Look What's New
and Still Coming
Shopping Extravaganza on
Berlin-Cross Keys Road
Sicklerville has been
experiencing over the last year - a big, new shopping destination
along Berlin-Cross Keys Road. People are there to shop instead of
going to Deptford!
Large SUPERSTORES such as Target and Lowes anchor Michael's, Pet
Smart, and Circuit City at the Town Square Plaza. Also at this
complex are Sleepy's, Chick-Fil-A, Applebee's, and a Super Wawa. This
adds to an already established center with the Acme and strip and pad
stores, plus the Megha/Dunkin Donuts complex near Sicklerville Road.
Expanded roadways and new traffic signals have helped ease traffic
through this area.
Stores at the Strawberry Square center nearby on Sicklerville Road are
an added bonus to an area that had hardly any commercial properties
just a few years ago.
Plans for new shopping
complexes are coming along Cross Keys Rd around the Expressway &
Johnson Rd. Six stores at the Cross Keys Retail Center are completed
& 14 stores at the Crossings at Twin Oaks are under construction.
The big news is the
Shoppes at Cross Keys, next to the Expressway. Over 30 shops and
restaurants are about to be started in a setting similar to the
Promenade in Marlton.
The mayors of Gloucester
Township and Winslow Township welcome the new stores. "These business
have increased job opportunities and allow residents to shop in-town",
said Gloucester Township's mayor.
County Officials to Press
for Safety at Cross Keys Road Areas
Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton of
Gloucester Township has attended numerous meetings with Winslow and
Camden County officials to review the commercial growth and traffic
impact on Cross Keys Road.
The plans for the expansion of the Expressway bridge are in the design
phase by the SJTA. Traffic studies are also being completed to see if
and where new lights will need to be installed in the area between
Sicklerville Road and Johnson Road, including at the new shopping
Township can turn GEMS into an asset
The Superfund site could find new life as a solar energy station, and
provide discount electricity to the township.
Gloucester Township officials should seize the opportunity to turn the
contaminated GEMS landfill into a green energy site.
has two developers interested in installing solar panels at GEMS to
produce clean electricity. In both cases, the township would benefit
by having access to discounted electricity.
Yet, we agree with Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton that this project
should be privately financed. Sean Angelini, who represents a
Washington Township-based contractor and engineering firm, is seeking
$16 million to install solar panels on about nine acres of the 25-acre
site. Angelini could receive state grants to offset some of the
project's cost, but also would need help from the township.
In these tough times, the township might find it more prudent
to encourage Angelini to find private financing.
Fortunately, the township also has a proposal from a
Washington, D.C.-based developer who apparently does not need local
funding. Dale Barnhard has proposed a $40 million solar-energy
project, which includes leasing GEMS property from the township and
paying for necessary government permits. Like Angelini, Barnhard would
offer the township discounted power.
Of course, as Township Council President Glen Bianchini
points out, details matter. The size of the discounts over time must
be considered along with any costs to the township.
Still, it is a good place for Gloucester Township to find
itself -- faced with two proposals to turn its highly contaminated
GEMS landfill into a green-energy field that could save taxpayers a
lot of money long term.
We urge township council to act quickly on these proposals so
the chosen developer, or developers, can take advantage of expiring
state grants that help make the proposed projects financially
District five to cover Lakeland
GLOUCESTER TWP. - Gloucester Township
fire district five's coverage area now, officially, includes the
Lakeland area.District five, which is serviced by the Lambs Terrace
Fire Company, had been covering the area on a temporary basis, but
following last month's actions of the Gloucester Town ship council the
status was changed to permanent.
Gloucester Township's council voted to extend the coverage area to
include Lakeland, but Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton vetoed the ordinance. On
March 8, the council held an emergency meeting where they overrode
RauHatton's veto by a vote of 6-1. The lone opposing vote was made by
Councilwoman Shelley Lovett.
The disagreement on the issue of Lakeland fire coverage centers around
money. The Blackwood Fire Company, which is closer to Lakeland than
Lambs Terrace, said that they would take on the coverage of the area,
but would need monetary compensation to do so.
Lambs Terrace, however, was willing to continue its coverage without
receiving any additional funding.
"I think that all of our fire companies do a great job, but I do think
that [for] taking over the Lakeland facility that Lambs Terrace should
be compensated. Somewhere down the road that will cost the residents
of that fire company more money," Lovett said.
" Things might be working well now, but with the increased development
on Cross Keys Road and the increased development in Lakeland, I think
there could be problems down the road that are unforeseeable."
