Collingswood, New Jersey

Temporary water stoppage at Heights of Collingswood today

Due to a water leak in the garage area of Heights of Collingswood water will be shut down in all buildings starting at 10am on Thursday, October 31. Repairs will take for 3 to 4 hours and full water service should be returned to residents before dinnertime on Thursday. The water issue is confined to Heights of Collingswood. With questions, residents can call Heights of Collingswood directly at 856-854-4112.

Commission Meeting, Tues Sept 3

The monthly Commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 3 at 7pm, due to the Labor Day holiday. You can also watch the meetings online! More information about that here. http://www.collingswood.com/government/meetings-and-forums

AVENUE Q RETURNS!

Collingswood Community Theatre is bringing back the wildly popular summer smash hit, AVENUE Q for a limited showing. Mark your calendars now! Performances are October 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30pm and October 6 at 3pm. Don't miss this amazingly funny show.

The revival will be taking place in the Scottish Rite Theatre, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door (cash or check only).  Groups of 10 or more can be purchased at a special price by calling Terry at 856-854-0720 x128. (NOTE: All group tickets must be purchased and picked up in advance - no group tickets at the door.) Returning audience members can bring their Avenue Q mugs back for another free beer or wine.

If you missed it the first time, or saw it and want to see it again, come out to one of the 4 shows in October. Once again, parents are warned that this is not a musical for children under 14 years of age. 

Six Colonial Alliance towns reviewing RFPs for police study

On Friday, six of the seven Colonial Alliance towns (Audubon, Haddonfield, Haddon Township, Mount Ephraim and Oaklyn) received three proposals to study the feasibility of shared police administration roles. Officials are reviewing proposals from Matrix Consulting Group, CGR and Ronin Security Solutions.

“We’re reviewing what’s been brought to the table,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley. “The aim is to have an informed dialogue about possibilities to save money in our departments and improve, or increase, patrols. As like minded towns, it makes sense to see if we can work together. State budgets and caps mean we have to examine shared service even at this level and we’re starting a conversation about what might work for our towns.”

Figures for the cost of the study range from $48,000 to $191,000 but the Alliance is looking into potential grants that may help defray the cost which would be split among the towns.

The Alliance is also working with the Camden County Police Chiefs Association and their own chiefs for feedback on the proposals. The Chiefs may also provide suggestions for efficiencies within departments to help offset costs.

“In the end, the goal is to reduce costs and build our forces in a way that works for the Alliance towns,” said Audubon Mayor John Ward. “If we opt to have a study done, we wouldn’t consider any suggestions that would diminish a town’s identity or reduce their public safety staff. Consolidating administrative positions means potential for freeing up budget to increase police staff, technology, equipment and make our forces even better.”

RFPs will be posted on Alliance towns’ official websites for public view. Copies can be found below.

Matrix Consulting Group
CGR
Ronin Security Solutions

Holy Trinity's pet blessing, Sept 28

On Saturday, September 28, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis with an outdoor service and the blessing of pets. The church is located at Haddon and Fern Avenues in Collingswood (839 Haddon Ave).

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. All pets are welcome for the service and blessing. For the safety of all (including your pet) please make sure that all pets are properly restrained. Children are also invited to bring any cherished stuffed animals that might be in need of a blessing. 

Refreshments and treats for everyone will be served after the service, and an offering will be taken to benefit local animal shelters. The service and blessing of pets will be held in the church plaza, if weather permits. In the case of inclement weather, the service will be in the Great Hall (downstairs in the church).
 
For more information, please call the church office at 856-858-0491.

St. Francis of Assisi was born in Italy, in 1181, to a wealthy cloth-merchant. At the age of 25, Francis decided to give up his wealth and live a life of poverty in the service of the poor. He founded the Franciscan order in 1208. St. Francis has always been remembered most for his great love of the animals, whom he called  his “brothers and sisters.” 

Collingswood seniors invited to be VIPs at County Summer Concert Series

Camden County is offering the VIP treatment to Collingswood seniors - special front-row seating for the Opera in the Park starring Frank Tenaglia with special guests Jim Longacre and Dorothy Cardella on Thursday, August 15 at 8pm. The concert will be held at Cooper River Park, Jack Curtis Stadium, on North Park Drive in Pennsauken.

Prior to the performance, seniors, as preferred guests are invited to a special Camden County “Just for Seniors” VIP reception at the Camden County Boathouse located at 7050 North Park Drive in Pennsauken from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

As seating is limited and is on a first come, first served basis, an RSVP for BOTH the preferred seating and the reception is required.  For RSVPs, additional information or questions, please contact Tom Castellano our Senior Citizen Outreach and Events Coordinator by calling (856) 858-2986 or by email tcastellano@camdencounty.com.

Pool tags half off for August Swim Sale

August Swim Sale!
Passes for Roberts Pool are HALF PRICE for the end of the season! Starting August 5 you can purchase pool passes at half price (resident and non-resident, single and family). Purchase tags at Collingswood Borough Hall (678 Haddon Ave) or at Roberts Pool for the remainder of the season. Pool season ends Labor Day weekend. Call 856-854-0720 x110 for more information. Full details on Roberts Pool here.

Discount August pool tag rates:
Collingswood Family: $112.50
Non Collingswood Family: $225
Collingswood Adult: $35
Non Collingswood Adult: $70
Collingswood Senior Citizens: $22.50
Collingswood Child ages 0-3: No fee
Collingswood Child ages 3-20: $27.50
Non Collingswood Child: $55

Peach pie contest this weekend!

