Collingswood Council Advances Solar Program and Debates School Funding

In a recent meeting, the Collingswood Borough Council highlighted their commitment to sustainability and education, as they advanced discussions on a solar program for low-income households and delved into debates surrounding school funding in the context of PILOT agreements. The meeting also addressed the purchase of emergency vehicles, redevelopment projects, and community safety concerns.

A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to the potential implementation of a solar program aimed at benefiting low-income families. The council is in preliminary stages of working with consultants to identify eligible participants and is considering a larger energy aggregation plan to purchase electrical supply with a higher rate of renewables. The solar program is expected to provide a 10% reduction in energy costs for participating households.

Alongside the solar program, the council tackled the issue of school funding and the impact of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements. Concerns were voiced by community members about potential decreases in funding for local schools and the economic disadvantage faced by a significant percentage of Collingswood high school students. The council clarified that they do not directly control the school budget but emphasized that the schools are fully funded, and they are exploring solutions to direct revenue from PILOT agreements towards shared facilities and programs.

The council also approved the purchase of a new Spartan Cate fire truck and an ambulance, with the fire truck’s lead time extending until midsummer due to supply chain delays. These purchases are part of the 2024 Municipal budget, which was introduced and approved with a small projected increase. The budget addresses various expenses, including tree removal, salary increases, healthcare and property insurance increases, trash costs, and infrastructure investments like road improvements and lead line replacements.

Advertisement

Community safety was also a topic of concern, particularly in response to perceived hate crimes. The council discussed increased surveillance and held a vigil in town. The redevelopment of Parkview was noted for positive security measures and management procedures that have led to a decrease in lease incidents. The council also confirmed the appointment of Bruce Smith as a full-time member of the planning board and affirmed its civil rights policy.

Financial matters were addressed with the upgrade of Collingswood’s credit rating, which is expected to positively affect interest rates. This comes as the council completed a bond sale for the funds needed for the public work facility. These fiscal developments are poised to have a favorable impact on the borough’s financial health.

The council authorized the advertisement for leadline pit testing projects and the construction of a pocket park project on Haddon Avenue. Additionally, they appointed a redeveloper and authorized redevelopment with Aage CCF New Jersey LLC for a cannabis retail outlet.

Advertisement

During the public comments section, residents raised various concerns, including a desire for the council to support local businesses by addressing parking issues, particularly for seniors. There was a call for full funding of the schools and questions regarding the school district’s budget. The council engaged in a discussion about the challenges of school funding and the complexities of the funding allocation.

The council also approved the substitution of council to conduct PFAS investigation and provide litigation services, emphasizing their role in environmental stewardship. Moreover, a resident advocated for improvements to pedestrian safety near crosswalks, and the council discussed ongoing efforts to enhance road design and other measures to address this concern.

The meeting concluded with the confirmation of compliance with regulations for conducting a local examination of the 2024 annual Municipal budget and the authorization to accept federal funds and participate in the Safe and Secure Communities Grant. The council approved a refund of water sewer payments, renewed a chair service agreement, and awarded a contractor for the Safe Streets to Transit grant.

Advertisement

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Jim Maley
City Council Officials:
Morgan Robinson, Robert Lewandowski

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Planning Board,Zoning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
FL
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
MA
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
NJ
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes
Minutes
Recording