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Press Releases

 9/15/14 Five Burlco Towns/Fire District & County Save $1.1 Million Dollars in Bridge Commission's Latest Pooled Refunding
 7/17/14 Users of Bridge Commission’s Nixle Alert System Now Reach More Than 10,000
Outreach Program Credited With Substantial Increases
 6/10/14

Bridge Commission Supports Freeholders’ Energy Aggregation Progra
Will Allow Towns, Businesses, Residents to Reduce Energy Costs by Buying in “Bulk”
                    

 5/13/14

Bridge Commission Marks Two Years Using Nixle to Alert Motorists of Bridge Openings
Seeks to Exceed 5,300 Current Devices Signed Up
         

 5/1/14 Palmyra Cove Nature Park Announces Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Policy
Follows Freeholders'; Example in County Parks

 1/30/14 Four Burlco Towns/MUA & County Save More Than One Million Dollars in Commission’s Latest Pooled Refunding
 1/16/14 County’s Regional Planning Services Saved Burlco Towns $400K in 2013
For Immediate Release, September 15, 2014

Five Burlco Towns/Fire District & County Save $1.1 Million Dollars in Bridge Commission's Latest Pooled Refunding

A recent financing of $11.6 million in County guaranteed pooled lease refunding bonds will save four Burlco towns, one fire district and the County more than $1.1 million dollars over the life of the bonds. The Burlington County Bridge Commission, acting as the County’s improvement authority agent, administered the loan for the County of Burlington, Cinnaminson, Delran Fire District, Mansfield, Pemberton Township, and Riverside.

“Through this aggregate bond program, we’ve saved towns and local entities more than $24.5 million dollars,” said Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio. “Best of all, this important shared services initiative translates into tax savings for our County taxpayers.”

“By participating in these pooled loans, towns realize savings because there’s strength in numbers,” said Chairman John Comegno, referring to the savings that occur by combining smaller loans from multiple entities. “But savings also result from using the County’s AA credit, which qualified towns for a much lower interest rate than they’d qualify for on their own.”

Pemberton Township refinanced $4 million in bonds from 2004 and 2005; Mansfield refinanced $2.95 million in bonds from 2003; Delran Fire District refinanced $2.92 million in bonds from 2004; Cinnaminson refinanced $873,000 in bonds from 2004; the County of Burlington refinanced $633,000 from 2002, 2003, and 2005 bonds; and Riverside refinanced $189,000 from 2002 bonds. For the $11,620,000 total refunding, the six entities saved $1,106,808 or 9.53%.

These latest financings add to the Commission’s already impressive total record of taxpayer savings: Since 2002, the Bridge Commission has been the conduit for more than $687 million dollars in financings on behalf of 30 local governments and nonprofits that have resulted in savings of $24.5 million dollars for Burlington County taxpayers and garnered more than $16.3 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities.


The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County.

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For Immediate Release, July 17, 2014

Users of Bridge Commission’s Nixle Alert System Now Reach More Than 10,000 Outreach Program Credited With Substantial Increases
Palmyra — In the past two months, more than 2,800 motorists signed up for Nixle alerts about bridge openings and other traffic alerts on the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, Commissioners reported today. Crediting the banner signs posted at both bridges for the uptick in subscribers, Commission staff report that there are now 4,521 subscribers receiving Tacony-Palmyra Bridge alerts and 3,445 subscribers receiving notices about the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, increases of 44% and 60% since May 9th.

“Our campaign to promote this notification system has exceeded our expectations,” said Commission Chairman John Comegno. “Now, more than 8,000 subscribers get text or email notifications that there’s a bridge opening or traffic issue that may affect their commute. And they can make an informed decision about their best route of travel.”

Although there are a total of 7,966 subscribers (up from 5,304 in May) signed up to receive alerts for each of the two bridges, there are also another 2,837 who receive the Commission’s alerts. Those 2,837 “Nixle wire” subscribers registered via zip code; that means that residents in Palmyra and Burlington City who signed up to receive notices from their town’s police department also receive bridge alert notices. Nixle wire subscribers also increased 9%, from 2,604 to 2,837.

“Nixle is a great tool for reaching residents and I commend the Bridge Commission for using it to better inform the motoring public that uses its bridges,” said Burlington County Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio, “and, ultimately, to best serve the people of Burlington County and those who travel to and from our great county.”

"We suspected that this notification service could be even more successful than it was,” said Commission Vice-Chairman Jim Fattorini, “and the numbers prove that was the case.” 

