A few months after losing the primary in June 2016, Mr. Manzo resigned from the position he held as committeeman the term for which was expiring on Dec. 31, 2016. He arranged for another member of committee to resign shortly thereafter. The resigning member, John Williams, was in a term of office which was not scheduled to expire until Dec 31, 2017. Mr. Manzo then got himself appointed to Mr. Williams’ vacant seat. Unless he is somehow re-elected, Mr. Manzo will have to vacate that seat immediately following the Nov 7, 2017 election
The Vigilante and Rotte Plan for a Better Harrison Township
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Harrison Township currently has almost $54 million in debt, which include more than $22 million in long term bond debt, more than $16 million in short term note debt, and $14 million in sewer debt. The interest Harrison Township has to pay on all that debt is almost 30% of every municipal tax dollar. This is known as debt service. That is almost $3 million out of our ten million dollar annual budget. Some people on Facebook have asked us how that compares with other towns. Harrison’s debt is the second highest in the county. West Deptford has about 85 million in debt; Harrison has the second highest out of all 23 townships in the county. However, West Deptford has Riverwinds, while Harrison Township has no community center, no senior center, and no amphitheater or golf course to account for that extreme debt. While each town is different, there is some explanation for West Deptford’s debt. What is the explanation for Harrison’s debt? The short answer is that the town is living on borrowed money and beyond its means. Kicking the can forward year after year, paying interest only. There are things our township needs, such as a community- senior center, but those needs are not being met and that is not where the money has been spent. We have looked at the budgets over the past ten years and the spending. What we can tell you is that debt has almost doubled in the last ten years.
Sewer debt has increased from $13,373,416.63 in 2016, and that sewer debt increased to $14,068,127.47 in 2017. Even though sewer debt increased, the Harrison Township took more than $400,000 in sewer “surplus” and dumped it into the general budget. Was there ever a sewer surplus? Or was revenue diverted from sewer to the general budget to help achieve a flat tax rate in 2017? How can there be a surplus in sewer when the best increased by almost $700,000?
District 1- Ed & Elizabeth Selb
District 2- Mitch Madera & Cathy Noakes
District 3- Ron & Michelle Vallone
District 4- Bill & Pam Ziegler
District 5- Jeff Jacques & Nancy Kowalik
District 6- Mike and Joann Trazzera
District 7- Steve and Colleen Barlage
District 8- John Williams & Karen Casey
District 9- TJ & Fran Coakley
In Richwood, on the east side of Route 55, a new teaching Hospital is being built with plans to add 3 Medical Office Buildings as well. Construction is already underway. On the west side of 55, near the WaWa, there will be retail complex known as the “Richwood Town Center”. Besides the hospital and the Town Center, there are plans to build AT LEAST 1300 residences consisting of Townhomes, Active Adult +55 homes, low income housing and single family homes. Because the current administration of the Township brokered a deal with Gloucester Count Utility Authority in 2015, the Richwood new development will be hooking up to the GCUA sewer system in Glassboro with pumping stations in Harrison Township. Because of this agreement, all the new construction will be on sewers and existing planning ordinances will allow the new residential homes to be built on very small lot. We are guessing about ¼ acre for the detached single homes. On an average, in growing communities around Harrison, approximately 200 homes are being built a year. We expect that pace in Harrison if the economy stays strong. It will take approximately 5-6 years for the residential areas to be built out once they break ground. On an average each new residence (except the active adult communities) will produce 1.7 children – estimating 2200 new children in the school system. We invite all interested and concerned residents to join us at Harrison Township planning meetings to hear for themselves what is happening and to ask questions and raise concerns. The Joint Land Use Meetings are held the first and third Thursday of the month at 7:30 PM at the Municipal Building. Final plans have not yet been approved as we have been told there is a lawsuit between the developers and the town over more affordable housing. Please check back here for updates. We will post more information as we discover it.