However, a few township residents voiced their concerns on the $355,000 price tag attached to the property.
“I just think it’s an outrageous price to pay,” said resident Ken Gertie during the township committee meeting Monday night.
Gertie, who ran against Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti and Committeeman Ben Young last November, questioned if the grant money the township is using for the property is being used properly.
Township residents Eric Yates and Cindy Pierson said the same thing; Yates asked committee if they thought about sidewalks along areas of Route 130, especially since the highway was yet again named the most dangerous road in the state for pedestrians.
“Just as you have done your homework, so have we,” Mayor Don Brauckmann said. “It’s nothing we haven’t considered already—we thought about other uses [for the money].”
According to Minniti, the building would be knocked down and grassed over, and provide a safer bus stop for residents. The only potential buyer the lot has had since Barone’s closed last year was from Goodwill, whose officials expressed an interest in putting a clothing donation box there. That sort of use is not permitted along the business corridor without a variance from the zoning board.
Minniti said the seller decided to go with the township’s offer, even though the Goodwill offer was for more. According to tax records, the lot was recently assessed at $411,400.
The property owner is Larmanis LLC, and it's listed with Weichert Realtors.
If it stays as is, Minniti said, it would become “a nuisance property.”
Sidewalks are something township committee has talked about, Minniti said, although the cost is unattainable at the moment. Not to mention, Young added, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations change frequently.
When the Shoppes and Mainline centers in town were being renovated, the DOT did not approve sidewalks along Route 130 in front of those locations, Young said. However, recently, Young said the DOT is in favor of sidewalks along Route 130.
Cinnaminson cross-adopted the county’s Route 130 standards plan, which now includes property owners to fix up the properties they buy. In some cases, that means putting in sidewalks.
However, to use the $355,000 grant money, which is left over from the Route 130 reconfiguration project, for sidewalks, the pavement wouldn’t extend very far.
Young said it cost $300,000 to put in the new sidewalks on Union Landing Road, but only about half that length could be installed on Route 130 with that kind of money. That’s because since Route 130 is a state highway, there are many more stipulations and extra costs associated with the project.
“There’s a whole different criteria for building sidewalks along Route 130,” Young said.