State Recognizes Manchester’s Energy Saving Measures

Members of the Manchester Township Council and support staff discuss matters during a recent Township Council meeting. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  MANCHESTER – Business Administrator Brandon Umba reported that the township received Sustainable Jersey certification showing it is working toward reducing energy usage.

  Sustainable Jersey has more than 448 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities engaged in the certification program. Each municipality that is certified at the bronze level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balance of the program’s sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 150 points.

  Umba said this was based on a total of 180 points “and based on the various levels we had to go through this will be recognized at a luncheon at the League of Municipalities. We are State of New Jersey certified on the bronze level and we hope to move up but that does open up significant grants for the town.” Silver-level certification requires that a town meet a minimum of 350 points.

  He added that grants could help subsidize the cost of “solar fields and other items that we may look to do at the beginning of the year and go out to bid once the roof is done on the municipal complex and down at the DPW (Department of Public Works) yards. We can then put out a bid and if we have a successful bidder, we can then put solar panels on the municipal complex.”

  In other news, township officials are discussing attracting new businesses to town. Responding to a continued request by Councilman James Vaccaro about the township exploring opportunities to bring either a hospital or some type of health care facility to the municipality, Mayor Robert Hudak reported, “I did speak with Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health and those discussions are ongoing about bringing a facility here for the residents of Manchester.

  “Part of this involves the 30-year master plan for a hospital which is a huge plan that would basically see the hospital double in size,” the mayor said.

  Umba noted that he and Councilwoman Michele Zolezi would take part in a meeting with a county vendor on a study of possible development around the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

  “The county receives a grant and upcoming development potentially would be coming to areas around the base and we need to make sure we coordinate with the base and to make sure it doesn’t hurt any of their outward mobility. They will do an update and we will probably see that in the next six months,” Umba said.

  Township Attorney Kelsey McGuckin Anthony announced Manchester had previously received around $23,000 in a national opioid litigation settlement from the three largest contributors to the opioid epidemic. “I was notified last week that Manchester has qualified for another payment for a second year under that so we will be getting $22,426.”

  Many towns sued the pharmaceutical companies, successfully proving that the companies misled the public about how addictive their pain relievers are, and what ailments that they can be prescribed for. This has contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Police News

  Police Chief Robert Dolan noted the return of the “No Shave November” campaign within the police department which always raises money “and this time it will raise funds for one of our own.”

  He noted that a township firefighter was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer and has been undergoing treatment since August of last year.

  The chief said, “he was one of our EMTs and he also took up a role as a career fire fighter. He continues to battle cancer on daily basis and we are raising money for him, so we are raising the price for our officer donations. If you see us in beards, now you know why. It is a good cause and for one of our own people.

  “Our new hires are doing well,” the chief said. He also noted the last day of a retiree at the rank of corporal in the patrol division who was coming up who would be leaving soon on extended leave and officially retiring as of February 2023 with 25 years of service.

  He also congratulated Nate Brown “our career EMT and firefighter who was hired full time. He is a Whiting firefighter and friend of the family and he will stay on as a per diem firefighter for us.”

  Chief Dolan said that the Coffee with a Cop program would continue. Following last month’s cookies with a cop at ShopRite, the department was looking at the Stop & Shop store in Whiting for a future location.