Collingswood, New Jersey

Marathon reading of A Christmas Carol, Dec 21

Come out to Dig This (717 Haddon Ave) for a marathon reading of "A Christmas Carol" starting at 5 p.m.on December 21! Stop in to enjoy snacks, drinks and a live reading of the holiday classic. Hear a few verses or Ebenezer’s whole journey.

This entertaining event is open to an audience that can sit and listen to all or as much of the story as they would like. The reading will take about four to five hours. Cookies and punch will be served and there will be a place to donate canned goods to a local food bank. Dig This will offer discounts  on purchases to readers and anyone that brings a donation. 

Readers needed - no experience required to participate. Contact Kenneth at kenneth.allendoerfer@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering as part of this special holiday get-together.

This event is part of Collingswood’s season of holiday events. Caroling, shopping, free parking, visits with Santa and more. Read about all the wonderful holiday events in Collingswood here!

2013 Collingswood Holiday Ornament available!

The 2013 Collingswood Holiday Ornament order form is available! This 18th ornament in the series celebrates Collingswood's Quasquicentennial!  That's right folks! This special limited edition ornament represents the 125th Anniversary of Collingswood. Each year's ornament highlights a time, place or special event in our town. It's a great way to decorate your home or tree with something uniquely Collingswood.

If you've missed out on previous years, want to start a collection or just buy one or two ornaments that have special meaning to you, you're in luck! Select few ornaments from past editions are still available.   Ornaments are available for pick up at Arts Plus Gallery (704 Haddon Ave.

Enjoy an ornament that celebrates our treasured Library, historic Zane School, stunning Scottish Rite, magestic Transfiguration Church, the family-favorite Holiday Parade and several other Collingwood landmarks. 

The 2013 Quasquicentennial ornament and each run of ornaments are limited in quantity - order now!

Previous ornaments still available for a special offer of just $10 if purchased in conjunction with the 2013 ornament!

Thackara House (low inventory)    
Collingswood Manor                        
May Fair (low inventory)                  
Zane School (low inventory)               
Collingswood Theatre                        
Foster Warner                                    
Transfiguration Church                      
Holiday Parade                                    
Collingswood Library

Tax Sale starts Dec 20

The Borough of Collingswood 2013 Tax Sale will be held on December 20, 2013 at 9:30 am on the 3rd Floor of the Municipal Building at 678 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ  08108.

Pre-registration is required.  Please contact the Tax Collector at 856-854-0720 x121 for questions.

Community Chorus Concert rescheduled

Tuesday night’s Collingswood Community Chorus concert has been rescheduled for Monday Dec 16 at 7:28 pm. Event details below.

Read about all the wonderful holiday events in Collingswood here!

The Collingswood Community Chorus directed by Dale Carey will perform their holiday concert "Here We Come A-Caroling" at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, NJ  08107. Take a break from your everyday routine and your hectic holiday schedule to relax and fill your heart with the sounds of the season both familiar and new. Choral music will begin at 7:28pm, but coming early for the best parking and seats will also allow you to enjoy the performances of several soloists as they set the mood for the evening. Admission is free. For more information call 856-854-6024.

Perkins hosts children's theatre series

Perkins hosts Children's Theatre - For children, by children!
 
January 7 through March 27 young actors, singers, dancers and technicians will have and opportunity to be guided by Director Charles J. Gill, three theatre professionals, a choreographer and a vocalist to create a production of the original musical, We Are Monsters. This new experience will provide an opportunity for children to engage in all aspects of a live theater production. 

This exciting opportunity is for children ages 9 to 14 and a parent meeting will be held at 7pm on Monday, December 16 at Perkins Center (30 Irvin Ave) in Collingswood. 

Practices for the production will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm (along with two Saturdays.) Auditions will be held Saturday, January 18 and all students will be cast in the production.

We Are Monsters performances will be Friday, March 28 at 4:30pm and 7pm and Saturday, March 29 at 11:30am and 3pm. 

We Are Monsters is an original musical that follows human kids into a monster cabaret filled with quirky monster characters. The adventurous humans uncover vegetarian vampires and rock n' roll werewolves, gradually realizing there may be more to these monsters than meets the eye! Most importantly these monsters and kids discover the importance of friendship and celebrating in the attributes that make each of us different and unique.
 
For more information go here or call 856-235-6488.

Collingswood named a ‘Successful Suburban Downtown’

DVRPC study examines factors that determine economic success

Collingswood was named one of 10 towns that exemplify a successful suburban downtown in the greater Philadelphia area. Towns lauded by the study share seven key characteristics of a healthy retail district according to a new study by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). The landmark study, Revitalizing Suburban Downtown Retail Districts: Strategies and Best Practices, examines the common characteristics of thriving downtown retail districts. Through the Strategies for Older Suburbs program, DVRPC analyzed 71 suburban downtown retail districts and then developed short- and long-term strategies to help local officials further their economic development goals.

