ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried delivered his 2020 State of the Township report directly into the homes of local residents Tuesday night. In keeping with the ban on large crowds as the Township and nation continue to battle the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Fried delivered his annual address virtually from the Robbinsville Municipal Building.
In the sixth annual "Pay it Forward" address, Fried first thanked health care professionals and first responders for their tireless work to keep the community safe during the pandemic. Fried also congratulated 2020 graduates saying that "nothing, not even the chaos of the past three months, should diminish your sense of pride or sense of resolve as you make your way in this new world order."
Fried highlighted action by the Township to address the coronavirus pandemic with the test location at the Municipal Building and the purchase of 20,000 protective face masks distributed to residents. He also mourned the loss of five Robbinsville residents who succumbed to the virus.
He then turned to the financial stability of Robbinsville, noting that that Township revenues are up while trimming of debt has helped earn a Double A + rating from Standard & Poor's
"Needless to say, it was another very busy year, and we are proud to announce our introduced budget includes an eighth straight year of either flat or reduced municipal taxes," said Fried. "It is undeniable that our efforts to stabilize our tax rate has helped prepare us for the current crisis, as we have allocated $200,000 to our Office of Emergency Management for personal protective equipment and supplies.
"Robbinsville went from having one of the fastest rising municipal tax rates to perhaps the most stable in all of New Jersey. We will continue investing in our infrastructure, including working very closely with Hamilton Township on necessary improvements to the wastewater treatment facility that serves both towns."
Fried highlighted the "four tenets" that he governs by: Make tough decisions - even when those decisions may not be the most popular; never stop trying to bring in new ratables; provide exceptional services; and public safety.
"Robbinsville has proven time and again that you can do things for the good of society without turning them into entitlements," said the Mayor, underscoring how the town was the first to implement the C.A.R.E. program to "implement an opiate intervention program and telling our law-abiding residents that we are going to stop putting people in jail for possession of heroin was a little scary."
Fried also announced that the Mercer Mobile Home Park which was acquired by the Township for Affordable House will be renamed "Newtown Village" as on "homage to the Town's original name." He noted that this Village will compliment the new Project Freedom to 'better serve our entire community with more barrier-free living."
He also recognized keep steps made by the town to improve quality of life. Including the purchase of the Miry Run Golf course which will soon house the Recreation Department and a sports facility. The transition of the Windsor School property into great space and a natural playground.
Jeanine Cimino, senior vice president and regional president at Berkshire Bank, once again reprised her role as emcee of the event, albeit virtually. Berkshire Bank was a title sponsor of the event financially supporting the "Pay it Forward" program.
Fried expressed appreciation for the members of the Township Council, Administration Staff and School District for continuing to provide important services to the residents.
Fried also provided some personal guidance to residents: "My best advice is do what you feel is right for your family. Stop worrying about what other people are doing. Be humble and kind. We cannot walk a mile in anyone else’s shoes, so let’s try to be more understanding."
"Remember, this virus does not care whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Moderate or Independent. Rich or poor. It does not care about the color of your skin, what religion you practice or your race. "
For the full video of Mayor Fried's State of the Township address CLICK HERE.
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