NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Laurie Ann Westbrook, formerly of Gloucester City, Succumbs at the age of 43
Mount Ephraim Public Schools NEWS

Gloucester City Fire Department, Waterfront Property, New Restaurants, Picking Grapes, A New Look for Broadway


By Bill Cleary

TIP-Seven firemen will take the oath of office at Thursday’s Gloucester Letters to ed City Council meeting. Six of these individuals have been on the city’s payroll for sometime listed under the category of Provisional. The seventh individual was hired within the last month. Presently he is attending the Camden County Fire Academy to learn how to become a fireman. According to Fire Chief Brian Hagan there are 33 employees in his department, 23 full-time firemen and 10 full-time officers  including him.

HOW Many Chiefs?- Besides Chief Hagan the department has 5 Battalion Chiefs and 4 Lieutenants. The total operating budget for the fire department is an estimated $4 million annually with $190,000 set aside for overtime.

A rumor has been circulating in the City recently that one of the paid firemen has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). If so this is the second paid firemen to be charged with that crime in the past year. Chief Hagan neither confirmed nor denies the rumor. He referred all questions to City Administrator Jack Lipsett. Like the Chief he (Lipsett) would neither confirm nor deny the accusation because of it being a personnel matter. The fireman who previously lost his license was allowed to continue to work during the six months his license was suspended although he couldn’t drive, a requirement of the job.

SNIPPET-Someone asked the question if I knew what happened to the boat Flag Ship Charters that was docked at Freedom Pier, King Street and the Delaware River last summer. Bob Bevan, Gloucester City spokesperson said the Coast Guard required the owners to upgrade the ship. “Because of the high cost of those repairs the owner closed down their operation”, said Bevan.

Bevan was asked about the status of the proposed tent canopy restaurant that the City was promoting last year for the river end of Freedom Pier. “A study found that the winds on the pier are extremely high. Much too strong for a canopy tent,” said Bevan.

“Mayor and Council took into consideration that high winds could cause a safety issue with the tent. Plus the high costs for renting equipment and the costs for state permits and decided it would be better to erect a permanent building. This way the City only deals with the state once instead of every year. Plans for such a building, 5000 to 7000 square foot, should be ready by September,” said Bevan. Also included in the plan, according to Bevan, will be a number of  transient docks enough to hold 30 boats.

Last year when the announcement was made about the restaurant I got so excited thinking at last we would finally see the long overdue development of this prized piece of real estate. But once again my dreams were smashed.

I have asked this question since 1980, Why is it that surrounding communities such as Bellmawr, Camden City, National Park, and Deptford can develop their water ways and all Gloucester City seems to ever do is create another reason for one more study.

I was hoping something, even a restaurant under a tent, would happen in my lifetime. After all 30 years is a long time to ask anyone to wait. And I am sure others feel the same way as I do.

Incidentally the plans for the 29 condominiums to be built on Freedom Pier have been approved. Because of the bad economy the City is having a tough time finding a developer for the project. I have been told that once the developer is signed construction will begin.

NEW RESTAURANTS COMING TO GLOUCESTER CITY-Paddy D’s, formerly O’Donnell’s Restaurant at Broadway and Warren Street along with Tavern on The Edge, the former Sports Corner at 4th and Jersey Avenues are both scheduled to open in September.

HERE A GRAPE, THERE A GRAPE-Howard Clark, UEZ Director, met with representatives of the Chilean fruit industry recently to discuss the possible construction of a refrigerated warehouse on the site of the defunct Amspec Chemical property. Located on Water Street and Delaware River the property is owned by the City of Gloucester City. Further discussion between the City and the representatives is scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

BROADWAY STREETSCAPE- UEZ Director Clark the first phase of that project will begin shortly. Look for new sidewalks along Broadway between Monmouth and Market Streets. And new free standing lights and benches.

“This project will significantly enhance the Broadway commercial corridor”, said Clark.

If you have a TIP OR SNIPPET send to [email protected]

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