Mayor Anthony Fanucci—in his State of the City address via Zoom to members of the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce—discussed the impact of the pandemic on the city budget stating, “It has been challenging, but so far manageable…. While we did see a decrease in revenue during 2020 from areas like court fees, user fees, and permits, property tax revenue to date has remained fairly stable.”
“To offset expenses directly related to managing the pandemic, we applied for and recently received approximately $1.5 million in additional emergency funding available to Vineland from the 2020 cares package,” Fanucci said. “Further, as we contemplate the 2021 budget, we will do so in a fiscally responsible manner that minimizes tax revenue increases while maintaining current city services and adequate reserve funding.”
The Mayor reported that growth in the retail and industrial sectors remains vigorous for both new companies moving to the city, and existing companies expanding.
“In fact, there is currently over 1.5 million square feet of new commercial and industrial construction underway or approved to begin,” Fanucci continued. “This includes new manufacturing operations like Comar and Rovognotti, and expansions at established companies like Northeast Precast, Davy Cold Storge, Freshwave, Del Rey Farms, Safeway, and Garton’s Rigging. Consumers can soon enjoy a new Starbucks at Landis and Orchard, a new Dunkin at Lincoln and Dante, and a new Burger King near Delsea and College Drive. There is also a new Wawa, Family Dollar, and ShopRite on the way, among many other projects.”
Short-term goals for the year include:
• New road projects including the entire length of Palermo Avenue and Burns Avenue from the Boulevard to Main road. Resurfacing projects are scheduled for portions of 20 residential streets including 2nd, 6th, and 7th streets; and preservation projects for portions of 24 residential streets all totaling nearly ten and one half miles. Many of these also include sidewalk and drainage improvements.
• Extension of water lines on North East Avenue to Forest Grove Road, along with water main and service lateral replacement in parallel with road projects.
• Finalize approval from the NJ Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration to publicly bid the Garden and Mill signal project.
• Launch of a new electric and water outage management system to improve Municipal Utility customer service.
• Complete the design for a new Fire Headquarters.
• Seek grant funding to construct a new inclusive special needs park modeled after the nationally recognized Jake’s Place in Cherry Hill.
• Install Fishing Line Recycling Stations at local fishing spots.
• Apply to participate in the NJDEP’s Illegal Dumping Collaboration and Deterrence Initiative.