Collingswood, New Jersey

Discount composters and rain barrels available, April 29

Sales and classes during two hour  event next Tuesday

A new shipment of rain barrels and composters just arrived which Collingswood will sell at subsidized prices to citizens on Tuesday, April 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Collingswood Community Center (30 W Collings Ave). The program is open to anyone who wants another, still wants one, or knows someone who wants one! Composters cost $25 each for Collingswood residents and $35 each for non-residents. The rain barrels cost $45 each for Collingswood residents and $55 for non-residents. One composter and barrel per person.

Purchasers must attend a special 15-minute instruction session on the proper use of composters and rain barrels at the Collingswood Community Center after purchase of their item.  A local expert will lead the 15-minute information sessions for the benefit of both first-time and experienced composter and rain barrel users.

Composter and rain barrels will be sold of a first come, first served basis. Supplies are limited. For more details contact Commissioner Joan Leonard at jleonard@collingswood.com.

Collingswood’s Green Festival is just one of the eco-initiatives that makes the Borough 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.

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All Colls Odyssey of the Mind teams advance to State finals!

Collingswood’s Odyssey of the Mind organization, only in its second year, had an excellent first round of tournaments in March. All teams will advance to State finals in April. An overview of this weekend’s success is below, provided by coach and organizer Kenneth Allendoerfer:

Seven Collingswood Rec teams competed in the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition this year: 5 teams in Division 1, which is for elementary school kids, and 2 teams in Division 2, which is for middle school.  All 17 kids and 5 coaches from last year returned this year, with last year's 5th graders now forming the core of the new middle school teams.  They were joined by 30 first time OMers and 7 new coaches this year.  In addition, 18 kids participated in our Primary Club, which is a noncompetitive introduction to OM.

The Lighthouse Regional tournament was held at Haddonfield Memorial High School on March 22.  77 teams from as far south as Woodstown and as far north as South Brunswick competed.  The top 3 teams in each problem category/age division will advance to State Finals, to be held April 12 in Ewing, NJ.

Collingswood results:

Problem 1 – Driver’s Test
Division 1 – 3rd Place of 5 -  Stephen Hwang, coach
Division 2 – 1st Place of 6 - Joshua Cook, coach

Problem 2 – The Not-So Haunted House
Division 1 – 3rd Place of 9 - Alyson Wiecek, Shannon DiMasi, coaches
Division 2 – 2nd Place of 12 - Kenneth Allendoerfer, Chris Celia, coaches

Problem 3 – It’s How We Rule
Division 1 – 1st Place of 5 - Chris Celia, Jennifer Perez, coaches

Problem 4 – The Stackable Structure
Division 1 – 2nd Place of 3 - Sue Gittler, Nick Romano, coaches

Problem 5 – Seeing is Believing
Division 1 – 3rd Place of 4, Kelly Castle, coach

All 7 Collingswood teams are advancing to State Finals.  Only St. Augustine of Canterbury (South Brunswick) and Woodstown (which includes high school) have a similar number of teams advancing.  I'm so proud of all our kids and our coaches.

In addition, I want to mention a few of the teams' accomplishments:

1) Our Problem 2/Division 2, Problem 3/Division 1, and Problem 5/Division 1 teams each received 100 out of 100 points in Spontaneous. Spontaneous is the part of the OM competition in which the teams are presented a problem to solve immediately without any preparation and without their coaches in the room.  In all three cases, our teams bested their nearest challengers by more than 15 points.  This is an amazing accomplishment, and a testament to the creativity and quick thinking of our Collingswood kids.

2) Our Problem 1/Division 2 team received 193.32 out of 200 on Long Term.  Long Term is the portion of the competition where the teams solve a problem over a period of weeks and months. The team's solution involved a rideable vehicle with no motor or pedals that navigated a course and completed tasks while being chased by a mythical beast. Read about them in the Philly Inquirer!   

3) Our Problem 2/Division 2 team, known as "Team Tape," which composed of seven 2nd and 3rd graders competing against many 4th and 5th graders, scored 199.17 out of 200 points in Long Term.  The team's solution involved a journey to a haunted hollow tree, wolves with bad breath, and spooky squirrels.  Their solution took  3 months to create and prepare, and they thought of all the ideas themselves.  In addition, the same team scored 47.15 out of 50 points in Style, which is the part of the competition about how creatively the sets, props, costumes, etc. appear and are constructed.  Team Tape's multiple accomplishments are an indicator of the active imaginations of these kids and the hard work of their coaches and parents.

