Merchantville was among top NJ towns recognized at the Annual Sustainable Jersey Awards on Thursday, March 11th. Sustainable Jersey announced the recipients of the 2020 municipal annual awards, which celebrate sustainability excellence, innovation and leadership at a live stream the event on its Facebook page. Merchantville Borough completed required actions to earn 155 points, reaching their goal of Bronze certification and was recognized for its innovation and creativity initiative: Incredible Edible Merchantville. Motivated by climate change and a TED Talk on "How We Can Eat Our Landscapes," two residents realized that securing future sustainability in Merchantville would require inventive community efforts. In July 2018, their proposal for Incredible Edible Merchantville was approved by the Borough Council under the municipal green team with the goals of promoting sustainable living, food justice and environmental education to encourage healthy communities. Since then, participants have been working to create food forests in public and private spaces to grow local food and support the local food economy. Though their work has just begun, IE Merchantville has already developed a vibrant outreach program with more than 30 registered gardens and donating over 200 pounds of fresh produce this summer to supplement local food pantry demands brought on by the pandemic. During this pandemic, municipalities that received Sustainable Jersey’s highest recognition awards set a new bar and aspirational example for other communities to meet as they pursue sustainability goals.
The American Community Survey (ACS) from the U.S. Census Bureau helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. As of May 3, 2020, Merchantville's 2020 Census self-response rate is currently 61.1%, Camden County's is 59.9% and NJ's response rate is 58.3%. Completing your Census questionnaire online is easy and takes about 10 minutes. It's safe, secure, and confidential. Your information and privacy are protected. Merchantville wants to get to 100%. "Be Counted - Because YOU Count!" Go to https://my2020census.gov and complete your 2020 Census today.
The Department of Health makes daily announcements about new novel coronavirus cases and deaths in Camden County. Between March 27th - April 24th Merchantville identified sixteen (16) Covid-19 positive cases fortunately, none resulting in death. The breakdown by age of female residents is: 1 in her 30s; 2 in their 40s; 4 in their 50s; and, 2 in their 60s. The breakdown by age of male residents is: 2 in their 40s; 4 in their 50s; and, 1 in his 80s. Given our close proximity to several towns challenged by much higher numbers and greater risk of infection, residents are continuing to do a great job of containing the spread of coronavirus in our community. According to Camden County updates and the State of NJ Covid-19 Dashboard, the city of Camden has identified 622 cases and 39 deaths, Cherry Hill - 385 cases and 10 deaths and, Pennsauken - 246 cases and 2 deaths. Congratulations Merchantville on continuing to do a great job of staying at home to stop the spread and flatten the curve!
The restoration phase of the Merchantville Diner - now known as the “Merchant House” is approaching completion. According to owner Patti Sharp, former owner of Station House Restaurant in Haddon Heights, it will be a full service restaurant offering home cooked comfort meals to the community at a reasonable price. They will be open for breakfast and lunch daily and hope to expand their hours to include dinner. To start, they will offer “Take and Bake”, their homemade ready to serve dinners available for take out. Their soups and chicken pot pie are traditional favorites! Patti looks forward to the community sharing their insights and menu ideas. Stay tuned for updates as they become available. The Heights' loss is surely Merchantville's gain and we can't wait!
Borough Council held its annual Reorganization meeting on Monday, January 6, 2020. Council-Elect Raymond H. Woods, lll, re-elected Councilman Anthony Perno and 2020 Council president, Sean Fitzgerald, were sworn in by Freeholder Louis Cappelli and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt. The meeting opened with remarks by Mayor Edward 'Ted' Brennan and the announcement Council Assignments and Standing Committees for 2020. Mayor Brennan also announced the 2020 Annual Appointments of Borough Board and Commission members and the appointment of Borough Solicitor, Borough Accountant, Borough Engineer, Municipal Planner, Bond Council, Payroll, Title, Environmental Engineer and Special Counsel. The Schedule of 2020 Borough Holidays was read into the record. All agenda and meeting minutes are available on the Municipal website.