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What Would You Improve in Cinnaminson: Mayor Answers 2013 Wish List

A new community center, a farmer's market and an updated township website are among the issues talked about.

 

A few weeks ago, we asked our readers what you would like to see improved in Cinnaminson in 2013.

We read every single comment and picked some of the most popular answers and chatted with Mayor Ben Young about them.

We didn’t want to let those ideas to go waste.

Here is a Q&A with Young with the topics you inquired about: 

New township website/Updated community calendar/Message board

“Committee agrees that we need to improve our website,” said Young. “We need to improve our entire communication on the Internet. How to do that exactly seems to be the problem.”

Over the years, several residents have asked about an online community calendar, a township website which has agendas and meetings minutes and just an overall improved look of the site.

Young said he thinks a community calendar, minutes and more should be posted. He would even like for there to be building permit and planning board applications.

“To do something that well,” he said, “you’re either going to hire a professional or have someone on staff.”

That costs money.

“Do I expect to have something done before the end of the year? Yes,” Young said. “Will it be perfect? No.”

 

Farmer’s market

Although having a farmer’s market in our town would be something to brag about, Young said he wouldn’t even think of duplicating what the county is already doing four miles away.

The Burlington County Community Agricultural Center on Centerton Road in Moorestown is open on Saturdays from May to October.

“The county is already providing this service,” Young said. “It’s regional. Why would you spend dollars duplicating something that is four miles away?”

There are also options in-town, Young reminded residents. Taylor’s has the option to garden with them if you can’t garden at home and neighbors near Extension Park have a community garden started two years ago.

 

Township welcome signs

Mayor Ben Young admits the signs could be “freshened up” but was quick to say that all the welcome signs going into Cinnaminson are intact with the exception of one.

Over the years, Young said, committee has talked about a new design for the signs but nothing had been decided upon.

Three years ago, Eagle Scouts refurbished the signs. 

 

New community center

Young knows the Cinnaminson Community Center isn’t ideal. “By any stretch of the imagination,” Young said.

Township committee has talked about a new community center—most recently a few years ago, when they bought the former Cinnaminson Home and brainstormed its possible future uses.

“We ran the drill and there was no practical way to make it cost effective,” Young said.

People kept suggesting features of a new community center, including indoor basketball courts, an indoor swimming pool, conference rooms, etc.

“Pretty soon, it’s a huge facility…and you’re talking about the YMCA,” Young said. “Now you’re competing with the local businesses. I don’t think that’s the goal of government—to compete with the people who pay taxes in this town.”

But out of all the issues plaguing Cinnaminson, a new community center hasn’t been one brought up too many times, Young said.

“I think there’s people who would like to see a community center, but I think of the logistics,” Young said. “I’m wide open to looking at it but when push comes to shove, there’s not enough support to make it happen.”

 

Sharp turn on Forklanding Road near bridge

“There’s been a lot of things talked about down there,” said Young.

The sharp turn in question is right by Winner’s Farm stand before it moved. If you’re driving toward Route 73 from Church Road on Forklanding Road, longtime residents know the need to slow down, take the turn very carefully and then wait at the bridge until it’s safe to drive over.

The township doesn’t own property right at the turn so nothing can be done right now, Young said.

“There would have to be some negotiations to purchase property to fix it,” he said.

The township did however buy property nearby, known as the Kay Property. Something could be done with that package to turn part of that into more park space and parking lots for Memorial Park.

As far as the turn goes, Young said there’s been talk about bright yellow lines or signage.

 

What other issues and improvements would you like to see Cinnaminson tackle in 2013? We’ll keep a list going and ask the mayor once a month. 

