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PfH Comes Up with $500 for Downtown Cleanup

Some merchants have complained about unkept streets in Haddonfield.

Officials from the Partnership for Haddonfield, the borough's tax-funded business improvement district, have come up with $500 in this year's budget for helping to keep the business district clean.

Key officials admit its not nearly enough to ensure that trash blowing around the streets is regularly or weeds in sidewalks will be quickly pulled, but they hope it's a start.

"It's not going to solve the problem all year, but it's a start," said Jeff Kasko, a borough commissioner who also sits on the PfH board. "We may also add one to two part-time public works workers this year, too."

Marlee Lick, proprietor of Harrison's Gift Shop on Kings Highway East, has been a frequent critic of the cleanliness of the downtown. She let out a whoop as the additional funds were announced by the treasurer.

"This is good," she said.

Lick said the PfH now pays about $14,000 each year for Christmas holiday street decorations, a cost the borough used to pay. Some of that money once paid for maintaining cleaner streets.

"Our mission statement is to help the businesses," Lick said about the PfH. "The borough is supposed to take care of these things. I am a taxpayer as a business owner and a homeowner and I understand budgetary issues, but as they look into shared services, maybe they need to look into shared services for cleanup."

The PfH is mostly funded through a tax on borough businesses.

Maryann Campling February 08, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Mary, Bill and Jim....great comments all. The crumbs that get thrown to our merchants and lack of support is disgraceful. But, take heart; several of us will volunteer with the clean up. It's the least we can do for the folks who make our downtown the gem that it is.
Bill Green February 08, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Maryann, You're the gem (and all the other townies that care and put action where their words are)! For far too long the shopping district has been the victim of ego's, personal agenda's, diluted funds, poor promotions, and over regulation... The businesses need to have some breathing room and some really "out of the box" promotions if we're to be competitive with the increasingly tighter consumer spending. If we try and do what the malls do or try to do small promotions we risk becoming just another small town shopping district. I'm not saying that the promotions need to be that much more expensive...just more expansive! As for the cleanup...If the district is busy and vibrant there will naturally be a need and an impetus for that cleanup.
Kim February 09, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Uh, writer/editor, did you mean "unkempt"?
HAV February 10, 2013 at 12:38 PM
The comments shared are all thought- and action-provoking, thank you! Has Haddonfield considered asking neighboring towns how they keep their Bus. Dist. clean, landscaped and maintained? Maybe there is a model out there that works. Seems we should have it down after 300 years. So very glad there is conversation about this because this is a topic near and dear to me, being one of those volunteers who tries to beautify Haddonfield areas. One great (but also bad...) thing about our community is that we can easily generate a lot if volunteers to fix a problem, but what about the long-term? How long can we rely on $500 a year and countless volunteer hours, and a coordinator to manage all of those volunteers? We ARE an amazing group of people who will work together; problem is, our leaders have heard about us...it's no secret that we will use our volunteer time and talents over and over and over again until what happens? The fire dies out, the volunteers are burnt out and the ashes remain until another 'movement' blows in for another round. The cycle continues. Volunteers are important in all communities, but we also need to create a model that works for the long haul (and doesn't depend so heavily on our generous citizens).
Lauren Burgoon February 20, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Nope: http://grammarist.com/usage/unkempt-unkept/

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