Bridge Commission Facilities to Undergo Energy Audits
Then Offer Same Service to Municipalities as Shared Service
Bridge Commissioners voted to have Commission facilities undergo a comprehensive energy audit that will identify areas for energy and cost savings and lay the groundwork for the shared service the Bridge Commission will offer to Burlington County municipali-ties and schools. The Commission will sponsor energy audits of town and school buildings, and then apply on the entity’s behalf for funding from New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).
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“The Commission is making use of a valuable state program that has the potential of helping every town in Burlington County become more energy-efficient,” said Commission Chairman John Comegno. “And by auditing our own buildings first, we’ll be in the best position to assist municipalities. We can share our expertise, tell what worked for us, and most importantly, show the cost savings they can pass on to the taxpayers.”
The Commission’s shared service will provide the upfront payment for the energy audit that many municipalities and schools are unable to afford and will then navigate the applica-tion process for the NJBPU’s Local Government Energy Audit program. The state program provides reimbursement of the costs of the energy audit, given that at least 25% of the recommendations have been implemented.
“Towns can not only measure their energy consumption but also do something about it, all to the fiscal benefit of their residents,” said Vice Chair-person Priscilla B. Anderson. “As a former Mayor, I can really appreciate the value of this shared service.”
The energy audit will identify areas within Commission facilities where energy-saving, cost-justified measures could be applied. Examples range from replacing existing light bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs, to replacing existing heating and cooling systems with geothermal ones, which use the Earth’s natural thermal energy to heat or cool a building.
After the Commission’s audit is complete and recommenda-tions implemented, it will evaluate the process and offer constructive feedback to municipalities interested in auditing their own facilities.
“Ultimately, this is about saving taxpayer dollars, but these energy audits will also protect our environment, conserve energy, and create jobs,” Commissioner Troy E. Singleton added.
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 approximately $14 million dollars. The Commission’s grantwriting services have resulted in 22 municipalities receiving a total of more than $6.7 Million in funding, all at no cost to the taxpayers.
Pemberton Twp. Latest to Benefit from Commission’s Shared Service
In conjunction with Community Grants Planning & Housing (CGP&H), the Burlington County Bridge Commission provides grant-writing services to Burlington County municipalities. Often this means that towns receive much-needed funds from county, state, and federal programs—all at no cost to the towns themselves! In fact, more than $9.5 million dollars have been received to date. Pemberton Township is the most recent benefactor, having been awarded $200,000 from the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Small Cities program.
The funds will be used to rehabilitate homes in the township occupied by eligible families or persons and may be used to bring the homes up to code by repairing or replacing roofs, plumbing, or electrical systems. The program is particularly beneficial to seniors, since the funds often allow them to make repairs that they need to be able to stay in their homes.
Did You Know?
Openings at our bridges are driven by marine traffic…by law, the Commission’s three bridges that open to accommodate passage of ships and boats—Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, Burlington-Bristol Bridge, and Riverside-Delanco Bridge—must open upon request.
June a Busy Month at Palmyra Cove Nature Park
June might be the time schools “wind down” activity-wise, but not at PCNP! In June, PCNP will be the destination for 575 students on environmental education field trips. These 1st to 7th grade students will come from 7 schools in 7 municipalities and 2 counties. PCNP was also the site for Wilderness First Aid Training on June 12th and 13th. Both the classroom and the park are used in this two-day certification program, which has been held at PCNP several times a year since 2003.
Summer Vacation Family Fun Program at PCNP
Wondering what your kids will do for the summer? Consider PCNP’s unique Summer Vacation Family Fun Program! Held on three consecutive Monday mornings, between 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM, this year’s program begins on June 14th. This family activity will feature a different theme each Monday—Wetland Wandering, Meadow March, and River Romp!
The learning experience will be driven by discovery rather than lecture, allowing PCNP Naturalist Kristina Merola to follow the lead of the adult or child who asks a question about anything on the hike. It also allows her to give individual attention on a personal level and cover the interests of a variety of ages and experience levels.
Delaware River Sojourners to Camp at PCNP
Participants in the sixteenth annual Delaware River Sojourn will camp at Palmyra Cove Nature Park on June 24th and 25th on their way from Hancock, NY to West Deptford, NJ. The seven-day trip has been one of the signs of summer at the Park since 2002. Participants paddle canoes and kayaks, stopping for rest and recreation along the way.
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Species New to Palmyra Cove Found at PCNP!
Recently discovered at in the park was the Grey Tree Frog. The tadpoles were in the vernal pool along Park Drive. They mature to a certain stage in the water, then leave to spend their lives in trees rather than on the ground—and can be heard quite clearly in the park during the night!