William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
GOOD NEWS! Housing Violator Stopped—A number of residents contacted CNBNews on Tuesday after reading a Facebook advertisement regarding a boarding house opening in a longtime residential property in the unit block of North Harley Avenue. The advertisement pertained to three rooms in the bungalow that was available. The upstairs attic and two rooms on the floor below. It mentioned there was good parking available and a large basement for storage. The Facebook ad showed the inside and outside of the property.
Tuesday, May 12, CNBNew contacted the person who placed the advertisement and asked over the phone if she was still accepting tenants. She said, "There are a number of people who have answered the advertisement and until they look at the room, we are not taking any more applicants"
The city's housing ordinance for Rooming and Boarding houses, Chapter 70 specifically outlines a number of steps that must be followed before anyone could open such a facility. One of those requirements is a public hearing (70-6). None of the neighbors, who live near the home, were notified of a public hearing.
We reached out to William Ackley, the City's Chief Housing Inspector and Zoning Officer about the problem. He said, via an email, "An inspector was assigned to investigate the properties on North Harley on Monday, May 11, the same day my office was notified there was a potential violation. Violations were found and citations were issued. I do not know when the citations will be heard in municipal court and no further comment will be issued by this office while it is an active court case."
We also asked Ackley for an update on a housing survey that his office has undertaken ordered by Mayor Dan Spencer in January. Spencer had promised in the beginning of the year that violators of the city's housing code would be prosecuted if found guilty of not maintaining their properties. As a result of the mayor's order a police officer was assigned to work with the housing office identifying code infractions. The study of the housing situation of the west side is completed but the analysis of the east side is ongoing. Wanting to know the status of the project Ackley was asked for more information. We also asked if we could read what has been gathered so far.
Ackley said, "As I stated on March 25th in response to the same question, “There will not be a tabulation released until the entire city is completed and I can report to the governing body. Currently, during this unprecedented time, my staff is continuing the property maintenance review of the city, but we are also keenly aware of the current situation. This will delay the ultimate outcome of the department’s efforts.”
BAD NEWS! School Taxes Rising—The Gloucester City Board of Education adopted a $50.3 million budget at a Tuesday virtual meeting. As a result school taxes will increase $22.11 per $100, according to a weekly paper. The annual tax bill for the average assessed home of $107,700 would be an estimated $1, 335.
The anticipated students enrollment as of October 15, 2020, is estimated at 2,234 students. Of that number 462 students will be enrolled in Special Education.
Using the figures above ($50,000,000 divided by 2,234) the estimated cost per student is $21,000 plus. (see friendly budget)
BELLMAWR GYM GOING ROGUE—Ian Smith co-owner of Atilis Gym, Browning Road, Bellmawr announced on the Fox's Tucker Carson show Wednesday night that his gym will reopen despite Governor Murphy's coronavirus lockdown.
Smith told Carlson he thought Gov. Phil Murphy’s order to close nonessential business was unfair and an infringement on his Constitutional rights.
“Our main objective is to show the world, but especially the governor, that we reject the premise of essential versus nonessential businesses. Our goal is to make a statement. We don’t need a nanny state to tell us you can’t go outside.”
Smith said he and Frank Trumbetti “took over a failing gym” on W. Browning Road 10 months ago. Trumbetti also operates Rock Bottom Nutrition, a health products store, in Cherry Hill, and in their gym in Bellmawr. The nutrition store was allowed to remain open but not the gym, according to NJ.com
“It seems very selective about who can be in business and who can’t,” Smith said. “Telling people that liquor stores are essential but places they can come to work on their physical and mental health is not – it’s just not adding up. So we decided to take matters into our own hands."
VIDEO COURTESY OF TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT
DICK LEE'S NIGHT CLUB/PENNANT EAST DEMOLITION
MEMORIES: The Dick Lee's Night Club/Pennant building, Crescent Blvd., Bellmawr was being demolished today. Back in the day the entertainment spot was opened until 3AM. Bars in Brooklawn and Gloucester City closed at 2 AM.