In an official statement vetoing the original fire coverage vote,
"It was stated that Lambs Terrace has been covering for the last 18
months. However, no evidence or study was presented to coverage when
Lakeland is fully developed and the Berlin-Cross Keys Road corridor is
"This came up a year ago, and the council had many concerns," Mayor
Rau-Hatton said in a telephone interview. "It was put off. After this
fire election, it came back up, [and] those concerns were never
addressed. My main reason [for vetoing the ordinance] is that I think
it should be studied. Those same concerns still exist."
The questions and concerns Rau-Hatton has about coverage in Lakeland
includes issues of public safety due to the distance of district five
from Lakeland, and what happens when Lambs Terrace and Cross Keys Road
are fully developed.
Council President Glen Bianchini said that the 18-month period proved
that district five could provide fire coverage for the Lakeland area,
and that the issue of future development should be dealt with when it
"The 18 months proved that they can handle it, and they can do it. The
major question at that point was who is going to pay for the water and
the rental of the fire hydrants, and the county said that they would
pick that cost up. That's all part of the ordinance. With that, there
is nothing new that the Mayor presented in opposing this, so it was in
our opinion that the veto should be overridden," Bianchini said.
"Let's say there is the buildup and there is a problem, and Lambs
Terrace can't do it for whatever reason. Then we can go in and change
[the ordinance], and it would go through the same process."
Neither side seems to be able to agree as to whether the coverage of
Lakeland by Lambs Terrace will cost the tax payers money.
"To say that it doesn't cost anything is erroneous. The moment that
fire truck leaves the apron it costs that fire company money. I know
it for a fact. I was 12 years involved in Blenheim Fire Company.
That's a fact." Rau-Hatton said.
"No study was done, it's a longer distance, nobody is saying if they
can handle it for the future when it is fully developed, so I just
think that all of those questions that were asked a year ago that were
never answered should have been answered before anybody voted."
After speaking to George Brown, the chairman of the district board of
fire commissioners, which has a shared service agreement with district
five, Bianchini said the cost to the tax payers would remain minimal.
"The commissioner in district six said that he thought it would cost
less than a dollar to each tax payer. There is really no additional
expense to the district," Bianchini said.
"We've been doing it for 18 months, and it hasn't cost us anything,"
District 5 Chairman Barry Engelbert said. "The bottom line is it's .8
calls a week, and that counts the calls where we pull out of the
driveway and they call us off and we turn around and go back. I would
say [the cost] is nothing."
"We have plenty of trucks and plenty of people. If there is a fire in
Lakeland and a fire on Garwood Road, we can take care of both of
It remains to be seen whether or not the increased development in
Lakeland will cause problems for district five, or whether district
five's coverage will cost taxpayers in the end, but one thing is
clear: Lakeland coverage remains in Lambs Terrace
Glo. Twp. considers solar energy
TWP. — Township officials are considering a $40 million
proposal from a Washington, D.C., developer interested in installing a
field of solar panels atop GEMS Landfill on Erial Road.
Dale Barnhard, a
renewable energy project
developer, said Monday he is proposing building a solar field
consisting of dozens of solar panels atop long poles throughout the
25-acre landfill to collect and convert energy from the sun.
Barnhard, who works with several
different national and international energy companies, said the
project would generate electricity which could be sold to area
institutions, such as Camden County College, or to the power grid for
The timing, Mayor Cindy
Rau-Hatton told township council at a workshop meeting Monday night,
is crucial because the state of
New Jersey is offering
grants, rebates and credits to companies and institutions interested
in pursing solar energy.
If Barnhard were to install the solar
panels, he could sell the electricity to local industries while also
earning Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, which are credits given
by the state that can be sold to electric suppliers who are required
to invest in solar energy.
In turn, the township would earn
revenue by taxing the company and also by leasing the property to
Barnhard, Rau-Hatton said. The township might also
save money by purchasing
electricity from the local generator rather than the regional power
"Originally, they were referred to
Winslow, but for whatever reason it didn't work out and they're
interested in coming here," Rau-Hatton told the council, urging
members to act "expeditiously."
"This could be a ratable, but also a
constant revenue, not a one-time hit," she added.
Councilwoman Crystal Evans, who worked
for years as a legislative aide for the 4th Legislative District, said
she is pursing additional grants to supplement the project.
"We first talked about this six
years ago," former Councilman Gene Lawrence said at the meeting. "The
savings for the township is tremendous, the revenue flow is
tremendous, and the energy savings, that's tremendous. We should
Reach Meg Huelsman at (856) 256-3345 or