The Township, like every other organization with physical assets and infrastructure; must be maintained. Perhaps even more now in the wake of the pandemic, it’s vital to public safety that the seemingly small things don’t slip through the cracks. For example, Police fleet vehicles, unlike your personal vehicle, experience higher than usual wear and tear and must be serviced and/or replaced on a strict schedule in order to be safe to operate and able to perform in a way that our police need and deserve.
In addition to the fact that an improperly serviced police car is not the car you want responding to an emergency call, a car that has not been maintained will ultimately cost us more to repair the longer we wait. For example, if your car’s brakes begin to squeal or pulsate, and you wait to replace the brake pads, you run the risk that not only have you been driving a less safe car, but you have also damaged the rotors and the brake calipers and now the cost might be out of your budget.
The same is true for roads. When any road, building, or other property is not kept in good repair, by the time you get around to performing the repair, it is often much more expensive. Road repair and repaving in Delran was neglected many years ago and it took us years to get halfway to our goal of an acceptable level of repair. If we abandon that plan now, we begin the process of getting behind again.
When it snows during the winter, one thing I’ve heard often is that Delran does the best job of plowing and clearing the roads of any of the River Towns. And you can see that clearly when you drive across those borders. Plowing and street clearing is made much easier and done much more safely with roads that are not chopped up and in disrepair. That is a huge public safety issue. Additionally, well maintained roads are important to ensure that residents’ personal vehicles are not damaged due to driving over potholes and other issues. It SAVES you money on your own vehicle to drive on better maintained roads in our town!
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we are living in unpredictable times. Without knowing that this would be our “rainy day,” the Township Council has been watching every penny while keeping taxes stable for 12 years. The surplus that we have accumulated is your protection should unexpected issues arise like COVID-19.
The balance between spending, investing, and saving is delicate and difficult. But, through hard work and hard decisions, ultimately you as a resident benefit when your Township finds and maintains that balance. The benefits of this are both visible right now, and an investment into the future. Gary and the rest of the Council have spent the last twelve years working to improve that balance and work in your best interest. Because of that surplus, the Pandemic did not prevent us from continuing the necessary maintenance and upgrades needed to keep everyone safe without needing to raise taxes.