Ric January 29, 2013 at 09:41 PM
@Radio, I will take you up on your offer; you are more than welcome to pay more of my property taxes. Thanks, thanks. thanks!!!
John January 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM
@Barb, just heard the weather forecast for tomorrow night and it looks real bad for flooding....hope it does not happen....good luck
John January 29, 2013 at 10:27 PM
thats just the problem it will not go towards the schools it will go to the pension fund and other items needed not for the schools, maybe they set up an account for future expenditures in there so called budget, do not know but they must do something...
John January 29, 2013 at 10:54 PM
@Radio, according to Allison we have a budget and its bare bones, so I do not know how Palmyra can do it with an older school and Cinnaminson cannot...I do not know the specifics but if we are paying about 60% of our taxes to the schools and they do not have a fund for setting aside money for new schools we are going to get hammered with tax increases...something is not adding up ok....thanks for your input....
AnoninCinna January 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Beth Bresnahan - I completely agree, it is an eyesore. All abandoned properties are, and Cinnaminson seems to have a lot of them. That gas station has been abandoned for some time, and it looks terrible! So does the abandoned Bo's Wok building. Something should be definitely be done about both of those locations.
John January 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM
@dajoepa75, I have a feeling that people are not open to new ideas but are stuck on old ones and thats not including senior citizens....I like U do not understand how cinnaminson's schools can be so bad, I look at delran, delanco and others when I go by and I often think about the number of students that go there, there budgets and other costs and the tax structure they have...I would think we are all in the same boat, not for rowing, but I guess I am wrong....Who knows not me, going to watch the flyers now have a great evening....
Barb Rivera January 30, 2013 at 02:03 AM
Pundit... They can feel free to buy me out and a few neighbors as well that have to deal with constant flooding!
Radiohead January 30, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Enough with the flooding already. It's on another patch thread.
John January 30, 2013 at 04:49 PM
News flash the gas station is going to be removed but what about the gas tanks they are still there....
John January 30, 2013 at 04:53 PM
@Pundit, oh thats a great idea, buy up land to build another high school, this is not the movie money pit....Oh well, I am glad your not in charge...have a happy
Jennifer January 30, 2013 at 05:34 PM
I was thinking the EXACT thing. What is being done? Positive changes would be nice to hear about. All I read was a bunch of blah and we can't afford it.
Ray Budden January 30, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Good Afternoon Radiohead. Where in this article is it mentioned that schools being updated or improved is on the agenda? It wasn't in the article that I read. The article welcomed other ideas and you were very happy to include the idea for school improvements and Barb never complained once. She is perfectly justified including the flood problem just as you are to mention schools. If you want to say that she should reserve her comments for another article then so should you, the Patch did an article on updating the schools did they not? You can find that article by typing it in the search box above. I am not a fan of intolerance, I prefer an open forum and open minds. Have a great day.
Barb Rivera January 30, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Radiohead...I will NEVER STOP with the FLOODING as My Family lives through it!
Kim W. January 30, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Barb, I feel your pain and no one can understand unless they have to set their alarms to get up with high tides! We still believe the 900+ units of cinnaminson harbor contributed to these recently new issues. No one seems to care for the small neighborhood being ruined. Our homes have been surrounded and flooded about 6 times in 18-24 months. We also want to move. But how do you sell!!!?? Gotta go now. Moving vehicles to higher ground. Grrrrrrrrrr......
Barb Rivera January 30, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Kim... You got that right! They don't care cause it doesn't effect them. Our flooding has gotten much worse since The Shoppes at Cinnaminson went up. I have spoken with a few other township's officials, they cannot believe this township isn't doing anything. Many were at a FEMAeetibg today, I am sure none of ours attended. Last flood we were through was Dec 21st, came out of nowhere without warning and flooded our sons Acura RSX. We replaced it with a Jeep Wrangler! Cannot live having to move vehicles everytime its going to rain. Hope to meet you at Feb 4th Township meeting: )
Barb Rivera January 30, 2013 at 11:57 PM
***FEMA meeting
Skitch January 31, 2013 at 03:19 AM
John, have you been inside Palmyra HS? I have. It's older than Moses. Years ago they had a multi million dollar face lift (I think it was a grant) just to keep it open for another few years. That school has been on the brink of being condemed many times. If you may or may not recall, Palmyra was attempting to send their kids to our schools in exchange for tuition and that was voted down. If I recall correctly I think Pal. HS had a big problem with mold a few years back. So they are just scrimping by and going year by year same as us. You just apparently have not heard about it. Palmyra HS is in worse shape than CHS and they don't have the funds either to build a new school.
Skitch January 31, 2013 at 03:30 AM
I believe the Palmyra Comm Ctr was part of a development arrangement by a builder. Houses were going to be built along with the comm ctr. The comm ctr was built first and the builder i think went under and gave the ctr to the town. Palmyra helps off setting the cost by renting out the gyms/room to various clubs organizations. For example-Wrestling clubs. So Palmyra didn't build or pay for their comm ctr. I can tell you I have been over there several times and every time i was there the place was empty and echoing. Perhaps Cinna can work out some arrangement with Pal. for the use of their ctr for our residents instead of building our own. Just a thought.
Skitch January 31, 2013 at 03:36 AM
