RECENT NEWS and INFORMATION
Medford Village Business Association Merged into Medford Business Association
Effective January 1st, 2014, Medford Village Business Association (MVBA) will be merging into Medford Business Association (MBA). After many organizational and operational changes in the past four years, it made more sense for the MVBA to operate as a sub-committee within the MBA rather than continue to operate independently. The sub-committee will continue to be headed by Julie Basello-Holt for the 2014 calendar year. In addition, she will be an alternate director with the MBA and will report on updates regarding Medford Village businesses and events at each monthly MBA board meeting throughout the year.
All Medford Village businesses who are not current MBA members are invited to become members of the Medford Business Association for 2014. The deadline for membership is January 5th, 2014 and the annual membership fee is $ 100 per year. Included with membership is the ability to participate in the county gift card program which is in the process of being implemented in Medford. Also included is a listing for each business in a directory which the MBA distributes throughout Medford each year. Members are encouraged to attend networking events which are scheduled monthly and often include special guests and speakers. Interested businesses can join by going to www.medfordbusiness.org
As a sub-committee, the former MVBA (Medford Village Businesses) will continue to meet monthly to discuss concerns and opportunities that are unique to running a business in Medford Village. The goal will continue to be building synergy with businesses here in Medford Village. These meetings are open to members and non-members of the MBA whose businesses are in or near the village and will continue to be facilitated by Julie Basello-Holt for 2014. Anyone who has a business in or near the village that could benefit from networking, discussions and interactions with other village businesses is invited to participate each month in these sub-committee meetings. These monthly meetings will continue to occur on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 8:30am to 9:30am at True Story Photography, located at 10 South Main Street.
For questions or information, please contact Julie Basello-Holt at email@example.com or Theresa Freedman at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the New Jersey Municipal Management Association Newsletter : Member Recognition
It’s probably safe to say that the efforts and contributions managers and administrators make on a daily basis are often lost on the governing bodies that employ them, and to a greater extent the residents they serve. However, recently Bob Hoffmann, NJMMA’s Treasurer, received this wonderful, inspiring letter from Theresa Freedman, President, Medford Business Association, recognizing one of our members, Christopher Schultz, Medford Township Manager for all that he does in his community. Wouldn’t it be nice if this sort of recognition were more common. (see letter following below)
Dear Robert Hoffmann,
I looked on the website and saw you listed as the Secretary for the NJMMA. I wanted to take a moment of your time and share with you a recent experience. I am not sure if you are the correct person I should be contacting or not, but if not, please pass to the appropriate person, as I am not sure who to talk to when a Township Manager needs to be appropriately thanked.
To give you a little background, I am the President of the Medford Business Association of Medford, NJ and this is my 3rd year as such. Although not a resident of the community, I am the branch manager of the Columbia Bank here, and it has afforded me the opportunity to become very involved in the commu- nity over the last 6 years. During the first 3 years of being here, I was amazed at some of the situations that were unfolding. There were disgruntled township employees, wasted tax dollars, wasted resources, very little cohesiveness within the community and definitely a Council with a less than desirable track record at correcting the issues.
Luckily, a few members of council were slowly replaced and they sought to obtain a strong town man- ager in hopes of bringing Medford back. With persuasion, Christopher Schultz, took on the challenge and started as our town manager and what a difference he has made. There wasn’t a tremendous natural disaster that compelled him to excel, there wasn’t a town bankruptcy, and there wasn’t a mass hysteria, there was just a little town in New Jersey in financial despair and complete mismanagement and Mr. Schultz accepted that challenge and started the transformation as if he was saving the town from all of the aforementioned disasters and it was all done with the upmost integrity and respect.
As we enter the year 2014, I think back and reflect at how much change has transpired since his arrival, and how grateful I am for what he has promulgated. He has provided Council with information perti- nent to the needs of the community and so valuable that it has helped them with creating a greater Medford and bringing the honor and prestige back to the Medford name.
