A Haddonfield board of commissioners action meeting last month included three proclamations and the swearing in of new borough officer Billy Tran.
“[Tran] far outweighed everybody in the interviews, testing and everything,” said Police Chief David Cutler. “He’s going to be a great asset; we’re very happy to have him.”
During committee reports, Public Works (Director) Gregory Ley and Commissioner Frank Troy provided updates on the second year of the Tree Rapid Execution Event (T.R.E.E.), where two teams trim trees down to their stalks and take down dead or dying trees so they don’t become a hazard.
“We started the takedown with a list of about 35 trees,” said Ley, who added that the teams are halfway through their trees list, with work expected until the end of March. While one team focuses on trimming, the other focuses on taking down large trees with a rental truck that has more capabilities than last year’s.
Troy noted that while the borough doesn’t have a trend line on how many trees are expected to be trimmed, the hope is for the data to be collected this year.
“The first week we did three blocks and trimmed 21 trees,” Troy noted. “What we’re hoping to establish is over the course of a few weeks … we’ll be able to figure out how many trees can be trimmed in a week, create a trend line and then plot our progress against that trend line.”
Because of the large number of trees in Haddonfield, another goal for this year is to create a tree survey inventory using Arbor Pro to help prioritize future takedowns. The borough has about 9,000 trees.
“Over time, what we would do is establish how many (trees) we can reasonably take down in a week, send more teams to do it, and then take the results from the tree survey to go to that block first,” Troy explained.
Fire Chief Lou Frontino also put out a call for volunteers during his meeting updates.
The commissioners also introduced three new ordinances on first reading. The first establishes a CAP bank for this year’s budget that allows the borough to increase appropriations by 3.5 percent, rather than last year’s 2.5 percent.
“The state puts out a number for how much you can increase your appropriations for,” explained Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough. “If that percentage is below the maximum allowed through this ordinance, we’re allowed to pass the ordinance to go up to that, and then we have the ability to bank that if we don’t use that for two years.”
Another ordinance would repeal amendments approved last year. Solicitor Salvatore Siciliano explained that this was so the commissioners could rework the section (on fees, assessments and penalties and the borough Tree Escrow Fund) and noted that a new ordinance addressing the changes and procedures needed would likely be introduced in the upcoming months.
The last ordinance would allow for trash pickup in the business district to take place six days a week rather than the existing five, with the condition that businesses would be billed for the additional day.
In other news, the board of commissioners:
- Approved the Outdoor Eating and Seating facilities ordinance introduced at the Feb. 13 work session on second reading on the standards for elements of outdoor dining
- Authorized purchase of a leaf truck and chipper truck
- Acknowledged it could not provide an update or comment on the bid for Bank of America, proposed as a possible new police headquarters.
The next commissioners work session is on Monday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m.