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  • Writer's pictureDelaney Smith

Town Council approves to vacate Hillman Avenue

courtesy photo

HAMMONTON— Hammonton Town Council introduced several new ordinances that would vacate Hillman Avenue, allocate funds to improve the Hammonton Municipal Airport and set salaries for town workers, among other items during their meeting on Oct. 30 at town hall.

Town Council also appointed new workers to the Police and Highway Departments.

The Town Council introduced and passed a new ordinance that would order Hillman Avenue to be vacated in its entirety. The road, which is a small offshoot of Highland Ave. located adjacent to S. White Horse Pike, is located in a highway business (H-B) zoning district which generally does not allow residential usage.

At least one week from the proposed date for final passage, all affected residents would be notified via mail the time and place of the proposed final passage so that they could be present at the meeting and make their voices heard. Notice will also be posted in all local newspapers in accordance with state law.

Also discussed on the agenda were two new grants received by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) totaling about $560,000 allowed for improvements to Taxiway A. These grants would provide funding to survey, planning and construction work among other items. These grants were adopted into the capital budget during the Oct. 30 meeting.

These grants are a part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and would provide full funding to the rehabilitation process of the taxiway, including funding to planning and construction work. All airports nationwide are eligible for AIP funding based on their passenger volume.

A new ordinance also introduced at the Oct. 30 meeting set salaries for police officer and sergeant positions at the Hammonton Police Department. The minimum salary amount for police officers was set to $46,000 per year and the maximum was set to $126,000 per year. This is on par with the national median salary for police officers in 2022, that being $69,160 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The minimum salary amount for sergeants was set to $113,000 per year and the maximum salary amount was set to $127,000. The median nationwide salary for first-line supervisors of police was $96,290 in 2022, placing the salary of Hammonton police sergeants higher than the national median for similar positions.

A series of resignations, retirements and hires were also approved during the Town Clerk’s report, including the retirement of Juan Alvarez from the Highway Department was approved.

“He was a great worker for 30-something years,” Councilman Sam Rodio said. “I remember him on the streets everywhere and wish him a lot of luck. Hopefully everything goes well for his retirement.”

Michael Zingrone was moved from the Highway Department to the Recreation Department. The Council also approved the resignation of Kenneth Gehring from the Hammonton Police Department. Edward Fuller was approved to be hired as a Class II Officer.

Among resolutions passed at the Town Council meeting was the approval of a special plenary retail consumption theater license for Eagle Theatre. This conditional liquor license would permit the sale of alcoholic beverages on Eagle Theatre property during certain times during their operation hours, like just before and after shows.

“They can serve liquor during the shows, and after, for a certain about of time,” Mayor Stephen DiDonato said. Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said that there was also a mechanism where the theater would alert him as to when they serve liquor to ensure that they follow the strict frames of time when liquor can be served at the business.

The next Town Council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 27.

This article was produced in collaboration with New Jersey Civic Information Consortium and Rowan University.


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