Mr. Schultz has shown his commitment in a multitude of ways. Some examples are getting the budget in line, holding employees accountable, streamlining processes to create greater efficiency and most importantly changing the view that Medford Township is difficult to work with and not business friend- ly. Historically, Medford Township has been perceived as anti-business and since his arrival, Mr. Schultz has gone above and beyond in his participation with the MBA projects and concerns in an effort to elim- inate this negative perception. Mr. Schultz has consistently attended our board meetings in order to insure an open line of communication between the township and businesses. He has worked side by side with the board on making community events affordable, fun and easy to host. He has volunteered to teach financial literacy classes at the high school as part of a partnership between the school and the busi- ness association. He has even taken the initiative to visit potential businesses in an effort to bring them to Medford. He has saved the town a significant amount of money as well. I even had the ability to par- ticipate in a Local Government Institute that enabled me to have a better understanding of how our local government works, a program that Mr. Schultz developed.
On many occasions I have read articles in the Central Record about his great work. I am sure there is so much more that could be listed as I can only really comment on what I see as far as his participation with MBA items and what I hear from people, but I am sure the list can go on and on. So much has changed since his arrival, and all for the better.
That is why I wanted to write to you and share this information, because all too often people take the time to write about the negative and forget to communicate the positive. Mr. Schultz is an exemplary Township Manager and I felt that since he gives so much of his time and effort to the Township and the Medford Business Association, the least I could do was to make sure I take the time to thank him. I felt the best way I could see to do that was by sharing his success story with his peers and hopefully it is you that can do that.
Thank you for your time,
Theresa Freedman Medford Business Association, President
The new sign ordinance is now in effect and as with new legislation there have been some questions raised regarding implementation and interpretation of certain provisions. The Township Planner discussed these as well as potential amendments with Council at the 10/15/13 Township meeting. Township Council then directed that the original Sign Task Force be reconvened to work with the Planner on these issues, etc and to bring recommendations back to Council.
Tax Abatement and Exemption Program
Ordinance 2013-11 was adopted at the 8/6/13 Township meeting which established the Tax Abatement and Exemption Program. Property owners upon application would be eligible for an exemption on the first $25,000 in improvements to their facility/dwelling for a period of 5 years. The abatment would follow a negotiated process with the Township.
Plenary C Liquor License
The former Beau Rivage license has been declared "dead" by the State of NJ and is available to the Township and now out to bid for a minumim bid of $600,000. Contact the Municipal Clerks Office for more information.
"Special" Liquor License Objection
The Township has filed an objection of the renewal of two (2) liquor licenses associated with the MVEA sites. These licenses have been renewed multiple times over the past 10 years. If successful, these two (2) licenses would available to the Township. The Administrative Office of the Court hearing on this matter is awaiting scheduling.
Route 70 Highway Management Zoning
At the 9/3/2013 Township meeting, Township Council discussed and directed that the Planning Board prepare a brief reexamination study of the Route 70 Highway Management by evaluating various provisions that may be inhibiting growth including setbacks, buffers, and the building size limitations.
Route 541 Paving Update
The County advises that the area in front of TD Bank will be added to 2013 overlay program. The construction will begin in spring 2014. There is drainage work to be completed on Stokes Road which held it up. Once drainage work is completed, the County will pave CR 541 from Jackson road to the bridge near 7-11. In addition, Main Street is also included in 2013 overlay program (from Rt 70 to Trimble Lane) which will be resurfaced in 2014.
Ordinance 2013-9 Expanding the Permitted Issuesance of a Class A Liquor License for Limited Breweries, Restricted Breweries (Brew Pubs), Plenary Wineries, and Instructional Winemaking Facilities
Ordinance 2013-9 was adopted 6/18/13 which is now consistent with State law to permit breweries, wineries, brew pubs, etc that were previously not in the ordinance as the ordinance originated in the late 1970's when these type of facilities were not envisioned.
Tax Abatement and Exemption Program
Council continues to consider and finalize the abatement and exemption program that will apply to the redevelopment and rehabilation zones. Property owners upon application would be eligible for an exemption on the first $25,000 in improvements to their facility/dwelling for a period of 5 years. The abatment would follow a negotiated process with the Township. The final version is subject to change before introduction which could be as early as the 7/16/13 Township meeting.