4) Our Problem 4/Division 1 team was the first Collingswood team to ever compete in the OM structure problem. Their solution involved a tower made of only balsawood and glue, and it was designed to hold weights. Though the team's structure did not hold any weight on this first attempt, their Style and Spontaneous scores put them into 2nd place, and they will have three weeks to work on and improve their design to try again!

5) Our Problem 1/Division 1 team was composed of all new OMers--all boys 10 and under--who created a vehicle of cardboard and some trash-picked wheels to navigate a course and avoid the pitfalls of Bad Luck. Hard work and a dedicated coach made for a great accomplishment!

Spring leaf pickup starts April 7

The Department of Public Works will be providing residents with curbside leaf pick up the week of April 7.  This will occur on your normal fall leaf pick up day.  Also, large brush can be placed curbside for pick up. Please call 856-858-0533 with your address for brush disposal or for more information. Leaf pickup schedules are available at Collingswood.com on the Public Works page.

Borough officials asking for help in identifying inlet cover thieves

Over the past 24 hours several storm drain/inlet covers have been stolen from streets in Collingswood. Collingswood Police are asking for assistance in tracking down the thief or thieves.

According to reports, approximately 12 inlet covers have been stolen from the area of Harrison Ave, Virginia Ave, Franklin Ave and Arlington Ave between the overnight of March 13 and the morning of March 14.  Also, in the last week and a half more than six inlet covers have been stolen from the area of Woodlawn Ave and Cedar Ave.

Officials are asking that residents call 911 immediately if they see any suspicious activity or suspicious vehicles (especially pickup trucks or vans) parked on corners near storm inlets. Storm inlets are being secured and Police are working on the issue but information from residents can be very helpful.

March 15 GTLO concert postponed due to illness

The Get the Led Out Concert scheduled for Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15 are postponed until Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19 respectively due to a band member's illness.  All tickets will be honored.

More information on the Scottish Rite is at http://collingswood.com/entertainment/theater-and-ballroom

Support the Marlins at the Suburban Swim Association Championships!

The Collingswood Marlins Swim Team will host the 2014 Suburban Swim Association of South Jersey (SSASJ) Championship Meet this summer  on Saturday, August 2nd and Sunday, August 3rd at Roberts Pool in Collingswood. The Suburban Swim Association has teams from Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties.

Putting together an event to host over 900 swimmers from South Jersey as well as their extended families over two days takes much planning and financial investment. More than 2,500 guests are expected to attend this year’s championship meet. The Collingswood Marlins Swim Team is offering businesses, community organizations and families an opportunity to place an advertisement in the souvenir program book.

Consider making a tax deductible financial contribution in the name of the swimmer/family, business or organization. The Collingswood Marlins Swim Team is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. Checks can be made out to Collingswood Marlins Swim Team and mailed to: Lou Evangelist, 115 Frazier Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108. Publication deadline is July 20, 2014. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Lou Evangelista at 609-707-3121 or by email at evangelistal@verizon.net . Rate information is below. Thank you for your support in making this year’s championship meet a success!

2014 Program Book Advertising Rates
Business Card 3.5” x 2 (8 per page): $40
¼ page 3.875: x 5.125: $65
½ page 8” x 5.125”: $115
Full page 8” x 10.5” (Best Value): $165 
Inside Back Cover 8” x 10.5” (Premium): $300
Inside Front Cover 8” x 10.5” (Premium): $300
Outside Back Cover 8” x 10.5” (Premium): $360
(Outside back cover printed in color)

All ads are printed in black and white on heavy stock paper. Ads will be positioned in the program on a first come, first served basis. All checks should be made payable to Collingswood Marlins Swim Team.

 Publication deadline is July 20, 2014. Please include camera ready artwork. All entries will be sized based on an 8.5” x 11” page. Electronic files may be e-mailed to evangelistal@verizon.net

 

2014 budget announced

Collingswood's 2014 Budget, which will be introduced at a special Commission meeting on Friday March 7, includes appropriations that support new police hires, increase capital improvements and infrastructure upgrades. The increase on the average assessed home in Collingswood is $122.

Notably, the budget supports staffing for the Collingwood Police Department. The Police will hire one new full time officer and a Class II traffic officer. The police department had added officers every year since 2011. The Borough will move to an e-ticketing program in 2014 as well. The Fire Department will also keep two additional firefighters on board thanks to a Federal SAFER grant.  