Healthy retail districts generate tax revenues, provide employment, provide access to a variety of goods and services, and bring community members together. The report outlines shared characteristics of healthy retail districts and prioritizes them based on the economic success of the district in which they were found.

The seven characteristics, along with Collingswood’s results, defined as high priority are:

-The existence of a retail management entity (Collingswood Partners, BID)
-Wide sidewalks (8 feet)
-High walkability (Walk score: 91)
-A low vacancy rate (7.2%)
-Parking options (Kisoks, street parking and lots)
-A civic or cultural anchor (PATCO, events)
-High traffic counts (New residential, 21 block district, one of the largest in the study)

The report recommends that these elements be central to any downtown district strategy. The study noted, “Collingswood’s revitalized Haddon Avenue Business District offers a full array of boutique shops, restaurants, professional offices, and cultural entertainment…Collingswood hosts a variety of events throughout the year to bring in visitors.”

“Creating a successful downtown is a never ending project,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “We’ve spent the last 15 years enabling good businesses to grow here and building our brand but there’s never a time you can sit back and say ‘We’re finished.’ There’s always work to do to keep things active.”

“The success of Greater Philadelphia’s suburban centers is essential to the growth of our region,” said Barry Seymour, Executive Director of DVRPC. “Looking at the best practices of our most livable communities is a valuable exercise for any neighborhood revitalization.”

Of the 71 suburban towns examined, ten were highlighted that best exemplify all seven high priority characteristics. These towns include Bordentown City, Bryn Mawr, Collingswood, Doylestown Borough, Downingtown, Haddonfield, Kennett Square, Media, Princeton, and West Chester. The recommendations in the study were based on the success of these towns, and aim for a retail district to be managed, retail-appropriate, pedestrian-friendly, unified, and transit-accessible, with parking options and cultural programming.

The report wraps up with applicable actions that municipalities can take to create a market for retail, including how to prepare a retail district plan, evaluate supply and demand, and track success.

Revitalizing Suburban Downtown Retail Districts: Strategies and Best Practices can be viewed on the DVRPC website at www.dvrpc.org/asp/pubs/publicationabstract.asp?pub_id=13070.

About the Strategies for Older Suburbs Program
DVRPC strives to promote smart growth by revitalizing the region's older communities and neighborhoods. Recent work with older suburbs includes municipal toolkits, specialized marketing programs, group roundtable discussions, the Breaking Ground conference series, and the Transportation and Community Development Initiative, DVRPC's municipal grant program. Through the Strategies for Older Suburbs program, DVRPC provides best practices throughout the region and networking opportunities for older communities to learn from each other.


About Collingswood
Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association and is home to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market, voted best in America by the American Farmland Trust.


About DVRPC
DVRPC is dedicated to uniting the region’s elected officials, planning professionals and the public with the common vision of making a great region even greater. Shaping the way we live, work and play, DVRPC builds consensus on improving transportation, promoting smart growth, protecting the environment, and enhancing the economy. We serve a diverse region of nine counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer in New Jersey. DVRPC is the official metropolitan planning organization for the Greater Philadelphia Region - leading the way to a better future. DVRPC fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information, visit www.dvrpc.org.

Arts Plus Gallery Raffles Artwork For Charity

Starting Black Friday, November 29 through December 15, Collingswood's
Arts Plus Gallery will be home of generously donated artwork from talented, local artists. Each piece (valued between $40 and $75) will be raffled off to benefit The Food Bank of South Jersey this holiday season.

Come out to the Arts Plus Gallery located at 704 Haddon Ave and purchase your chance to win one of these amazing pieces of art. Tickets are $3 each or 5 for $10, a steal for such wonderful artwork!

The charitable artists are all from the immediate area. Their incredible 
pieces of art are greatly appreciated and could be yours for a great cause! Drawing will be held December 15 and winners will be notified via email or phone.

Participating artists include Scott Phillips Photography, Birdqueen Designs' 
Gretchen Diehl, Wooljunkie's Bobbi Hewitt, Artsy Fartsy's Lisa Green, 
J&S Photography's Joe Perno & Scott Kern, Naturely Beautiful Photography's Linda Brennan, Tom Seely, Linda McAdam's Photography, Maria Christopher, Joan Nowak, Julie Eden, Barbara Hinchey, Kelly Cole Designs' Kelly Raymond, Evelyn Miraglia, Scribble Stix's Bruce Palese, A Diamond on the Ruff's Kim Cifone and Colleen Dietrich. 

For more information call (856) 854-5500 or to view the artwork being raffled, along with other pieces available by the individual artists go here. 

Standard and Poor’s gives Collingswood highest rating in Borough’s credit history

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a AA- rating to Collingswood noting, “The outlook is stable.” Organizations in the ‘AA’ category have a “very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.” S&P’s rating is the highest rating the Borough has ever received in its credit history.