Plenary C Liquor License
The former Beau Rivage license has been declared "dead" by the State of NJ and is available to the Township to put out to bid. This is listed for discussion at the 7/16/13 Township meeting under Manager's Report as the Township Manager is seeking authorization to put the license out for bid. Council will need to determine a minimum bid if staff is authorized.
"Special" Liquor License Objection
The Township has filed an objection of the renewal of two (2) liquor licenses associated with the MVEA sites. These licenses have been renewed multiple times over the past 10 years. If successful, these two (2) licenses would available to the Township.
Commercial Trash Collection Update
Ordinance 2013-6 was adopted at the 4/16/13 Township meeting which defines commercial user as the owner of the property per block and lot and shall entitled them to one 90 gallon container. Tenants and multiple users shall not be entitled. However, a question was raised by a member of Council for commercial condominium associations relative to the amended definition and that is listed for discussion at tonight's, 5/7/13, Township meeting.
Open Space Trust Fund Ordinance and Referendum Update
Just a reminder that the public hearing on Ordinance 2013-5 is scheduled for this evenings, 5/7/13, Township meeting in which Township Council is asking the voters in November to vote to make the Open Space Tax a variable tax with a rate of 1 cents to 3 cents. The current rate is 3 cents. Council is seeking flexibility from a budgeting strategy. For example, should the general tax rate need to be increased, if all open space obligations are met and the open space tax can be reduced Council could reduce it to the level needed which would offset the increase in the general fund.
2013 Budget Update
The public hearing was held on 4/16/13 with no public comment. However, the State is requiring an amendment which will be acted on at tonight's, 5/7/13, Township meeting. The amendment does not alter Council's position of no tax increase. The hearing on the amendment only will be 5/21/13. Until the budget is adopted the temporary budget is being amended tonight as well.
Commercial Trash Collection Update
As previously discussed, the Township has been working to reduce and contain its cost. One of the services impacted in this process is commercial trash collection. The 300 gallon containers utilized by approximately 30 businesses are being taken out of service and discontinued. However, in implementing this change additional issues developed in which the Township is now in the process of amending the ordinance for commercial trash collection again. The existing definition by ordinance of commercial user is defined as "any person or other entity operating a business, trade, industry, or other non-residential activity" shall be entitled to one 90 gallon container. However, Township Council introduced Ordinance 2013-6 on 4/2/13 which defines commercial user as the owner of the property per block and lot. Tenants and multiple users shall not be entitled. The public hearing on this ordinance is 4/16/13.
These changes are as a result of the Township's efforts to reduce and contain cost as well as limit and or reduce liability as the 90 gallon containers must be placed curbside as the Township, or its vendor, will not access private property.
Uniform Construction Code Services
Medford previously provided Medford Lakes Borough with certain subcode services. As of the last Township Council meeting a new interlocal was approved in which Medford provides all the services.
Open Space Trust Fund Ordinance and Referedum
Township Council is asking the voters in November to vote to make the Open Space Tax a variable tax with a rate of 1 cents to 3 cents. The current rate is 3 cents. Council is seeking flexibility from a budgeting strategy. For example, should the general tax rate need to be increased, if all open space obligations are met and the open space tax can be reduced Council could reduce it to the level needed which would offset the increase in the general fund. The public hearing for this ordinance is 5/7/13. If the ordinance passes, it will then be referred to the County Clerk for a vote in November.
Council introduced the 2013 budget on 3/19/13 and the public hearing is scheduled for 4/16/13. The budget calls for no tax increase. The major changes include an adjustment of the reserve for uncollected taxes and reduction of the snow removal line item. The snow trust has adequate funding to handle several typical average storms.
Staff is meeting with the builder to address building and zoning issues as they prepare to renovate the former bank building for their new tenants.
Township Abatement Program
The Township is in the process of establishing an ordinance that will permit owners in the rehabilitation zones and the redevelopment zones to receve a tax abatement when improvements are made to existing structures/buildings. The Township is developing a threshold of improvement value which will trigger the 5 year abatement. The improvement taxes are then phased in over 5 years at 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% of value.
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