New Jersey Department of Community Affairs officials have given-the go ahead for a study of consolidating the tiny town of Merchantville with Cherry Hill.
Dan Keashen is a spokesman for Cherry Hill Mayor Bernie Platt.
“What this study will do is, in the mayor’s belief, prove that by eliminating and merging and consolidating towns and neighborhoods, you’ll find the savings,” said Dan Keashen, a spokesman for Cherry Hill Mayor Bernie Platt.
“And that won’t just be savings for the Cherry Hill Township taxpayer, it will also be for the Merchantville taxpayer as well.”
Keashen said there are too many towns in New Jersey, adding that this merger could be a way reducing redundancies in local government services. Merchantville resident Robert Stocker, a member of the group that pushed for the merger study, said volunteers do their best to keep the tiny town running, but he’s concerned about sustainability. “My neighbors and I came together 18 months ago because we were concerned about sustainability,” said Stocker. “Merchantville is a beautiful town, but it’s only roughly half a square mile and we have our own everything–government, police department, superintendent, etc. All of our elected officials are volunteers … the person who fixes the streets sweeper is pro bono.” Stocker said he is also hoping consolidation will mean property tax relief.