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COLLINGSWOOD – Native officers have taken a primary step towards potential relocation of the police station and firehouse from the downtown space.

The borough has agreed to purchase a property at 434 Haddon Avenue that would turn out to be the brand new house of the police and hearth departments, Commissioner Rob Lewandowski stated Tuesday.

The venture is meant to offer improved circumstances for the 2 borough departments, whereas creating room for brand spanking new downtown improvement, the commissioner stated.

Officers additionally hope to maneuver the public works division from the downtown space to a website on southbound Route one hundred thirty. An environmental evaluation is underway on the former location of M&E Marine, owned by the borough since 2002

However Lewandowski famous of each tasks: “It’s early, early, early.”

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He said the borough agreed to buy the Haddon Avenue site for $445,000 because “properties like this are beyond scarce” in Collingswood.

“Purchasing it gives us options, but now we have to see if they are workable options for police and fire,” the commissioner said.

Lewandowski, who described the current police and fire facilities as “functionally obsolete,” said 434 Haddon Avenue is “one of the largest lots in a central location on the main avenue in town.”

A house on the property would be razed to make way for the borough departments.

Lewandowski noted the property has access from the rear via Wallace Avenue, which would allow firetrucks to enter the station without having to close Haddon Avenue.

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Collingswood officials are considering plans to reduce the borough’s presence in the downtown area. (Photo: Jim Walsh/Staff photographer)

Heavy traffic is sometimes a challenge at the existing fire station on Collings Avenue near Haddon Avenue.

The commissioner also said the fire department’s current home, near one of the borough’s busiest intersections, “has potential for another, more suitable use.”

Similarly, moving the police station and public works department could spur development on a stretch of North Atlantic Avenue near the PATCO Hi-Speedline station.

“It may include public facilities, but also private ones — mixed use, offices and, of course, parking,” Lewandowski said.

“Having DPW facilities behind a thriving downtown, taking up so much space with garages and heavy machinery that are in operation maybe 50-60 hours a week, really underutilizes the space,” the commissioner added.

Plans for the sites “will require a much larger dialogue (with) public officals, professional planners, residents, businesses, anyone who has an interest,” the commissioner said.

He said considerations include “not just what public buildings we can build but also what private development we can attract and what kind of tax revenues that will bring in.

“This is very preliminary,” Lewandowski said, “and the numbers will matter tremendously.”

Jim Walsh; (856) 486-2646; jwalsh@gannettnj.com

 

 

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