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

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CNBNEWS POINT OF VIEW: Wake Up People; The Chatham Square 'Boon Doggle'

By Bill Cleary


WAKE UP PEOPLE! A number of local governments are still not using the world wide web Rds_news properly. They haven’t a clue it seems on what is available for their use to alert residents of important happenings or disasters. The emergencies this past week (earthquake, hurricane) highlight why they need such a system in place. 


A good program for this purpose that some communities use is offered through a company named


From Nixle’s website, “Nixle is a Community Information Service dedicated to helping you stay connected to the information that matters most to you, depending on your physical location. You stay connected to your local police department, your children’s schools, your local community agencies and organizations, and the important information from other locations throughout the country that are relevant to you. Our service is built on the most secure, reliable, and high-speed distribution platform, ensuring that you receive trusted and immediate, geographically relevant information. Information is immediately available over your cell phone by text message, by email, and over the web. Your account can be customized so you receive the information that matters most to you.”


Those towns that we know of that use Nixle are: Audubon, Bellmawr, Gloucester Township and Mount Ephraim.  The company offers a free service along with a paid premium program. If your community is not using this system or one similar ask your elected reps why not? Tell them it is time for your (our) community to become part of the 21st Century. 


THE CHATHAM SQUARE ‘BOON DOGGLE’-Labbree Realty recently was named the rental agent for the Chatham Square ‘Boon Doggle’ owned by the taxpayers of Gloucester City. Labbree was appointed by resolution passed by Mayor and Council at the August 26 council meeting. There are 16 apartments that are still being rented, the others are either empty or have been converted into one of 8 townhouses that are for sale. The City purchased the 100 apartments in 2007 for $4.3 million and hired a developer, Orens Brothers to renovate the dilapidated apartments into townhouses. Orens Brothers received a $1.1 million UDAG loan from the City for that purpose. So far not one of the 8 partially finished townhouses have been sold. Only the outside facade has been refurbished; and a small outside deck has been built on the back of the 8 properties. They are priced between $167,000 and $195,000. Orens was hired over a year ago, in June 2010. 


For their services, Labbree, according to the resolution, will receive the following fees: a) one half month’s rent; b)1-5 units-6% of monthly rent; 6-10 units-; 5.5% of monthly rent; 11 or more units-5% of monthly rent; c) $100 per occurrence. Previously the City was handling the rental of the properties. The rent ranges from $595 to $869, according to a notice on the City’s website.