.
Maintenance and improvements on municipal structures are also expected, including at the township building. Its renovation plans contain environmentally friendly upgrades, new flooring and new HVAC systems
Electronic speed signs will also be bought and placed around the township, according to Medany, who acknowledged that speeding around Deptford has been an issue “on everyone’s minds.”
The performing arts center, purchased three years ago, is now open after taking a hit from COVID, while some work remains that will be acknowledged in this year’s budget.
For economic development, working with the business district in Deptford is key, according to Medany. With more than 750 businesses in the township alone, he sees the potential for growth.
“Our economic development team is constantly working with the businesses and filling empty stores, which we have been very successful at,” the mayor noted.
Examples include a new Inspira Medical Center at the old Dick’s Sporting Goods building across from Deptford Mall. A new Wawa recently opened on Clements Bridge Road and there is Crunch Fitness outside the mall.
Such businesses are the main reason why township property taxes are stable, Medany said, even with budget hurdles outside of the municipality’s control.
“Last year, there was zero increase in property tax,” he said. “We’re not going to be able to do that every year, but every year that we can, we will.”
Litter patrol will remain active weekly and new equipment for pothole repair is currently being used to help that. A new leaf machine is a planned purchase for the coming year.
Council routinely evaluates what equipment and updates are needed.
“We concentrate on Deptford Township as a community, and we want to improve our community as best we can,” Medany explained.
More events for 2022 include neighborhood barbeques and farm festivals. Details will be provided as planning continues.