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Public Information » Press Releases » 2009 Press Releases » E-Newsletter Oct 08

New Era, New Span --- Bridge Commission's E-Newsletter --- October 2008



Update on Rancocas Creek Clean-up Project


Burlington County municipalities have only until December 31, 2008 to submit plans on how they will meet the Council on Affordable Housing’s (COAH) new third-round regulations.

Freeholder Director Aubrey Fenton opened the Shared Services Forum in September, sponsored by the Burlington County Freeholders and the Burlington County Bridge Commission. 

Municipalities with questions or needing assistance in preparing their plan are encouraged to contact Gary LaVenia at the Burlington County Bridge Commission. Mr. LaVenia can help answer questions and provide a template that municipalities may use to update their COAH plans. Contact Gary at 856-829-1900 or glavenia@bcbridges.org.

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COAH’s third-round regulations require towns to build more moderate- and low-income family homes. Towns that fail to submit an updated plan risk being subject to a developer’s remedy lawsuit.

Burlington County Freeholders and the Burlington County Bridge Commission, which together sponsored a Shared Services Forum in September on COAH’s new regulations, are planning another forum in December to further help towns meet their COAH obligations.  Information on the December forum will be made available soon as it is finalized.


More information on Shared Services


This update, which was mailed 10/30/08 to residents of Lumberton, Medford, and Southampton, provided an update on the project undertaken by the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Burlington County Bridge Commission.

On behalf of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Burlington County Bridge Commission, we would like to take this opportunity to advise you of an important milestone in the Rancocas Creek clean-up project—namely, that as of today, all debris has been removed from the 1.4 mile stretch of the creek in Southampton (known as “Reach 1”).  

The contractor hired to undertake this project discovered and removed tons of debris in 41 different debris fields. The immediate impact: water in the creek is now flowing quickly and efficiently in this area, mitigating the possibility of future flooding there. 

Our work is not done, however.  Many residents have asked about the future of this project. Our plan is to remove debris from three more “reaches” in the Lumberton-Medford-Southampton watershed. Efforts are already underway to secure the necessary state permits and bid the remaining work. We anticipate that—by September of 2009—a total of nine miles of creek will have been “desnagged” and 166 debris fields cleared.

 All emergency management personnel and engineers agree that a free-flowing creek will go a long way to avoiding the flooding that caused more than $25 million in damage to homes and businesses in the storms of 2004 and 2007. And please be assured that while the amount of work involved is extensive, the Freeholders and Bridge Commission remain committed to completing this project at no cost to local municipalities.
In summary, the Freeholders and Bridge Commission are pleased to be working with your municipality in this “shared service” project. Going forward, however, requires continued maintenance on the creek. With this in mind, local environmental and civic groups and other volunteers will be contacted in the future to participate in annual clean-ups in and along the creek to maintain a free-flowing waterway. We invite you, your family and friends to participate in these activities when they are announced.

Thank you. 


Joseph B. Donnelly   
Deputy Freeholder Director

John B. Comegno II
Chairman - BCBC

Seventh and eighth grade students from St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral School in Camden recently visited Palmyra Cove Nature Park (PCNP) for its sequential education program. These eighth graders visited PCNP twice last year to learn from PCNP’s watershed curriculum. By returning this year, these students built upon the lessons they learned at PCNP as seventh graders. 

Sequential education programs, where students return to PCNP in consecutive years, are an important part of PCNP’s mission and goal to provide learning continuity for students.

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Palmyra Cove Nature Park --- it's not just for kids!  Adults enjoy a hike through the woods...check out the many scheduled events for Fall and Winter!

Other schools visiting Palmyra Cove this month include Moorestown Upper Elementary School, Wrightstown’s CB Lamb School and Haddon Township’s Rohrer Middle School. PCNP also hosted the 7th Annual Cinnaminson School District Waterfestival on September 26th.
Since mid-September more than 500 students and pre-school children have participated in Palmyra Cove’s educational programs.
It isn’t only elementary and middle school students who learn at Palmyra Cove. Sophomores and faculty members from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia camped in our park to test new living shelters designed by students. These shelters, which are flexible, lightweight and transportable, are intended to provide temporary housing for people in a war zone or victims of a natural disaster.
Members of Cherry Hill’s Unitarian Universal Church spent a recent Saturday removing trash from the park and beach. Thanks to their work an estimated 450 pounds of trash was removed from Palmyra Cove.
The works of several area artists are now on display at Palmyra Cove. Featured artists include Myra Ryan of Mount Holly’s Home Fine Art Gallery, photographer John Fried and Jan Terry, who works with watercolor and mixed media.


More information on Palmyra Cove Nature Park
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