Tips and Snippets: Goodbye Scott, Homeless Issue, Meadowbrook Mews Plan, Kudos to Firemen Union and City, McAllister Given Philly Contract
By Bill Cleary
GOODBYE SCOTT-An estimated 300 people attended the memorial service for Scott Bevan Saturday, July 24 held at Proprietors Park, King Street at the Delaware River, Gloucester City NJ. The outside temperature was 100 degrees but that didn't seem to bother those in attendance. Some standing others sitting in chairs. They wanted to be there close to other people who knew Scott, to support his family, to share stories, laugh a little and even cry.
Family members remembered the 43-year-old man who died of cancer (melanoma) on July 15. A moving eulogy by his brother Gregg had many of those in attendance in tears. The service ended with Gloucester City Mayor Bill James playing Amazing Grace on bagpipes.
Scott, a former resident of Gloucester City and Brooklawn, graduated from Gloucester
City High School, Class of 1984. He has lived with his wife Deneen and their beloved dog Bella in Cape May Court House for the past 6 years. Besides his wife he is survived by his parents, former Mayor Bob and Janet Bevan, sister Marnie and husband Pete Lengle his brother Gregg and wife Eleanor, loving uncle to Eva, Parker, Phoebe and Sam; and many uncles, aunts and cousins.
The ongoing homeless issue in Gloucester City was brought to the forefront recently by CNB news hound Ken Doyle who wrote about some people sleeping in Proprietors Park. If you recall last year vagrants took over a home on North Broadway that was up for Sherriff Sale. They would sit out front of the house drinking beer and sleeping on the porch and the lawn. That problem was solved once the home was sold.
Police Chief George Berglund said, “There is no law that prohibits a person from sleeping in the park during the day. However we have found some people in the park after it was closed at 9 PM and when we do they are asked to leave or be arrested. . We offer to take vagrants to the Volunteers of America shelter in Camden City. It is a rough place and some homeless people avoid it for that reason. These individuals at the park are local people, they are not from out-of-town.”
“The homeless problem is a social issue facing every community across the country. It is not just here in Gloucester City. We are still living in a recession, with a high unemployment rate. As a result people are losing their homes”.
Asked about the city cutbacks in the police department do to the budget deficit, Berglund said, “My staff has been reduced to 29 officers compared to the fire department with 34 firemen. Officer Paul Babcock retired and we have been told he will not be replaced. Officer Steve Moody will be retiring in November and he too will not be replaced. I have been able to shuffle the manpower around so it hasn’t affected the number of officers on the street or the safety of the public. The problem will come when someone gets injured or is out sick. We will be forced to pay overtime.”
The Redevelopment Plan ordinance for Meadowbrook Mews Townhouse Project was tabled by City Council this past Thursday night until the next meeting. Asked why Councilman Nick Marchese said, “We did not introduce this ordinance because I don't believe it was written correctly. Some items have to be deleted and some added to this ordinance. Currently there are 16 units occupied within two building in the rear. These units are helping to pay for CCMUA and other expenses. I am not sure of the amount allocated to move each tenant, but the investment is a combined effort between the developer and the city and will be shared equally. I recently visited the site and renovations are going well. Our goal is to make sure we complete sellable units that will remain a community to be proud of in the future.”
City Administrator Jack Lipsett was asked why the City is paying to move the tenants who don’t buy a townhouse. Lipsett said, “We are hoping that all 16 tenants will be interested in buying one of the new townhouses. If not the City will pay to relocate those individuals. It is required by law.” He explained too that the City has spent money before to move people and the cost is not expensive. “The mover we use is very reasonable.” The developer and the city will share the costs.
The official ground breaking ceremonies for the rehabilitation and conversion of the Chatham Square Apartment Complex was held Tuesday, June 1. The City, in conjunction with developer, Orens Brothers of Philadelphia is converting the 100 apartment complex, located on Route 130 at Klemm Avenue into 50 town houses. The new homes will be priced between $175,000 and $180,000.
Gloucester City firemen and EMT’s along with City officials received kudos from the Courier Post editorial board this month. The union members and mayor and council were lauded for hammering out a three-year contract that will only increase municipal taxes by $45 for the average home owner.
From the Courier Post…Credit goes to the unions, Locals 51 and 251, and city officials who hammered out the new three-year contract for Gloucester's 34-member fire department. The deal calls for no layoffs but no pay raises over the life of the contract. It covers 2009, 2010 and 2011. The contract also calls for eliminating holiday pay and the buyback of accumulated sick time when firefighters retire.
Gloucester City Tugboat Operator in the News-McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. has been hired by the City of Philadelphia to replace the tugboat operator involved in this month’s fatal crash on the Delaware River. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that McAllister will provide the tugboat service for a cost of $137,958 a month.
CNBNEWS Photo: MaAllister tugboat docked on Little Timber Creek, Gloucester City NJ. In the distance is the trash to steam plant
The contract to haul sewage sludge from Northeast Philadelphia to a treatment facility on the Schuylkill was awarded to McAllister on a month- to- month basis. K-Sea, the previous operator, was being paid $112,600 a month. McAllister, located at King and Monmouth Streets, was founded in 1864 and has operated in the Port of Philadelphia since 1940, according to its website