Grease your baking dishes for Jersey fresh peaches

The annual Collingswood Farmers' Market PEACH PIE CONTEST is *this weekend!* We need pie bakers. Win gift certs and bragging rights. Dust off the pie pans and show off those skills, fans! Nothing says Americana like a good old fashioned pie contest. Join in!

::Bakers MUST pre-register. Contest details here::

Collingswood, well known for its restaurants, will also host a Just Peachy restaurant week on August 6, 7 & 8. 

The Collingswood Farmers’ Market is in its second decade providing produce and more to the Delaware Valley region and was named the best small market in America in an American Farmland Trust poll. The Market is weekly along Atlantic Ave (under the PATCO Speedline) between Irvin and Collings Avenues from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. www.collingswoodmarket.com

Just Peachy restaurant week, Aug 6-8

Local restaurants put unique spin on Jersey peaches during “Just Peachy” promotion

This year New Jersey will produce over 66 million tons of peaches, making it the fourth largest producer of peaches in the nation.

That's not bad for such a small state. And to celebrate this prolific bounty, several area restaurants are once again showcasing this Jersey crop in their Just Peachy celebration. Just Peachy began 3 years ago and features Jersey peaches as the centerpiece of a restaurant’s menu during the height of the peach season. Participating restaurants will hold their “Just Peachy” celebration August 6, 7 and 8.

The brainchild of Chef Mark Smith, owner of The Tortilla Press in Collingswood, Just Peachy features menu selections with Jersey peaches in everything from soup and salad to desserts. This year, The Tortilla Press will be joined by its sister restaurant, Tortilla Press Cantina in Merchantville as well as The Pop Shop, That’s Amore, Bistro di Marino, Benny’s Burger Joint and Casona – all in Collingswood. Blueplate in Mullica Hill will also be featuring a Just Peachy menu.

“This is one more way that the Collingswood Farmers Market links restaurants and farms to benefit the guest,” explains Smith. “Of course people know and love peach pie – but there is so much versatility to this fruit. And no one is better placed to show that than the restaurants in our town.” 

Some of the unique offerings include:
-Sautéed shrimp with chipotle peach salsa and peach sangria (The Tortilla Press/Tortilla Press Cantina

-Peach milkshakes and a prosciutto & peach grilled cheese (The Pop Shop)

-Filet with balsamic peach & tomato bruschetta and Peach Bellini tiramisu (That’s Amore)

Colonial Alliance announces RFP for shared PD administration study

Mayors and representatives of Audubon, Collingswood, Haddonfield, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township, Mt. Ephraim and Oaklyn, collectively known as the Colonial Alliance, are issuing a request for proposals for a study to investigate the feasibility of merging upper level police roles across all seven towns.

The Colonial Alliance, using data from other towns, noticed a significant potential savings in paying a smaller administrative force to manage police operations. Consolidation of higher ranking officers may provide a massive reduction in costs and an increased number of police services for each town, which will each keep its own police department, force and identity.

The Alliance cites Cherry Hill as a baseline comparison: The total population of Cherry Hill is greater by nearly 6000 residents and the square footage twice as large as all seven Colonial Alliance towns combined. Cherry Hill has one chief at an estimated salary of $150,000. To pay all seven Alliance chiefs to manage an area half the size of Cherry Hill it costs the towns almost $800,000 collectively just in salary costs.

“This is only a study. We just want to look closely at how much management is needed and if this can be done in a way that preserves and betters our individual forces. We want to save money but not at the cost of safety. The results would have to show that this would be effective and practical for everyone – that’d we’d get more bang for our buck by not having to pay seven chiefs to each manage a small town force. We think the results will be very eye-opening and hopefully lead us toward consolidation that will provide considerable savings,” said Haddon Heights Mayor Edward Forte.

The Colonial Alliance has been meeting for the past year and a half to examine shared service opportunities to cut costs in their towns. The group has saved costs by sharing equipment and code officials in the case of emergencies and increased safety and communication in their towns by amending emergency management plans to offer mutual aid.

“This is the way municipal government is headed. It’s essential to think about what we can trim. Does each town need this position at full cost or can we share an administration and get even better protection? The idea is to reduce the tax burden on residents and use savings to provide even more officers and services.” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley.

The study will investigate the possibility of consolidating higher ranking officers, reconfiguring police management structure, redundancies, efficiencies, and the overall practicalities and necessities of each town under a shared administration. Each individual town would keep their station, all regular patrolmen and identity within the parameters of the study. Aside from salary costs, consolidating upper management can also result in significant pension and benefits savings.

“Nothing about Audubon’s or Haddon Township’s or any of the alliance town’s police departments will change from day to day, except a possible increase in your force and a definite decrease in cost,” said Audubon Mayor John Ward. “This is very conceptual at this point.”

“State and county officials, in the same effort to cut costs, could try to force municipalities to be a part of the County Metro division in the future,” said Haddonfield Mayor Jeff Kasko. “We’d rather create our own shared services district than be swallowed into the larger Camden County force. This gives us more control over managing how we’d like to move forward with our own police departments.”

“A study will just give us some insight. It’s a more professional cost-benefit analysis. We’re not merging or changing anything about our departments for some time, but it’s more important now than ever to look at where we can save costs,” said Oaklyn Mayor Robert Forbes.

“It’s getting increasingly difficult to run a municipality the way anyone did 20, 10 or even five years ago and in some ways that’s a good thing. It’s forcing us to really think about how things can be more efficient,” Mt Ephraim Mayor Joseph Wolk.

“We’ve spent time looking over small ways to cut costs between us. Next steps like these mean major savings for taxpayers and better run, better staffed police departments for all of us. This could mean big savings and safer streets,” said Haddon Township Mayor Randy Teague.

site by spark:.