HAMMONTON – Town Council approved a contract to purchase an airport hangar, which would house the state police and Virtua helicopters at Hammonton Municipal Airport.
Council approved the contract during a special meeting on June 8 at Town Hall.
Council still has to bring the project to the public and approve two readings, which are expected to happen over the next two months. If approved, the town would purchase the hangar for approximately $1.2 million, according to Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato.
If completed, the town would make more than $1,100 of positive cash flow each month.
“Financially it is good for the town, but more importantly it’s good to have the state police and have the helicopter — God forbid if somebody needs it — and this emergency service during a crucial period of time,” DiDonato said. “It is nice to have helicopter if needed — quickly and expeditiously.”
“It’s a much needed deal. We need to get this complete, finished once and for all,” Hammonton Councilman Steve Furgione said. “We have been at it for over a year now. The next step is to try to see how we are going to finance it all. But it is important. To have a helicopter locally is invaluable for the residents.”
Council also approved authorization for the mayor to sign a letter of support for repurposing the former William B. Kessler Memorial Hospital property. The property owners wants to build an acute care facility, which would house patients going through physical therapy.
The business is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the area.
“As the Business and Industry liaison for the town, it’s fantastic,” Furgione said. “I also think it will stem other businesses in the future.”
“It would be taxable and the amount of jobs would be tremendous impact for the town,” DiDonato said.
Town Council also:
• Approved the hiring a full-time police officer. Brandon Campbell will begin his job on June 23.
• Announced a Bond Claim Settlement for Traditions at Blueberry Ridge, which has been have problems with a basin for years. With the settlement, planned improvements to the basin can move forward.
• Approved the hiring of a part-time mechanic for the Highway Department.
The next scheduled Town Council meeting is 7 p.m. on June 22 at Town Hall.