The Top 10, Love Your Money, Gloucester City's Bond Debt Increased... Again, Westville's Empty Property Law, Pathmark Closing Stores
By Bill Cleary
THE TOP 10 MOST DANGEROUS CITIES--Browsing the internet recently we stumbled upon an article that listed the 10 most dangerous cities in the United States for the year 2013. Two of the top 10 cities were from the state of New Jersey. The information was based on FBI data of the number of violent crimes in each US City with 25,000 or more people, along with official census data.
According to the FBI data, a Camden resident had a 1 in 36 chance of being victimized by a violent crime. Plus, a resident’s chance of falling victim to either a violent or property related crime is a staggering 1 in 11. There are 77, 283 people living in Camden.
As for Atlantic City, the data revealed that the chances of being a victim of violent crime in that community is 1 in 53, while your odds of being victimized by property crime is as high as 1 in 13. However, those numbers are significantly lower on the highly policed boardwalk areas.
The remaining cities are:
1-East St. Louis, Illinois
4-West Memphis, Arkansas
8-St. Louis, Missouri
9-Newburgh, New York
LOVE YOUR MONEY--Gloucester City Mayor and Council passed two bond ordinances on first reading at the June 27 meeting. The first bond totals $238,000 and the second, $543,500, for a grand total of $781,500.
Funds from the first bond will be used for various improvements to the city’s water and sewer system.
The money from the second bond will be used for the following:
--To resurface several streets ($250,000)
--To fix up the municipal building ($50,000)
--To build a new salt storage building ($85,000)
--To purchase a box trailer with ramp ($8,500)
--To purchase an SUV for the police ($50,000)
--To restore the sea wall along with dredging the city marina ($100,000)
At the same meeting council decided to appropriate the $197,588 balance that wasn’t needed from a previous bond ordinance towards funding the $163,817 in repairs to the King Street pumping station. The remainder of that money, $33,771, will be utilized to repair the Nicholson Road basketball and tennis courts.
SPEND! SPEND! SPEND!--At the May Gloucester City council meeting the governing body borrowed $4,250,214, which increased the total taxpayer debt to $34,414,490. Add to that figure the amount from the June 27 bonds and that NUMBER jumps to $35,195,900.
In 2006, before the James administration assumed control of the city, the taxpayer’s bond debt was just $6 million.
WESTVILLE ‘TACKLES’ EMPTY PROPERTY PROBLEM--Westville passed a new housing law on July 8 aimed at owners of abandoned properties. Under the new law, the first registration fee costs $500, with that amount tripling, to $1,500, for the first renewal. The second annual registration renewal will cost vacant and abandoned property owners $3,000, and every subsequent renewal after that will cost $5,000. The proceeds from the fines will be added to the borough’s general fund. There are approximately 30 foreclosed or abandoned properties in Westville, according to Mayor Russ Welsh. The ordinance is set to take effect Aug. 1.
ET CETERA--How many abandoned/empty properties in nearby Gloucester City, NJ? According to Housing Officer Joseph Stecklair, there are about 300!
PATHMARK STORES CLOSING--Earlier this month the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. told employees it would close three Pathmark supermarkets, in Cherry Hill, Camden, and Edgewater Park, in 60 days. Union leaders said about 300 clerks, stockers, cashiers, seafood, bakery, and meat and deli workers will lose their jobs. A&P, which reorganized and emerged from bankruptcy in 2011, owns Pathmark and Super Fresh groceries. With the latest closings, the only Pathmark store in South Jersey will be in Ventnor.
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