Major goals for Deptford Township in the new year are public safety, capital projects and economic development in the community.
Public safety in the township became a hot topic in 2022, a violent year nationwide that included mass shootings in Philadelphia and the deadly gun attack at a Highland Park, Illinois, 4th of July parade.
“We’re going to hire new police officers this year,” promised Mayor Paul Medany. “We’re out patrolling neighborhoods, as we have close to 75 neighborhoods in Deptford, so it’s a big thing. We have to make sure our neighborhoods are safe; our businesses are safe.”
Among capital projects are road repaving and recreational opportunities for residents.
“One thing that we always do, what they (residents) can expect, is we’re going to repave roads,” said Medany. “We have about 550 local roads, so every year, we have to do X amount of roads.”
While the cost of repaving has increased, state grants and some municipal aid will help the township fund repaving of between 10 and 15 roads every year, the mayor predicted.
Building maintenance is also among projects that include a new boiler at the municipal building last month. There will also be new police and public works’ vehicles.
“It goes on and on and on,” Medany noted. “We’re going to be close to 32,000 people (living here), close to 18,000 square miles and 550 local roads. It’s a big community.”
Medany has described economic development in the new year as “extremely important.” One initiative from 2022 that will continue is a partnership with the Deptford Mall.
“It’s probably one of the biggest regional indoor malls in this area,” Medany explained. “It does extremely well. But we partner with them to help them do well. We improve roads around the mall, make sure they have signage and make sure it’s safe.”
According to the mayor, about 56,000 people travel through Deptford daily, many traveling to and from the mall.
“We’re trying to attract new businesses and new jobs, which is very important,” Medany said. “We have Inspira Medical Center moving in. That’s a huge asset to Deptford Township. They took an empty store and are completely renovating it. If you look around, we have very few empty stores, which is a priority to us.”
Another business relocating is Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; it will replace what was Don Pablo’s.