I think Cinnaminson could give the HS the much needed face lift right where it is. I have seen other schools do it so why wouldn't we be able to do it. The work would be done in phases. The kids may not have the entire use of the school at the time and it might be a little tight for awhile but so be it.
Kim W. January 31, 2013 at 02:35 PM
The 4th? Public session is 3rd Monday. What am I missing?
Barb Rivera January 31, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Kim^ I was told the public can still attend first mtg of month. It's just in a smaller back room of township bldg where they will also conduct business. I think we have all waited long enough for this township to take action. C u there!
John January 31, 2013 at 06:54 PM
@Barb, Kim, good luck to U guys, I hope the turtles do not put there heads back into there shells...
Cindy Pierson January 31, 2013 at 09:24 PM
@Skitch - How long has it been since you were inside PHS? What is it exactly that makes it so awful? The technology in every classroom? The laptops available to every student? The fact that we are proud to still be able to use a part of the original building, that represents more than 100 year old tradition of community education? You should check out facts before you post inflammatory comments that are based on "if I recall correctly..." instead of documented or verifiable information. Half of the staff are alumni, which says something about how they feel about the education they received and the education they are trying to provide to today's students.
Barb Rivera January 31, 2013 at 09:49 PM
John I have been quite busy talking to township officials from other towns in NJ. They actually return my calls and show interest in everything that's happening. Quite unlike this township. I am told that Cinnaminson works with FEMA but I am sure they had no one at the FEMA meeting yesterday representing us.
Skitch February 01, 2013 at 12:38 AM
@Cindy, The last time i was in Palmyra HS was when it was under a multi million dollar renovation and a cinderblock wall fell down. I said nothing about the school being awful!! I said nothing about the education that the kids were receiving, or the staff, or the technology in the classrooms as i am sure they are top notch like ours. I was only commenting on the building itself. It's old. To clarify, I know they had a mold problem, I just don't recall what year it was. The problem made the paper. As a claims adjuster i also handled those claims. So I know what i am talking about. My point is is John seems to think that PHS is rolling in the dough and able to maintain the school on a budget when we all know that the budget is primarily made up of salaries, pensions, benefits and very little for anything else. All schools are operating on a shoe string budget. When the budget gets voted on and the people object to any increases in the budget, it's very hard to set aside money in an account for renovations etc when the money isn't there.
Cindy Pierson February 01, 2013 at 10:56 PM
@Skitch - Sorry, I get defensive about my alma mater/place of employment. What with living in a house that's over 100 years old, and having a distorted sense of time to begin with, I forget that the parts of the school that I still think of as "new" were actually built prior to the construction of the high school in Cinnaminson in the late 60s. The funds that the Palmyra School District received were used to make the schools handicapped accesible, update the heating and cooling system, and thankfully, we no longer have a mold problem.
Maria February 03, 2013 at 03:40 PM
The problem is that paying more money in taxes does not necessarily mean that it goes to the school kids. Rather, the extra money goes toward the inflated salaries of school administrators (do you know how much they make?), teacher's salaries and stipends, and a lot of other wasteful spending at the schools.
lori weldon February 05, 2013 at 02:14 PM
A sidewalk needs to be placed on Lenola road from Forklanding rd to the light on Church road. Many People travel this road to the warehouses and businesses that have taken a bus on rt 130 into town to go to work . They are walking along with cars 24/7. Mothers and their children seen walking hand in hand with baby strollers being pushed along side cars rushing to work. People walking their dogs heading to Memorial Park. There are children on bicycles and skateboards, I watch them weave in and out of the line on the road goofing off. Drivers speed constantly. It is very dark on this road at night. Kids love to wear black . More and More traffic has occurred on this main road. I understand it is considered a County road. Yes I have called but as you see nothing has been done. Your Cinnaminson residents use this area of road in Burlington County, in your town. All I can say is I yell to kids every week about how dangerous the road is and to parents that are not holding a child's hand.. to be careful of the cars. I know the road, I do not see people walking at night til I am right up on them, especially at the bend. I am requesting that a township member get involved in this venture to place a sidewalk on Lenola road. Let's help prevent a horrible accident involving one of Cinnaminson's residents. Deadly accidents have occurred at both corners for years. It is time to take care of the safety in between. Let's not do this too late. Thank you
Ruth Mays April 17, 2013 at 07:03 AM
As we learned when there was a plan to build a community center at Wood Park, the land is deed restricted. No permanent buildings can be built there or it reverts back to the Westfield Meeting. Memorial Park is a different issue, but I would hate to see a park turned into a school.
Ruth Mays April 17, 2013 at 07:12 AM
About the township website- it ranks 517 out of 600 in the state. That is truly pathetic. It would not take much to bring it into the 20th century. Putting a link to PDF forms takes minutes; having actual web forms is a bit harder, but can be done. There are even free calendar applications. Putting in links to PDF copies of meeting minutes, agendas, and proposed ordinances is easy too. Yes, it could use a visual update, but these small things could be done very cheaply and would be a great improvement. It does seem to be much easier to just say things are impossible or that the committee is talking about them than to actually do anything about the problems people bring up.

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