Borough receives grants for EMS study and sustainable efforts

Residents urged to call police when noise ordinance is in question

The borough received $95,000 for projects including a joint study with Barrington and Haddon Heights on EMS services, a composting pilot program and other sustainable efforts at its recent meeting on July 25. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

At its recent commissioners meeting, Haddonfield received $95,000 in grants. The first and largest grant of $75,000 was awarded for the Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) Challenge Grant which will allow the borough to work with Barrington and Haddon Heights on a study on emergency services. The other grants were $10,000 each, one for community energy planning and one for Sustainable Jersey.

“The purpose [of the Sustainable Jersey grant] is to purchase countertop composters to begin to take food waste out of the trash stream,” explained Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough. “We’re going to start a pilot program with those, the grant’s going to allow us to offset the costs of those units for the residents who want to participate. If they don’t want to use the compost themselves, they’ll be able to make donations that will be picked up and shared with the community gardens.”

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McCullough estimates that composters from the pilot program will be available to residents as early as this fall. 

The commissioners voted to approve three ordinances on second reading, of note is ordinance 2022-11, which amends chapter 23 and allows the Borough to take back control of the emergency medical service billing previously delegated to the Haddonfield Ambulance Association (HAA). This ordinance had been brought up at previous work sessions and action meetings. Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich explained that the decision will not lead to any additional taxes to the residents. 

“There’s been a series of issues with [the HAA’s] billing contractor as well as the [HAA]’s ability to get the billing done,” Bezich said. “So the borough is taking that in house and the goal is to find a billing contractor who can do the job well and enable us to come up to standard reimbursement rates and comply with the law and our ordinance going forward.”

The board of commissioners also renewed two sustainability pledges that will help inform other committees and future work.

In engineering updates, Doug Johnson from Remington & Vernick Engineers gave an update to the Atlantic Avenue Outfall stormwater improvement project and shared that it would begin advertising for bids on July 29. The project seeks to replace a stormwater sewer outfall. 

During the public comments portion, resident Anne Hearing inquired about how the noise ordinance passed earlier this year would be enforced. Hearing said that she was recently woken by loud truck noises at odd hours of the night and when she spoke to the driver and a representative of the parking lot sweeping company, she was told that they had permission.

Bezich and Police Chief Jason Cutler stressed the importance of calling the police in moments like these when she needed clarification rather than waiting for a board meeting because it creates a record of the noise incidence, and it informs the police that there is something happening.

Commissioner Kevin Roche clarified that the police are there to enforce the noise ordinance and if she wanted to get the sound levels checked out, she would work with the county who would bring out their measuring machines to conduct a formal study and measure how loud the noise is and if it’s within the permitted levels.

“If you hear the noise, call (856) 429-3000 and they will immediately dispatch someone to come out on site and they will make a determination to assist you,” Bezich said. “Don’t rely on hearsay, don’t call the company that sends the drivers or utilizes it, utilize the law enforcement officers right here.”

Cutler noted that once the police are on scene, if they find that it’s too loud, they will take care of it and if they don’t, then the resident can sign a complaint against the company.

In other news; 

  • The Borough appointed five members to the new Health Department Advisory Board: Marc Flores, Saba Aftab, Jack Devita, Jamie Mullens and Lois DeAntonio.
  • The memorandum of agreement between the Board of Education and the Borough in reference to the land swap for Radnor Field and part of Bancroft Property was signed by both parties and approved. 

The next commissioners work session is on Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

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