HomeHaddonfield NewsCommissioners pass ordinance creating recreation utility

Commissioners pass ordinance creating recreation utility

Move shifts funds for maintenance from taxpayers

Three new firefighters were sworn in at the April 17 board of commissioners meeting: Haddonfield residents Jason Douglas, Devin O’Neill and Marlton paramedic Anthony Iovino. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

The commissioners passed three ordinances on second reading at their recent meeting April 17 which included the creation of a Recreation Utility, Recreation Commission, and an ordinance clarifying and allowing for advertisements on trash cans.

Commissioner Kevin Roche explained that by having a recreation utility, the Borough can charge organizations and individuals for field usage rather than using taxpayer funds to help maintain and upkeep the fields or prevent people who want to pay or give money to use the field from later trying to exert their influence or opinion over who can or can’t use the field. 

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“The reason that I wanted to get this put in place is because when we look at the open space that we have and the policies and procedures of who is using this, I look at it from the field’s perspective,” Roche said. “So as a taxpayer, I don’t have any children who utilize the field and yet I’ve seen how many checks go out on a regular basis to maintenance, upkeep, capital maintenance projects.”

Roche noted that this move would also allow for better budgeting, more transparency and allow for a capital improvement plan to be put in place as a utility could be individually set up for projects like field maintenance and upkeep.

On a similar note, the creation of a Recreation Committee will also serve to help guide the board of commissioners on “the preservation, care, maintenance, construct, improvement and operation of lands used as public parks, playgrounds, tennis facilities and recreation fields,” according to its ordinance. The commission will be made up of a director, a commissioner liaison, and seven members with two alternating members appointed by the Board of Commissioners.

“This is very simply having a group of individuals who like, planning commission, zoning commission, housing authority, to really look at this and have an unbiased group who are committed to the holistic measure of the field, not just specific fields that they play on,” Roche said.

In other news:

  • The commissioners proclaimed April 23-29 LIbrary Week and recognized the library for the resources, programs and help they provide for families and businesses.
  • May was proclaimed Interfaith Caregivers Month and the commissioners recognized Interfaith Caregivers for their work offering transportation, companionship, respite care and shopping errands for seniors, thanks to volunteer efforts.
  • April 28 was proclaimed Arbor Day and will be observed with a tree planting.
  • Three new active firefighters were sworn in: Haddonfield residents Jason Douglas, Devin O’Neill and Marlton paramedic Anthony Iovino.

The next commissioners work session is Monday, May 8.


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