Banners will remain on display at the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges throughout the summer. Those signs encourage motorists to see detailed information and instructions on the Commission’s website, www.bcbridges.org.

Customers can sign up to receive notices by email, text message, or both. They can also choose to receive messages related to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, or both bridges. Messages have notified motorists about upcoming bridge openings, vehicular accidents, traffic issues, or planned construction work that may affect travel.

Because the bridges open “on demand” upon vessels’ requests (per Federal Drawbridge Regulations), advance notification isn’t always possible, but when adequate advance notice is provided, the Nixle system notifies registered users.  Notification to the Commission varies greatly so the timetable for notifications via Nixle varies accordingly.  

The service is FREE of charge, both to the Bridge Commission and to the users (if the users’ cell phone carrier charges for text messages, users will incur that charge, but there is no “opt-in” or per-message charge imposed by the Bridge Commission).

Users can sign up at www.nixle.com, from the link provided on the Commission’s website, www.bcbridges.org, or by sending a text message to 888-777 (type “TACPAL” to receive alerts related to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge; type “BBBB” to receive alerts about the Burlington-Bristol Bridge).

“This is clearly a service that can help the 80,000 people who cross our bridges every day,” said Comegno. “Using our bridges already saves them money. We want them to know we can save them time as well.”

About Nixle:

Nixle, LLC, is a community information service that alerts the public to public safety issues and community events via web, e-mail, and cell phone at no cost. Its authenticated service connects municipal agencies and community organizations to residents in real time, delivering information to geographically targeted consumers over their cell phones (via text messages), through e-mails and through Web access 

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. These initiatives have resulted in a savings of more than $15.9 million dollars and garnered more than $16.1 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities.

For information, contact Liz Verna, APR, Director of Communications, (856) 829-1900, ext. 224, cell (856) 417- 4088

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For Immediate Release, 6/10/14

Bridge Commission Supports Freeholders’ Energy Aggregation Program
Will Allow Towns, Businesses, Residents to Reduce Energy Costs by Buying in “Bulk”

Palmyra — At its meeting today, Burlington County Bridge Commissioners voted unanimously to support the Freeholders’ Energy Aggregation Program by providing technical and professional support and services.  Through this voluntary program, the County will negotiate a “bulk purchase” of energy on behalf of those Burlington County municipalities, businesses, and even residents who choose to participate in the savings, and the Commission will oversee the implementation of the program.

“As we roll this program out, we will be doing extensive outreach to our residents to ensure that they fully understand this opportunity and to answer any questions that they may have,” Freeholder-Director Bruce Garganio added. “But the bottom line is that this is a real and exciting chance to save hard-working Burlington County residents some money.” 

"We’re proud to partner with the Freeholders on this program,” said Commission Chairman John Comegno, “which has the potential to offer savings like those realized by towns and other entities that participate in the Commission’s pooled loan and lease program, an initiative that has saved those participants nearly $16 million dollars. Only now, we’re pooling energy instead of dollars.”

County Freeholders will negotiate more competitive energy prices, by purchasing electricity for a large group of energy users. This will generate meaningful savings for participants.  Because these plans can generate average savings of approximately 9% for residential customers in New Jersey, in Burlington County, the savings potential is about $11 million dollars, or nearly $100 a year for residents. 

Part of the Commission’s role will be to help educate and solicit input from County residents. The energy aggregation program is voluntary for Burlington County municipalities and residents. When the County receives an aggregate rate, residents in participating towns will have the option to stay with the energy aggregation plan or “opt-out” to either the standard rate or with a third-party provider. 

“Substantial energy savings for cash-strapped towns, businesses, and residents?”  added Comegno.  It’s a win-win.”

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. These initiatives have resulted in a savings of more than $15.9 million dollars and garnered more than $16.1 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities.

For information, contact Liz Verna, APR, Director of Communications, (856) 829-1900, ext. 224, cell (856) 417- 4088

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For Immediate Release, 5/13/14

Bridge Commission Marks Two Years Using Nixle to Alert Motorists of Bridge Openings
Seeks to Exceed 5,300 Current Devices Signed Up
Palmyra — The Burlington County Bridge Commission wants more motorists who use their Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges to know about scheduled bridge openings and other traffic issues that may affect their commute.  Although 5,304 devices are currently signed up to receive the alerts via the well-known Nixle system, the Commission wants to make sure that all the motorists know about the free, time-saving convenience. 

"This notification service has been a great success,” said Commission Chairman John Comegno, “but we’re sure there are more people out there who use our bridges who might not be aware of this service.”  