The Borough’s switch to the State health benefits plan in 2013 resulted in substantial savings in healthcare costs as well. The switch saved what would have been nearly a half million expenditure in healthcare costs. Contract negotiations with many departments resulted in salary savings and many Borough employees saw cost of living raises for the first time in two years. The budget also replenishes the Borough’s snow trust which is used to fund plowing and maintenance during winter and was depleted with the recent inclement weather. Other budget items include a continued upgrade to digital water meters, pedestrian and roadway improvements and building repairs.

“By examining costs, contracts and every layer of how we spend we’re able to put together a budget that will include a lot of improvements for town,” said Commissioner Mike Hall.

For the third year in a row the Borough’s debt, after being flat for nearly 10 years, is on the decline in 2014. By restructuring the Collingswood debt policy the Borough will save $100,000 over the next eight years by refunding outstanding debt and restructuring loans and reducing interest rates. Overall, the Borough will retire two thirds of its total debt over the next 10 years with additional restructuring and an aggressive paydown schedule. In 2014, the Borough will pay down in excess of $2 million from the sale of LumberYard units. “These payments are strategic moves made ahead of schedule and shows us managing our debt responsibly,” said Mayor Jim Maley.

“Each year we have to handle increases in health care, pension and utilities - budget items we have little control over,” said Commissioner Joan Leonard. “But we’re also able to continue to improve town with more services and upgrades.”

In related positive Borough news, new businesses have steadily filled vacancies and the Borough continues to see active growth in the downtown. Additionally, Standard and Poor’s recently gave Collingswood it’s highest rating in Borough’s credit history.

Collingswood seeks outstanding volunteer nominations

Collingswood seeks outstanding volunteer nominations for National Volunteer Month in April

Do you know someone who gives their heart and soul to Collingswood to make it a better place? April is National Volunteer month and Collingswood, a community built on strong volunteer spirit, is hoping  to celebrate those that give back.

The Borough is holding a short essay contest to find the town’s most giving volunteers. People that would like to nominate a friend or neighbor can write a short essay (150 words or less) describing a Collingswood volunteer who has contributed to the community and how. 

Nominees should fit the theme: A Collingswood resident that has given outstandingly to Collingswood-specific efforts, projects or organizations. A winner will be selected in March and both the essayist and nominee will be honored at the April 1 Commission Meeting. Both will receive $50 Collingswood Cash and the nominee will get a proclamation celebrating their dedication to town. The winning essay will be published in the Town Crier as well.

 “There are so many people that give their time and talent to make Collingswood the amazing place it is,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley. “I suspect we’ll have a lot of nominees and that’s part of what makes our town wonderful. They’ll be very touching to read.”

According to Nationalserviceresources.org, National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Every president since has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week. Additionally, governors, mayors and other elected officials make public statements and sign proclamations in support of the event.

Last year the Borough honored winner Michelle Miller for her service as president of the Collingswood Junior Women’s Club.

Send essays to:
Volunteer Month Essay Contest
c/o Cass Duffey
678 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108

Essays can also be emailed to cduffey@collingswood.com with the subject line “Volunteer Month Essay Contest SUBMISSION.” Essays should be received by March 24 and be no longer than 150 words.

Dance your support for the Library - May 2!

The Collingswood Public Library will host its second 21-and-over dance in the ballroom of the Collingswood Senior Community Center on Friday, May 2, from 8 p.m. to midnight.  Nick Cain and JG will provide music for the event.  All proceeds from the dance will fund new ebooks for the Library.  

The dance doesn't have a theme, so attendees can wear their favorite dancing clothes!  The music will range from New Order to Daft Punk. The dance will feature free Gourmet Popcorn Creations popcorn and trays of Philly Soft Pretzel Factory pretzels. The dance will also feature a cash bar.  

Beginning April 9, the library started selling tickets online through its website, http://collingswoodlib.org/. The first 50 tickets cost $10 each, the next 50 ost $12.50 each and the last 100 cost $15 each. The library sold out its first adult dance last year so gather friends and purchase early!

For more info call (856) 858-0649 or visit http://collingswoodlib.org/

Public works asks residents to report potholes

Collingwood’s Department of Public Works is working to fix potholes caused by the harsh winter weather. If you have a pothole on your street you can report it for repair by calling the DPW garage at 856-858-0533.

Potholes on roads maintained by Camden County must be repaired by county crews. The County is also working to repair roads. To report a pothole on a County Road call 856-566-2980.

Roads maintained by Camden County
Haddon Ave
Collings Ave
Richey Ave
Fern Ave
South Park Drive
Newton Lake Drive
Park Ave
Ferry Ave
Browning Road
Bettlewood Ave
Cuthbert Blvd

Roads maintained by the NJDOT
Rte 130
Rte 30

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