Click here to review analysis

S&P’s report mentioned Collingswood’s financial strengths which include:

-Adequate economy, which benefits from participation in the broad and diverse economy of the region;

-Adequate budgetary flexibility, with 2012 audited current fund reserves at 5.9% of current fund expenditures;

-Strong budgetary performance, which takes into account a revenue stream S&P considers stable;

-Very strong liquidity providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures;

-Strong management with good financial policies; and

-Very weak debt and contingent liability profile.

S&P’s outlook for the Borough took into account “…the borough’s good management policies and practices, which we believe add stability to the rating,” said S&P’s report. S&P does not expect to revise the rating in the next two years.

“We met with Standard and Poor’s and it was a very enlightening meeting. They left impressed by how we’ve managed projects historically, our current financial picture and our plans to manage finances for the future,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “The things we’ve done over the past 15 years are strategic moves that have greatly improved town and invested back in our community. They saw the work we’ve done as innovative and, more importantly, stable and very beneficial to the Borough.”

“Standard & Poor’s process is objective and transparent when compared with other ratings agencies. Anyone can download their App from the App Store and plug the numbers in to see where a town stands. It is a refreshingly open process and the results are clear,” added the Mayor.

The Borough released a Youtube video to announce the “super-upgrade” to residents. That video can be viewed on Collingswood’s Youtube channel by Friday evening here: http://www.youtube.com/user/collingswood1

ABOUT COLLINGSWOOD
Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association and is home to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market, voted best in America by the American Farmland Trust.

Holiday Parade Marshals Needed

Be a Part of the Holiday Parade Tradition-Volunteer! The Collingswood Holiday Parade committee is looking for volunteer marshals for the parade on Saturday, November 30th from 8:30am-10:30am. Experience all the cheer first hand by being a part of the celebration! You will be walking along with parade floats and groups, helping to move it along down Haddon Avenue.

If you can spare some time, please contact Pat Ciervo at Main Street Realty at 609-868-2185.

Collingswood achieves Sustainable Jersey certification

Collingswood, known as one of the greenest towns in the region, has hit another landmark. The Borough met the rigorous requirements to achieve a bronze level Sustainable Jersey certification.  Collingswood is one of 117 towns out of 399 registered municipalities that have attained bronze certification with Sustainable Jersey. Collingswood was honored at the Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon this November with Collingswood Mayor James Maley accepting the award.

“Being green is something we always strive for,” said Maley. “We don’t do it for awards – we do it because it is responsible and our residents expect this kind of stewardship. It was nice to work with the Sustainable Jersey organization to take all those things we’ve done and get this acknowledgement. We’re seeing how we can make it to the next level.”

”This is an affirmation of the work we’ve been doing as a community and as a government over the past 15 years,” said Collingswood Commissioner Joan Leonard. “Being green is a priority here. It’s wonderful that we’ve done so much but there’s always more to do.”

To become Sustainable Jersey certified, Collingswood submitted documentation to show it had completed a balance of the required sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 150 action points to be certified at the bronze level.  In addition to reaching 150 points, each community had to create a Green Team and select at least 2 out of 7 priority action options. Collingswood did two of seven priority actions by conducting an energy audit for municipal buildings and establishing a sustainable land use pledge.

“Becoming Sustainable Jersey certified is a significant achievement,” said Pam Mount, chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “Certified towns demonstrate tremendous leadership and are a testament to how much we can accomplish with impressive sustainability initiatives in New Jersey.”

Certified municipalities excel in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources and addressing diversity and equity.  “Collectively the 399 participating Sustainable Jersey towns are a powerful force in New Jersey,” said Donna Drewes co-director of the Sustainable Jersey program. 

ABOUT COLLINGSWOOD
Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission , a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association and is home to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market, voted best in America by the American Farmland Trust.

The Borough‘s leadership in environmental initiatives makes it  one of the greenest places in the Delaware Valley. Programs in Collingswood that encourage sustainability include the town’s bike share program, subsidized composter and rainbarrel programs, community garden, the only town that provides car sharing (via Zipcar) in Southern New Jersey and recognition as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Website: www.Collingswood.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CollingswoodNJ

ABOUT SUSTAINABLE JERSEY
Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey.  Launched in 2009, Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity. Sustainable Jersey is empowering New Jersey towns to build a better world for future generations.  It provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward communities as they pursue sustainability programs.  New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training.  Sustainable Jersey is 100 percent voluntary and each Collingswood can choose whether it wants to get certified and the actions it wants to do in order to achieve enough points to get certified. 

Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU).  Program sponsors include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, BPU, PSEG, New Jersey Natural Gas, Church and Dwight, Covanta Energy, Bay Shore Recycling, EcoMatters, New Jersey American Water, Real Goods Solar, South Jersey Gas, Terhune Orchards, Waste Management of New Jersey, Atlantic City Electric, Citizens Campaign, Concord Engineering and the New Jersey Food Council.
Website: www.SustainableJersey.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SustainableJersey
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SJ_Program

 

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