Committee presses Hamilton Commons to address flooding

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 HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – Flooding here has been an issue over the years, particularly for the Black Horse Pike. On Tuesday evening, Nov. 13, the Township Committee discussed repairing the water basins at the Hamilton Commons shopping center.

"Currently the majority of the basins that are on site are not draining and are not functioning properly," said township engineer Bob Smith.

The Black Horse Pike is flooding too often, and the flooding is a safety hazard for motorists and pedestrians, he said.

The township has been trying to get the developer and owner, DDR of Beachwood, Ohio, to rectify the problem for quite some time but has been unsuccessful, and the developer may be facing a lawsuit, officials said.

Cyndi Rovinsky, the property manager for Hamilton Commons, said that she and the developer have been in contact with Smith on several occasions. DDR admits that the flooding is a problem and is doing what it can to fix it, she said.

Rovinsky said she and the developer weren't told which basin they should fix first, and that is part of the reason why the issue hasn't been resolved. However, Deputy Mayor Charles Cain said they shouldn't have to be told which direction to go if it is clear that a basin is not draining properly and causing flooding on the highway.

There is also concern that the $550,000 in bonds won't be enough to remedy the situation. Township Attorney Robert S. Sandman stated that he would schedule a meeting where representatives from DDR and the bonding company can come before the committee and discuss their plans for the basins. He asked the committee to allow him to proceed with a lawsuit if the problem continues.

In addition to the water basins, the committee also discussed a new road program for 2013. Roads identified for repair are Third Avenue, Belmont Avenue, Annapolis Avenue, Shepherd Avenue, Fur Lane, Pittsburg Avenue, Palmer Avenue, Reading Avenue, Rose Boulevard, Reega Avenue, Grand Avenue and West Jersey Avenue. The total cost of the project would be $1.464 million.

"It's an aggressive program. This is the third one in a row, and we've done two this year. It's equivalent to the size of the two we've done this year," said township Administrator Michael Jacobs.

In other business, Oakcrest High School senior Connie Capone of Hamilton Township was recognized by the Township Committee. A member of the high school girls tennis team, she won the Cape Atlantic League Individual Tennis Tournament title Oct. 25.

“Capone has demonstrated that individuals who pursue their dreams with devotion and diligence can achieve extraordinary things,” said Mayor Roger Silva. “She has set a stellar example for young people of our community, as well as for all of the residents of the Township of Hamilton."

The committee presented Capone with a plaque as her family smiled proudly in the audience.

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