As part of that education process, banners will be displayed at the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges starting tomorrow.  Those signs will encourage motorists to see detailed information and instructions on the Commission’s website, www.bcbridges.org. 

Customers can sign up to receive notices by email, text message, or both. They can also choose to receive messages related to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, or both bridges. Messages have notified motorists about upcoming bridge openings, vehicular accidents, traffic issues, or planned construction work that may affect travel. 

Because the bridges open “on demand” (upon vessels’ requests), advance notification isn’t always possible, but when adequate advance notice is provided, the Nixle system notifies registered users.  Notification to the Commission varies greatly so the timetable for notifications via Nixle varies accordingly.   

“We at the County level have been using Nixle for some time now and have found that it is a great tool for reaching our residents and keeping them informed,” said Burlington County Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio, “I am glad to see the Bridge Commission expanding their efforts as we all try to best serve the people of Burlington County.”

The service is FREE of charge, both to the Bridge Commission and to the users (if the users’ cell phone carrier charges for text messages, users will incur that charge, but there is no “opt-in” or per-message charge imposed by the Bridge Commission). 

Users can sign up at www.nixle.com, from the link provided on the Commission’s website, www.bcbridges.org, or by sending a text message to 888-777 (type “TACPAL” to receive alerts related to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge; type “BBBB” to receive alerts about the Burlington-Bristol Bridge). 

“Offering the 80,000 people who cross our bridges every day no toll increase for the past 12 years has saved them money,” said Comegno, “and this notification system can save them time.”

About Nixle:

Nixle, LLC, is a community information service that alerts the public to public safety issues and community events via web, e-mail, and cell phone at no cost. Its authenticated service connects municipal agencies and community organizations to residents in real time, delivering information to geographically targeted consumers over their cell phones (via text messages), through e-mails and through Web access

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. These initiatives have resulted in a savings of more than $15.9 million dollars and garnered more than $16.1 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities.

For information, contact Liz Verna, APR, Director of Communications, (856) 829-1900, ext. 224, cell (856) 417- 4088

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Palmyra Cove Nature Park Announces Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Policy
Follows Freeholders' Example in County Parks


Burlington County Bridge Commissioners announced that Palmyra Cove Nature Park will become a smoke and tobacco free park, following the lead of County Freeholders who declared the same for all County parks last year.  Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution banning smoking or use of tobacco products in and around Palmyra Cove Nature Park’s buildings and property.

“This being the first day of Clean Air Month, it’s the perfect time to announce our commitment to a healthy environment at Palmyra Cove Nature Park,” said Commission Chairman John Comegno.  “And it sends a strong message to the 3,000 schoolchildren who visit every year that smoking isn’t allowed anywhere at this outdoor classroom.” 

“Clean Air Month is an outgrowth of the Clean Air Act, which since 1970 achieved dramatic reductions in air pollution, therefore reducing air quality-related health conditions,” explained Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio, “We on the Board of Chosen Freeholders are pleased to see our partners at the Burlington County Bridge Commission join us setting an example and prohibiting smoking and tobacco use in public places.”

New Jersey’s Smoke Free Air Act of 2006, which ensures that all nonsmokers can breathe smoke-free in public places, is an important part of New Jersey’s effort to eliminate tobacco use as one of our most significant public health threats, reduce smoking-related illnesses, and save lives. 

The Commission’s smoke- and tobacco-free policy at Palmyra Cove Nature Park is consistent with the Burlington County Parks Systems Rules and Regulations authorized and approved by the Burlington County Freeholders last May, which prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco on all Burlington County Parks property. 

The Commission’s policy prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco on all Palmyra Cove Nature Park property, indoors and outdoors, including but not limited to parking lots, trails, buildings, exhibits, programs, and events. 

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. These initiatives have resulted in a savings of more than $15.9 million dollars and garnered more than $16.1 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities.

For information, contact Liz Verna, APR, Director of Communications, (856) 829-1900, ext. 224, cell (856) 417- 4088

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For Immediate Release, 1/30/14

Four Burlco Towns/MUA & County Save More Than One Million Dollars in Commission’s Latest Pooled Refunding
Palmyra—A recent financing of $16.25 million in County guaranteed pooled loan revenue bonds will save three Burlco towns, one MUA and the County nearly $1.2 million dollars over the life of the bonds.  The Burlington County Bridge Commission, acting as the County’s improvement authority agent, administered the loan for the Bordentown City, County of Burlington, Wrightstown Municipal Utilities Authority, Edgewater Park, and Pemberton Township. 

