Barclay School 2009-2010 Registration

If you are intersted in the early childhood program, the Barclay Early Childhood Center is now accepting applications for Pre-School Children for the 2009-2010 school year. Children must be ages 3 or 4 before October 1, 2009.  The application period ends March 2, 2009. Applications are available at the Barclay School or on the website at . Barclay will host an open house (for adults only) on February 18 at 10 am.  Please note that the tuition for this 2-1/2 hour, five day/week program is currently set at $95 per month ($950/year). Questions? Please contact Barclay at (856) 429-7283, ext. 4010.

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Cherry Hill Tax Bill

From Mayor Platt’s Office

The Township issued estimated tax bills for the first quarter of 2009.  have already gone into great detail about why the state has forced us and 32 other fiscal budget municipalities to issue these bills, but I would like to offer an elementary breakdown of the average Cherry Hill tax bill since it was not contained in the estimated bills.

When you look at the average assessed Cherry Hill home the overall bill is broken down by four different taxing entities:

cherry hill taxes

At the end of the day, residents have seen an increase in their first quarter bill over their fourth quarter bill, due to a $96 increase from the School District a $65 increase from Camden County and a $1.50 increase from the Fire District.
As a quick aside, while Camden County did increase this quarter, it should be known that throughout the fiscal year they did drop their overall equalized tax rate in Cherry Hill.

Once again I would like to point out that the municipal portion of the average bill that pays for police, public works, code enforcement and the public library dropped since the last fiscal quarter by about $20. Additionally, the Township makes up a total of 13 percent of the total tax bill.

On that note I would like to take a moment to reiterate that my administration has proactively been working to weather the national economic meltdown by making painful cuts including layoffs, department consolidations, position eliminations, salary freezes for municipal employees and a 10 percent reduction in pay for me, the majority of Town Council and our business administrator.

This process has been very hard, but it is only a harbinger for the future because I will continue to push for more savings and I will be approaching our six unions and vendors to work with us to cut costs. This is a historic time and we all need pitch in for the betterment of Cherry Hill.

Furthermore, we have aggressively looked for new savings and innovative ways to raise revenue, including the implementation of RecycleBank, securing funding for renewable energy sources and installing an in-house employee self-prescription program.

Additionally, I have made monumental advances in municipal employees carrying some of the heavy burden of healthcare like our residents working in the private sector. This includes higher co-pays and premium sharing. Like I have stated in the past, while we wait for DCA to decide if we will be a recipient of extraordinary aid, any funding Cherry Hill receives from Trenton will go directly toward tax relief for our community.

Now, moving forward, all first quarter tax bills, already in mail boxes, will be due on Feb. 1 with a grace period until Feb. 17. Questions related to the estimated tax bill can be directed to the tax collector at (856) 488-7880.

For more than a year I have been having a very public discussion about what my administration has been doing in light of a perfect storm caused by a severe global recession – which has seriously cut into the Township’s revenue – a significant drop in state aid, and rising state-mandated costs. These discussions and your pragmatic suggestions have been used to combat expenses and streamline the way government works. In fact, I had a battery of public meetings last year where I asked for ideas about cost cutting measures in these extraordinary times and I would like to continue to extend that hand, by continuing the conversation. Please contact me by calling (856) 488-7878 or email me at

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Covered Bridge Has 50 Year Celebration

The covered bridge which crosses the north branch of the Cooper River will be 50 years old on Saturday, Valentines Day, February 14, 2009.  The bridge was designed by the famed local architect Malcolm Wells.  The bridge was dedicated 50 years ago when 101 couples kissed to commemorate the tradition of the friendship or "kissing bridge".

This Saturday at 11:30 am the Township will hold festivities with refreshments provided by Starbucks Coffee and Manhatten Bagel.

Following there ceremony, those attending will be given a coupon to receive 10% off at the following establishments in the Barclay Farm Shopping Center:
Manhattan Bagel
Mirabella Cafe
Cherry Hill Pizza
Norma’s Mediterranean Cuisine

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AARP Volunteers to Give Tax Assistance

AARP Tax-Aide Volunteers will be providing tax assistance for moderte and low income senior citizens at the Town Hall this winter.

Electronic filing and direct deposit will also be available to help speed up the process.   Complex returns involving business, rental income, multiple capital gain, etc will no be prepared at the Town Hall.

The AARP will help prepare:

  • Federal Income Tax Returns
  • State Income Tax Returns
  • Homestead Rebate Forms
  • Property Tax Reimbursement Forms (PTR)

 This sevice will be provided on Tuesdays and Fridays 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (except April 10th) in room 208 at the Town Hal, 820 Mercer Street.

Please bring 

  • A copy of your 2007 returns
  • all relevant tax statements, receipts, and forms
  • Social Security Card or SSA-1099 form
  • PTR form (if mailed to you)

No appointment is necessary, you will be served on a first come, first-served basis.

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Cherry Hill Recycling

Cherry Hill, NJ, stands out among communities that are “greening” themselves, and can be a model for others looking to do the same.

In 2006, Mayor Bernie Platt began looking at recycling as a way to save money for Cherry Hill. The cost of disposing of trash at landfills and incinerators was rising steeply, and township officials estimated that by using RecycleBank , a program that gives residents financial rewards, based on the amount they recycle, Cherry Hill could save $2 million in disposal fees over five years.

“A pilot program was launched in the Knollwood area in fall 2007, and while we had high hopes for the concept’s inception, I was astonished at the pilot’s success,” says Dan Keashen, a close Platt aide. “Recycling rates almost doubled in that area during the six-month test run, and soon other neighborhoods were clamoring to get involved.”

After RecycleBank went township-wide in 2008, the average Cherry Hill household went from recycling 11 pounds of material per week to about 22 pounds of material. Meanwhile, Cherry Hill’s solid waste output has been tremendously reduced. Keashen estimates the township has diverted more than 2,700 tons of trash from the landfill since 2007.

“These numbers are groundbreaking from a sustainability point of view and a fiscal point of view,” Keashen says. “Since we have been educating our public and pushing our community to think twice before they throw things out, we have been able to average approximately $40,000 a month in recycled commodity revenue.”

Keashen says he believes the community’s attitude has changed since they implemented the new recycling program. “Our goal was to stimulate thought and make people think about what they are putting in the trash,” Keashen says. “I think it’s clear that our residents are putting more thought into these critical pieces of everyday living.”

Finally, in a separate initiative true to the spirit of America Recycles Day, all desk-side trash cans in Cherry Hill’s Municipal Building have been replaced with recycling containers. According to Keashen, employees must make the effort to walk to a centralized trash collection point, making it less convenient to throw things away and more convenient to recycle.

Article from the U.S. Envrinmental Protection Agency

Cherry Hill kicks the (trash) can

Cherry Hill kicks the (trash) can for recycling. CHERRY HILL — The trash cans are no longer near desks in the Municipal Building. By next year they could disappear from the desks at town schools.

Recyclebank Households Save Goverment Dollars

Not only do RecycleBank households save money while helping the environment, but cities like Cherry Hill, NJ, have turned to conservation efforts as a way to relieve pressure on tightening city budgets.

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