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EHC Council to explore court regionalization

EGG HARBOR CITY — During the City Council meeting Thursday, Feb. 14, Councilman Joseph Ricci stated that he would like the council to explore the possibility of regionalizing the city’s municipal court due to a three-year operating loss of $196,000.

Mayor Lisa Jiampetti said she also favored the concept, as she did when it was brought up a few years ago.

“At that time Hamilton Township offered to take over our court,” she said. “Most of the court cases do not involve city residents, except mainly for code enforcement issues. In those cases the residents would be somewhat inconvenienced by having to travel to Mays Landing.”

City Solicitor James Carroll said that the city’s municipal court does not include a drug court, which Hamilton Township’s court does have. “This would help our residents charged with drug-related offenses to get help.”

Council President Robert Ross expressed interest, but said that many questions need to be answered. “I have a concern about overtime costs for our police officers who will have to travel to the court in Hamilton Township,” he said. “We need a detailed plan and not make a decision off our hip.”

Also at the meeting, Council Ordinance Committee Chairperson Donna Heist responded to the concerns expressed by representatives from Atlantic Prevention Resources at the previous meeting. They had urged the council to create and pass an ordinance to regulate the sale of vaping products in the city.

“We have decided not to move forward with that at this time,” Heist said. “We would like to institute an education program instead. “No matter what we charge it won’t stop parents from purchasing these products for their children. However, if this doesn’t work, we may need to become more heavy-handed.”

Heist also suggested that a public hearing on an ordinance on revisions to the traffic pattern in the vicinity of the Charles Spragg School scheduled for the evening be postponed. Council members unanimously agreed to do so.

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