“By participating in these pooled loans, towns realize savings because there’s strength in numbers,” said Chairman John Comegno, referring to the savings that occur by combining smaller loans from multiple entities.  “But savings also result from using the County’s AA credit, which qualified towns for a much lower interest rate than they’d qualify for on their own.”  

The transaction was well received in the market due to the County’s high quality Aa2/AA credit rating. Demand for the bonds lowered yields, which led to increased savings, more than $200,000 from original estimates. 

“For towns and local entities in need of cost saving opportunities, this aggregate bond program continues to be an important shared services initiative,” said Freeholder Director Leah Arter, “Best of all, these cost-savings translate into tax savings for the taxpayers who are footing the bill.”

Bordentown City and the County refinanced their existing 2003 bonds ($5.48 million), while Wrightstown MUA refinanced an existing USDA loan ($1.16 million). The present value refunding savings for these loans totaled $668,597.

Both Edgewater Park and Pemberton Township issued new debt for various projects:  Edgewater Park, for property, road, and field improvements; various capital improvements; and vehicles, and Pemberton Township, for road and drainage improvements; dam improvements and reconstruction; and equipment purchases. By using the County’s AA credit rating, these two towns saved an estimated $509,000 in interest cost savings. 

These latest financings add to the Commission’s already impressive total record of taxpayer savings:  Since 2002, the Bridge Commission has been the conduit for more than $670 million dollars in financings on behalf of 28 local governments and nonprofits that have resulted in savings of more than $15.9 million dollars for Burlington County taxpayers and garnered more than $16.1 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities. 

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. 

For information, contact Liz Verna, APR, Director of Communications, (856) 829-1900, ext. 224, cell (856) 417- 4088

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For Immediate Release, 1/16/14

County’s Regional Planning Services Saved Burlco Towns $400K in 2013


 Palmyra—By using the regional planning services of the Department of Economic Development and Regional Planning, Burlington County municipalities saved $395,200 in 2013 alone.  Twenty-seven of the forty Burlco towns availed themselves of this shared service, which would have been performed by outside consultants at the towns’ expense. 

“Municipalities just don’t have the staff or the expertise to perform this planning work,” said Commission Chairman John Comegno, “so towns would have had to hire professionals for these planning services.  This shared service is putting money back in the hands of cash-strapped towns at a time it’s needed in so many other areas.”  

Freeholder Director Leah Arter praised the work: “We’re proud of the tax relief provided by these planning services. Achieving the right balance of growth and preservation requires a sustained, concerted planning effort that is coordinated with the County and its municipalities. This shared service helps towns develop in the right areas, avoid development in the wrong areas, and preserve lands like farmland and open space.” 

Many of the planning projects performed for the municipalities consisted of zoning build-out analyses; this analysis is the first step in evaluating the impact of potential development on a community.  Other planning projects included master plan reexaminations, land use and redevelopment studies, and land use plan element updates for master plans.  A master plan serves as a guide for decisions regarding the future physical development of a community. 

The 27 towns that utilized Regional Planning services in 2013 include:

• Bass River Township
• Beverly City
• Bordentown City
• Bordentown Township
• Burlington Township
• Chesterfield Township
• Cinnaminson Township
• Delanco Township
• Edgewater Park Township
• Evesham Township
• Fieldsboro Borough
• Florence Township
• Mansfield Township
• Maple Shade Township
• Medford Township
• Moorestown Township
• Mount Holly Township
• Mount Laurel Township
• New Hanover Township
• North Hanover Township
• Pemberton Borough
• Pemberton Township
• Riverside Township
• Southampton Township
• Springfield Township
• Westampton Township
• Wrightstown Borough

Services were provided by one licensed professional planner and two Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists. The GIS specialist analyzes and manipulates geographic information and data for preparing studies, maps and graphics that are used in developing local planning documents such as master plans and other master plan elements.

For the zoning build-out analyses, for example, the Regional Planning staff developed a computer model that used GIS and spreadsheet programs. For each municipality they examined, planners used that town’s current zoning ordinance and map. 

“The long-term benefits towns reap from these coordinated planning initiatives are obvious,” said Comegno, “but because municipalities can access these services at no cost, this shared service ultimately saves taxpayers money.”

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. These initiatives have resulted in a savings of more than $15.9 million dollars and garnered more than $16.1 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities.

For information, contact Liz Verna, APR, Director of Communications, (856) 829-1900, ext. 224, cell (856) 417- 4088

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