By Sara Martino
Gloucester City News
There was a small turn-out of Gloucester City residents who attended the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting at Cold Springs School on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
Prior to the start of the regular meeting, there was a Town Meeting, where Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. took questions from the audience.
Former Westville resident and Camden County employee, Gina Tomasetti Forte, handled the microphone for residents asking questions.
Theresa Graham told the director that the bridge from Brooklawn to Gloucester City was very dangerous and needed repairs.
“We want better than that. We need safety while using that bridge,” Graham said.
Cappelli directed her comment to Dominick Vesper, the deputy county administrator.
“We are designing a bridge and hopefully bids will be going out for the work this year,” Vesper said.
Louisa Llewellyn asked for support for NJ Senator Donald Norcross (D-5), who is trying to get funding for the proposed new middle school building in Gloucester City.
“Mary Ethel Costello School needs intensive repair and could create dangerous situations for our students in the present condition. Please speak up for us to get the new school built,” she said.
Llewellyn added that the Lanning Square School in Camden City also needs to be built. Funding for these two projects was not received from the state this year.
In attendance were Councilman Nicholas Marchese and Councilman John Hutchinson, who welcomed the Freeholders to Gloucester City.
“We are proud of the governing body and the economic development in Gloucester City,” Marchese said.
In response to questions regarding the police and fire department layoffs, Marchese, who chairs the Finance Committee, said the city would not be in the position of laying off employees if some union concessions were made.
Cappelli said the county is looking into the process of regionalizing the Police Departments.
“The county-wide police department would have regional coverage and create cost-savings to the municipalities. No town would be force to join,” he said.
Other comments regarding the city included the need for speed bumps and enforcement of speeders on certain streets, and the deplorable conditions – including flooding – on Jersey Avenue.
Cappelli also said current training at the Fire School will remain once the move to Camden County College is made in response to a question asking if the firefighters would have to take college courses.
Louisa Llewellyn led the Pledge of Allegiance and Gloucester City High School student Sarah Gilliard sang the National Anthem prior to the start of the regular Freeholder meeting, which followed the Town Meeting.
Retiring School Administrator Martin O’Connor was honored with a resolution from the Freeholder Board for his 30 plus years of serving the community.
The Board also recognized the non-profit Gloucester City Shade Tree Committee for their contribution to the beautification of the city.