Community Members, Township Committee Discuss Vision For Pennsauken

By Frank Sinatra, AAP Editor

On March 16, Pennsauken’s Township Committee held a special public meeting, where residents and members of the local business community were invited to an initial discussion on creating a clearly defined vision for the town.

Pennsauken Mayor John Kneib started the meeting by reviewing initial thoughts from members of Township Committee. He also highlighted current initiatives that the Township administration has already undertaken to help address major issues in town, such as tackling the many abandoned properties throughout Pennsauken.

“Besides some of the ordinances we’ve put in place, we are now going to be hiring somebody full time, starting in May, to really dig down on all of these particular properties, tracking down the probably 200 some that have not responded to our requests for permits,” explains Kneib. “We can really start taking a bite out of these particular individuals that are not complying and also not really beautifying the Township.”

Mayor Kneib then opened the public portion of the meeting to attendees, to learn about some of the ideas that the members of the community had; as well as to also identify some of the things that individuals thought were benefits of working and living in Pennsauken, from the Country Club and the town’s many parks to a strong commercial presence in town and opportunities for business growth.

“With this amount of turnout, we certainly welcome opinions and thoughts,” says Kneib. “All good projects start with ideas. That’s the purpose of today.”

Township Committeewoman Betsy McBride added that any residents or business owners with specific interests regarding improvements to town, whether it be “cleaning and greening” the Rt. 130 corridor, enhancing signage to the Township’s gateways that welcome visitors, or thoughts on how to better brand the town, are strongly encouraged to get involved with the process. “If you have areas of interest, we’re asking for you to give input.”

Moving forward, the Township Committee will hold additional meetings and forums to continue to get feedback from residents and businesses. There will also be an online survey, currently under development, where residents can share their ideas on a variety of issues pertaining to Pennsauken’s vision.

“How do we welcome people into our Township? How do we help to enhance our school district? What makes Pennsauken special? These are the types of things we’re looking to identify and address,” says Kneib. “We’ll definitely be looking at input from residents and businesses to make that happen.”

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