Hopewell Township Committee Talks Mail Investigation, Tax Bill Refunds, Woosamonsa Repairs, Comcast Services

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The Hopewell Township Committee discussed an investigation into the Pennington Post Office, repairs on Woosamonsa Road, and a continuance of Comcast services in the area at the first meeting of the month.

The Committee announced that a federal investigation into the Pennington Post Office is being pursued by State Senator Shirley K. Turner, following the loss of tax bills to residents in the area, including Committee Member Julie Blake.

“All I had to do was walk down my street to find people frustrated by this experience,” Blake said.

According to Administrator and CFO Elaine Borges, the investigation comes following numerous complaints to the post office, with the only answer being a single voicemail left by customer service with no return number or way to contact them. Additionally, Mayor Kevin Kuchinski noted issues with the post office that extend beyond the tax bills.

“I know this is an issue that just didn’t rear its head with tax bills,” Kuchinski said. “I continue to encourage folks as they have issues with the post office to bring that forward.”

To remedy the situation, the Committee unanimously passed a resolution refunding all interest on the third quarter tax bills to residents who did not receive them. This refund will be issued via a credit on the upcoming fourth quarter tax bills.

The Committee furthermore discussed the continued repairs on Woosamonsa Road, which has remained closed for most of the year, according to Committee Member John Hart.

“Something’s got to be done before the road completely goes,” Hart said. “It’s got to be fixed right now.”

Hart emphasized the urgency of the project, stating that the Township was “fully capable and ready to do the work themselves” and that waiting would make the road “worse and worse and cost more and more money.” However, the Township is still in negotiations with the property from which the road’s issues have come from.

“The property owner is pursuing those repairs,” said Mark Kataryniak, the Community Development Director and a member of the Hopewell Township Planning Board. “We’re not in full control of the schedule yet.”

In case of emergency, the Committee introduced an ordinance reappropriating $100,000 in unused funds in the event that the homeowner is unable to resolve the issue, with a second reading and public hearing scheduled for October 9th.

The Committee lastly adopted an ordinance extending Comcast cable services in the area for another ten years.

“Since 2015, there has been a real drive from the top at Comcast to make their services better,” Blake said. “They refocused their energies and we’ve seen incredible changes and improvements.”

Township resident John Edwards, who previously criticized Comcast services in the area, agreed with the extension of services, but urged Comcast to further improve services.

“I don’t have a problem with that approval, but I’m concerned about the ongoing process,” Edwards said. “In a public hearing like this, Comcast should have been present.”

Edwards additionally noted that a filter has been placed on his services, which he said he wasn’t able to “get a decent answer on.”

The Committee stated that residents who direct their complaints to the Board of Public Utilities as well as Comcast for further issues with their services.

The Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for October 1.


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