The Harrison Township Committee held its annual reorganization meeting in Mullica Hill on Jan. 3 to inform the public on plans for the new year.
“Twenty-twenty-three would be an important year in Harrison Township and the leadership team was committed to building on the community’s reputation of being the best place to live and raise a family in the region,” said Mayor Louis Manzo.
Part of the new year’s plans, according to the mayor, include major paving repairs on Route 322, a new dog park and pickleball courts, new medical offices and a new gas station.
While controversy over warehouse development peaked at the end of 2022, the committee also addressed it at the reorganization meeting and said its intention would be to “address that issue going forward”.
The “issue” is a proposed 2-million-square-foot set of warehouses set to be constructed at Route 322 and Tomlin Station Road. The project is headed by North Jersey-based Russo Development and was met by swift backlash from the community. The Joint Land Use Board voted against it at a Dec. 15 meeting, but the proposal lingers.
During the reorganization session, Manzo and the township committee were asked how various projects might impact this year’s budget.
“Defining the revenue (or lack thereof) related to such projects will be a factor in all future budgets,” Manzo explained.
He promised details would be made public closer to the budget’s March introduction.
The committee also welcomed two new members: Lawrence Moore and Jeff Jacques were sworn into three-year terms they won in November. They thanked those who supported their campaigns and pledged to work with the committee in facing Mullica Hill’s challenges. Manzo welcomed the “insight and capabilities” he said the two men can bring to the table.
Manzo took his own oath as mayor for the 16th year, alongside Deputy Mayor Julie DeLaurentis. He later pointed out why a reorganization meeting is necessary.
“The reorganization process is also a celebration of one of the foundational principles of our democracy, with citizens electing other citizens to lead,” he noted. “Instantaneously, you assume the responsibility of representing 14,000 people and need to make decisions in the best interest of the community as a whole.
“And you can never please everyone.”