Maintaining Properties Helps Make Pennsauken A Great Place To Live And Visit

John-KneibBy John Kneib, Mayor of Pennsauken Township

Summer is officially in full swing; and many of our residents are taking full advantage of the warmer temperatures, not just for recreational purposes, but also to get outside to do some work on their properties. Our Township is doing the exact same thing.

Pennsauken’s Public Works Department has been hard at work for several months, doing everything from running their street sweepers to the fixing of potholes on Township roads. You’ll also see them at Pennsauken’s many parks, playgrounds and athletic fields, clearing away leaves and debris and making sure our grounds are in proper order. All playground equipment is thoroughly tested to insure they are safe for families to enjoy.

The Property Maintenance Division of the Township’s Building Department is out in our community on a daily basis, insuring that residences and businesses throughout Pennsauken are in good upkeep, free of clutter and properly landscaped. Poorly maintained properties aren’t just an eyesore; as conditions continue to deteriorate, they can cause potential hazards to our residents. For example, improperly stored garbage in public areas may result in insect and rodent infestations, trip hazards, and accidental fires.

The Township also shares the concerns of residents when it comes to the appearance of abandoned and vacant properties. They are an awful eyesore, and Pennsauken’s administration has lost patience with the people in charge of maintaining these properties to do the right thing. Our Township Committee will be passing an ordinance very shortly that will hold both the banks and property maintenance companies extremely financially accountable to hold up their end of the bargain. If they don’t, they’ll be facing some very serious monetary fines on a daily basis.

And we’re not just focusing on abandoned properties. For several years, Committeewoman Betsy McBride has spearheading the “Clean and Green Rt. 130” initiative, designed to encourage business owners to keep their section of the corridor clear of litter and plant overgrowth. Pennsauken is more than willing to work alongside business owners and real estate managers to help keep this major artery that runs through our town as clean as possible.

But with all the work that’s going on, Pennsauken’s greatest resource continues to be our residents. You are our eyes and ears. If you see something that needs to be addressed, like overgrown grass at a vacant property, or piles of junk and trash in your neighborhood that seem like it will never get cleaned up, give us a call.

You are also our hands. Perform random acts of charity. With their permission, help an elderly neighbor maintain their property if they need some assistance. Sponsor a neighborhood clean-up project, getting family and friends involved. Many hands do make light work.

Can’t tackle larger projects? You can still do the little things at home. You’d be amazed how great your street looks if everyone regularly mowed their lawn and picked up their clippings. If you’re not aware, there’s actually a town ordinance prohibiting residents and businesses from blowing grass clippings into the street, as they can contaminate Pennsauken’s storm sewer system.

Picking up trash is also very important. Don’t let the circulars you receive each week pile up by your driveway. Again, if your neighbors need help, lend a hand to take out and bring in their trash cans. If you see litter lying around, even if it’s not yours, pick it up. It goes a long way to improve the image of Pennsauken.

Unfortunately, trash in Pennsauken isn’t found just on the ground. The sign you see advertising the yard sale that happened last week on the big tree on your corner? Or the notices you find on telephone poles announcing that “Bob Buys Houses” or that you can, “Lose Weight Fast?” They’re actually illegal. Both the Township and the State of New Jersey have statues prohibiting signs on trees, rocks, telephone poles and the like. And the fine can be as much as $500 per sign.

But instead of focusing on the negative, let’s approach it this way. Let’s enjoy the beauty that summer brings, and avoid things, such as litter, strewn grass clippings, or piles of junk, that get in the way of appreciating nature. By paying attention to the little details, helping out our neighbors, and doing our part, we can make Pennsauken an even better place to live and visit.

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