New Mayor Answers Readers' 2014 Wish List for Moorestown

We asked you to make New Year's resolutions for the township; you answered. Now, Mayor Chris Chiacchio responds.

Chris Chiacchio was sworn in as Moorestown's new mayor on Monday night. Credit: Ivrie Myhre
Chris Chiacchio was sworn in as Moorestown's new mayor on Monday night. Credit: Ivrie Myhre
At the end of last year, we asked Moorestown residents to weigh in with their New Year's resolutions for the township, and got a number of responses, with suggestions related to economic development (more restaurants on Main Street) and public safety (add crosswalks; move the police department back downtown).

New Mayor Chris Chiacchio took the time to respond to residents' questions: 

Patch: Economic development, as always, is at the top of a lot of people's wish lists. What could the township do to attract more businesses to Main Street—particularly more restaurants and similar "experience-oriented" businesses, as one reader put it?
Chiacchio: Over the past few years, we have attracted great restaurants and businesses to Main Street. So we are already well on our way. We'll continue to improve our town and exercise fiscal discipline, which creates a great climate and attracts new businesses and restaurants. We are also going to look at ways to streamline the process so businesses can get and up and running and not get bogged down in red tape. I would like to discuss with the zoning and planning boards concerns they have heard from applicants, and ideas and recommendations they have to make the process faster and less costly. Our residents can rest assured that we will continue to work to make our town's economic climate strong and robust, which will bring businesses and restaurants to Main Street, in addition to other parts of our town.

Patch: What about the Lenola business district? How can the township help spur development there? What is the status of the Lenola Advisory Commission?
 Regarding Lenola, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, the White House, Hillman's, Manhattan Bagel and Dunkin' Donuts are just a few of the great businesses that have successfully operated in Lenola for years. So there's a rich history of success. In fact, most of the businesses in Lenola have been around as long or longer then most businesses in town. The Lenola Advisory Commission is currently gathering information and compiling its recommendations. I am sure it will provide us the path to attract new businesses and development that will compliment the existing businesses.

Patch: One reader expressed concern over pedestrian safety issues downtown. What could the township do to improve that? Could more crosswalks be added? Increased police presence? 
Chiacchio: My wife and I have two young children and we are always up on Main Street. I am very cognizant of pedestrian safety on Main Street. I am not convinced that more crosswalks are the answer. I believe we could review improvements to the signage, etc., of the existing crosswalks to make them more visible so that they grab the attention of drivers. In the end, pedestrians have to exercise caution and common sense when crossing the street and when getting in and out of their cars.

Patch: Another reader mentioned making improvements to the parking lot across from the new town hall. That's a project the township has discussed before. Could we see some activity on that front this year? What's needed for the township to be able to move forward?
Chiacchio: I agree completely that the municipal lot across the street from the town hall and library needs improvement. We are going to address rehabilitating the municipal lot to add more spaces and make it safer for drivers and pedestrians sometime in 2014. Council is aware of the condition of the municipal parking lot and will take steps to improve it.

Patch: One reader expressed a desire to move the police department back downtown—a suggestion that's come up before. Is that possibility still on the table? Somewhat related to that, what are the township's plans for the library once it's been vacated? Has Ragan's study been completed and, if so, what were the results?
Chiacchio: We are still investigating possible locations for the police department. The police department may very well be located somewhere other than the downtown. Regarding the current library building, the building has been inspected in the past and it's been determined that it has many issues that will be very costly to correct. Therefore, I am uncertain at this time about the future of the building. Council will look at all options to determine what is best for our town and our residents.
Moorestown Astroturf January 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM
The Patch keeps pushing this story, but nobody wants to bite. What is it about politicians with the initials CC? Calvin Coolidge Society?


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