The on again off again passenger train connecting Camden City with Glassboro is back on track. Delaware River Port Authority Vice -Chairman Jeffrey Nash announced at the Authority’s October meeting that the train will be rolling down the tracks from Camden to Glassboro in about seven years time.
A $9 million contract to fund an environmental impact study of the line, necessary before a shovel is put into the ground, is expected to be placed before the DRPA’s Finance Committee in either November or December, said Chief Executive Officer John Matheussen. It is expected to take two years to complete.
Bob Booth, president of the Gloucester City Business Association, who was in attendance, asked the commissioners if they could speed the process along. The GCBA, which has 70 members, favors the idea. Booth, who owns Gloucester Travel, said the line would increase business prospects as well as attracting new residents.
Gloucester City Business Association (GCBA) meeting will be held Tuesday,October 25 at O’Donnell’s Pub & Grill located at 401 N Broadway in Gloucester City. Networking and cocktails will begin at 5:30 PM. The formal meeting will commence at 6 PM with John Matheussen, CEO of DRPA, providing an update on the Glassboro – Camden Line and other relevant DRPA initiatives. Other speakers include: Joe Paprzycki, Producing Artistic Director of the South Camden Theatre Company will give us an overview of their upcoming second season. And Rocco D'Antonio, President of Organic Diversion, who will provide an important update on their progress securing necessary approvals to begin construction on their state-of-the-art recycling plant in Gloucester City. To learn more about the GCBA contact Bob Booth, president at 1-856-742-8010 website www.gcba.info
WHAT TO DO WITH MILLIONS!-The DPRA has been debating for over a year about what to do with $29 million sitting in the authority’s economic development fund that has remained unspent by its recipients. Commissioners were told by legal counsel they could not use the funds to delay a toll increase. The funds cannot be used for day-to day operations.
Commissioner Nash, a Camden County freeholder who is also chairman of the DRPA’s Finance Committee, said he would like to take whatever the DRPA recaptures from the economic development pot and combine it with money from the agency’s general fund and pay down its debt.
The general fund, a reserve needed to meet covenants pertaining to the agency’s $1.3 billion debt, stands at approximately $277 million, said DRPA Chief Executive Officer John Matheussen.
The general fund, Matheussen said, represents “collateral against the debt” the DRPA has. Bond rating firms look at what is in the general fund as part of their determination as to the level of risk the agency’s debt has.
The former Haddonfield Lumber Co., founded in 1953 will be closing its doors in mid-November, the current owners said last week. “In light of continued industry and market difficulties, ProBuild has made the hard decision to close the Cherry Hill location,” said Jennifer Thurman, vice president of corporate communications of ProBuild, which purchased the lumber company and home center on Brace Road near Kresson Road in 2006.
The Cherry Hill site encompasses 3.8 acres of land and 29,000 square feet of retail space. For the base year 2011, the property’s taxes were $46,702.
Thurman wouldn’t elaborate on the reasons for the closing. No doubt though the collapse of the housing market has something to do with it. ProBuild, which is based in Denver and has 435 sites nationwide, has other local sites including a lumber yard in Mount Holly, a windows and doors facility in Gloucester City and a gypsum store in Camden.