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Westville: Welsh Jr. and Rebel Take Oath of Office

By Sara Martino

NEWS Correspondent

“I would like to thank those who won the election and those candidates who did not win. It takes a lot to put your name on the ballot”, said Solicitor Timothy Chell during remarks at last week’s Westville Borough Council meeting.

Russell Welsh Jr and William Rebel were sworn into their oaths of office by Freeholder Director Senator Steve Sweeney.

Both men, elected to fill out unexpired terms of office, were seated in their positions as Mayor and Councilman.

Welsh had been filling in the position of mayor following the death of Mayor Michael Galbraith. Rebel is filling out Welsh’s un-expired Council term.

The final determination of the Gloucester County Board of Elections had not been officially certified at the time of the Council meeting and, upon advice from Chell, Rebel abstained from voting on any resolutions until final results are received.

Mayor Welsh recalled some goals that he had set in July, namely teamwork and continuity among the employees and department heads; the Police Department merger between National Park; and the Borough and the approval of a senior complex.

“The police department is now actively servicing both towns; the senior complex is in the final stage of permitting, and I would commend the employees and department heads for their cooperation,” Welsh said.

He also said that the Westville Library renovations are now complete, and sewer relining is finished. Although an ordinance approved by Council does not completely rule out “eminent domain,” it will eliminate some property owner’s fears, he said.

“For those people living in the ‘yellow’ zone area, the fear of eminent domain is gone,” Welsh said.

The “yellow” zone was included in the plans for redevelopment on Edgewater Avenue along Timber Creek. Fieldstone Associates had received approval to submit plans for the redevelopment from the Borough, but pulled out of the project citing financial difficulties.

In old business, Council approved a bid from Curb con, Inc. for the base bid of $63,244.69 for improvements to the intersections of High Street.

Public Works Manager, Donna Domico said that Harvard Avenue, Locust and High streets are in need of repair.

Borough Administrator William Bittner said, “We will move forward with whatever we can do this year.”

As required by the State of New Jersey, a resolution was approved authorizing the execution of a share grant agreement for police services in the amount of $90,600.50 in reference to the National Park police merger.

A resolution was made memorializing the approval of a 4 percent salary increase for all non-contractual employees.

Colleen Archer and Kevin Galbraith were appointed to serve as alternate members of the Land Use Board.

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, the next Council meeting will be Tuesday, November 25, instead of the fourth Wednesday.

A Tree Lighting ceremony will take place on Friday, December 5, at the Thomas West Park.

The parade to the park will start at the firehouse at 6:15 p.m.

The Gateway High band and choir will be part of the activities, as well as members of the Little Miss Westville pageant.