Deputy Mayor Roger Silva hands a proclamation to John Groen for his 40 years of service as Mayor Art Schenker looks on.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — For many years, local officials and residents have attempted to convince Verizon representatives to beautify the site of its building on Main Street in Mays Landing. According to Hamilton Township Mayor Art Schenker, a prolonged series of phone calls to company officials by Township Engineer Steven Filippone has spurred them into action.

Schenker made the announcement at the Monday, May 6 meeting of the governing body.

“We’ve always been fair to them,” he said. “It was time for them to be fair to us. The work started today and should be completed by the end of the week.”

Verizon plans to install trees, plants and shrubs designed to shield the building from the street. There will also be some additional brickwork to match the existing brick bands on the sidewalk as well as a concrete seating pad. Benches and trash/recycle receptacles are also planned.

Schenker credited Filippone for convincing company officials to make the improvements.

Also at the meeting, Township Administrator Michael Jacobs reported that due to disease three maple trees will need to be cut down in Memorial Park.

“A core sample of an oak tree is also being done to see if that needs to be cut down as well,” Jacobs said.

“We should plant new trees now,” Committeeman John Kurtz said. “We are going to lose a lot of shade.”

“I recommend dogwood trees,” Committeewoman Judy Link said. “They look beautiful.”

The governing body also honored Public Works employee John Groen for having achieved 40 years of employment with the township.

“John was first employed by the township in 1978 through the CETA Program, a federal program that offered public service job training opportunities to high school students,” Schenker said. “In April 1979 he was hired as a full-time laborer and a year later promoted to truck driver. He was again promoted in July 1988 to equipment operator.”

“For the past 40 years John has been a hard-working and valuable employee to the township.”

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