MANCHESTER – Mayor Kenneth Palmer noted some crowding issues at Harry Wright Lake during a recent meeting of the council.
While commending the kickoff performance of the first Concert Fest 2020 series he said, “aside from the concerts there are some issues down at the lake especially on Sundays for whatever reason. That seems to be the day that we are having a lot of folks from out of town. Whether it is because community pools and those kinds of things are closed, they are finding their way to Harry Wright Lake,” the mayor said.
Palmer said that he was in consultation with Police Chief Lisa Parker and the Township’s Business Administrator and Recreation Dept. Director about the problem and have come up with some ideas to correct it.
One idea is to have an officer assigned to the lake on weekends and having an overtime detail. “Just to make sure that the police are visible and if there is a problem that the police are aware of it and can handle it,” Palmer said.
Mayor Palmer said he had driven around the lake on a recent Saturday night before closing time and was told by an officer that there weren’t any issues all day long but on another day there was. “There was an officer out there that said there were a few things he had to take care of but for the most part things were better.”
“We will continue with that overtime detail to make sure that the lake is going smooth. Before we had the overtime detail, we had some issues with the dock. People weren’t listening about having the proper behavior at the dock or around the dock,” he said. If it gets worse, removing the dock is an option in a worst case scenario.
Palmer said removing the dock was something he didn’t want to have to do because “the kids love it. I know when I was a kid living here, I loved it. For right now we will keep it in there but if it does continue to be a problem, I won’t hesitate to remove it.”
Councilman Craig Wallis noted during that same meeting that he had recently attended a community meeting with the mayor, Chief Parker, eight of her officers, Planning Board Mayor Representative Rory Wells, Manchester Township High School Principal Dennis Adams and other representatives.
“The really good thing was that there was a lot of communication. Mr. Adams did a great job in speaking his mind. It was good to hear from him as well as the mayor, Rory, the chief and captain and our officers there. I appreciate them trying to keep communication open, Wallis added.
Councilman Robert Hudak, the council’s liaison with the planning board reported that during a recent Planning Board meeting the panel had approved the applications for the rear addition to the United Church of Christ and a minor subdivision at a property on Ridgeway Road.
Hudak added that the board had also reviewed project applications that went on to be voted on and passed by the governing body during its July 13 council meeting.
Councilman James Vaccaro said he attended one of the bi-weekly Zoom meeting with Council President Sam Fusaro that is used to prepare the council’s agenda for their meetings.
He noted the next Joint Pinelands Municipal Council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 29 in Shamong Township. “In October I will provide everyone a report on what transpired at the Shamong meeting.”
The councilman commended his fellow council members for taking action through passing two resolutions urging the legislature to reinstate full funding of the senior fund freeze program and another resolution calling for Gov. Phil Murphy to reinstate the Homestead Rebate program.
“Both programs are very important and are vital to our senior residents throughout the state of New Jersey,” Vaccaro said. He also commended resident Joseph Hankins, vice president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Association, who on July 10 provided a Facebook presentation to his fellow firemen about association benefits and what is available for assistance.
Vaccaro also once again asked for his fellow council members next to consider discussing and preparing an ordinance banning the growth of marijuana within Manchester Township and banning the distribution of recreational marijuana within the township.
The councilman has made this same request for close to a year now. The issue is set to go before voters on a public question in November’s general election.