The Hammonton Gazette 05/22/24 Edition

See COUNCIL , Page 8 hammontongazette . com Wednesday , May 22 , 2024

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Volume 28 • Issue 21

Hammonton to raise taxes

HAMMONTON — When the budget was introduced at the May 20 town council meeting , town auditor Leon Costello said there will be a 3.5 cent tax increase for taxpayers .
“ It ’ s mostly due to the fact that you have less fund balance this year than you had last year , and as was presented a few minutes ago the cap ordinance allows us to spend the amount of money that we ’ re spending ,” Costello said . “ Most of the towns in New Jersey are really getting backed up against this appropriation cap . Inflation is exceeding what you ’ re allowed to do .”
According to the ordinance # 12-2024 Establish a CAP Bank , the final appropriations will be “ increased by 3.5 percent , amounting to $ 421,471.89 , and that the CY 2024 municipal budget for the town of Hammonton be approved and adopted in accordance with this ordinance .”
There will be a public hearing on the budget on June 24 where some changes can be made .
Some of the reasons for the tax increase are because the health insurance and pensions of town employees increased and the town council wants to keep services , which benefit residents such as bulky trash removal .
“ You can look back and say those years we didn ’ t raise taxes that we should have to ease the effects of increases this year . But we could not predict inflation and a pandemic then . We did not need an increase then , so we did not raise taxes . All of the sudden there is a need for more money in
See COUNCIL , Page 8 hammontongazette . com Wednesday , May 22 , 2024

Cruisin ’ MainStreet draws large crowd

Truck engulfed after collision

Courtesy Photo
A 2003 Food 250 pickup caught fire after an accident on May 16 .
HAMMONTON — On May 16 , a vehicle caught fire during an accident on the White Horse Pike .
The two vehicles involved were going eastbound on Rt . 30 .
As they approached the intersection at Seagrove Ave ., the 2003 Ford 250 pickup sideswiped the 2021 Chevy Sprinter , and both vehicles made way to the north shoulder of roadway on the White Horse Pike at which point drivers and passenger of the Ford 250 pickup exited the vehicle .
Moments later as police responded , the Ford 250 pickup began to burn and became fully engulfed in flames , Friel said .
The Hammonton Independent Volunteer Fire Company responded to the scene and extinguished the vehicle .
There was a minor injury from motor vehicle crash , but no injuries from the fire .
Craig Richards / THG
Dancers from Paul Morris DanceXplosion stand beside “ Pinkie ,” Gregg and
Suzanne Deininger ’ s 1955 Chevy Bel Air during Cruisin ’ MainStreet on May 17 .
HAMMONTON — Thousands of people traveled back in time to an era of classic cars and hoop skirts during the Cruisin ’ MainStreet event on May 17 .
Even though the event starts at 5 p . m ., some cars were parking in “ their spot ” before 8 a . m . according to Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel .
He said Cruisin ’ is a great event the town has been doing for decades and it brings a historic feel to downtown when people used to cruise .
During Cruisin ’ Paul Morris DanceXplosion performed “ Greased Lightnin ’” and then children participated in the ‘ 50s dress-up contest , hula hoop contest and bubble blowing contest .
MainStreet Assistant Program Coordinator Robin Ford was in charge of making sure the Cruisin ’ event was a success . Ford has helped Angela Donio with the event for six years .
Ford estimates there were about 250 classic cars parked downtown during Cruisin ’.
“ It ’ s something I never had a chance to experience , so it kind of takes me back to my parents when they would talk about their ‘ 50s cars and stuff ,” Ford said .
Tom Harrison , who is originally from Hammonton , was cleaning his 1974 Cuda when The Gazette spoke with him . He said it ’ s one of the only car shows he has done for the past 30 years , and it ’ s a great way to see his friends .
Some people have attended Cruisin ’ for decades , but for Executive Director of Croydon Haunted Hollows Colleen Prendergast of Bucks County , Pa . it was her first year at the event . She parked a 1989 Cadillac Brougham Hearst next to

Planning Board approves site plan

HAMMONTON — The Hammonton Planning Board approved a site plan submitted by the owner of Passions Florist on May 15 at town hall .
The first application was from Christine Pinto Kabba of 63 Pine Rd . The applicant wanted approval to operate a family floral assembly business in an existing pole barn located in the rear yard of lot 25.01 in the Highway Business ( HB ) zone .
Pinto Kabba has been the owner of Passions Florist for seven years . The business used to be located on the White Horse Pike , but then moved to Pine Road where she currently operates a floral assembly business at the pole barn in the back .
See CRUISIN ’, Page 2
Town planner Stuart Wiser said a florist is permitted use in the HB zone , but he doesn ’ t understand the difference between florist and floral assembly and whether that would fall under a florist heading or florist type of use .
Pinto Kabba ’ s attorney asked the board to determine that it is a florist type use .
At Passions Florist , the florists assemble the flowers in vases or arrangements then deliver to the site . There is no in-store retail at the site on Pine Road .
Wiser said in the HB zone permits local retail activities including but not limited to grocery stores , meat markets , florist and jewelry stores but excluding automobile sales .
See PLANNING , Page 3

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