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Contact: John Nalbone
Office of Communications & Public Information
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Mayor Dave Fried Touts Unprecedented Third Straight Municipal Tax Cut, Mercer Mobile Home Park Acquisition and New Project Freedom as Robbinsville Township Raises $120,000 for C.A.R.E. Program
In conjunction with Recovery Advocates of America and the MidJersey Chamber of Commerce, the Township raised over $120,000 through sponsorships and individual donations to help "Pay it Forward" to the Community Addiction Recovery Effort, better known as the C.A.R.E. program.
C.A.R.E. is an ongoing effort offering treatment options for recent arrestees struggling with opiate/opioid addiction. The program has been standard operating procedure used by the Robbinsville Township Police Department since January, 2016. Conditions include no current detainers (i.e. arrest warrants) in their name. C.A.R.E. allows officers to offer a pathway to recovery by providing resources, access to treatment, and guidance from trained addiction professionals, including Recovery Advocates.
“Robbinsville Township and the C.A.R.E. program are committed to providing every possible resource during the short window of opportunity when the arrested addict is at his/her most receptive moment,” Mayor Fried said. “This is a nation-wide epidemic and Robbinsville is not immune. But we are determined to do our part by providing a pathway for recovery. We can’t save everyone, but we certainly can't arrest our way out of this problem either.”
"C.A.R.E. Warrior" sponsors of $25,000 included: TMI Trading Company, the Offices of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri, along with Capital Health. Berkshire Bank was a $10,000 "C.A.R.E. Guardian" sponsor. The first C.A.R.E. Warrior awards were presented to Prosecutor Onofri and Assistant State District Attorney Sharon Joyce, accepting on behalf of AG Grewal.
With this year's generous donations, Robbinsville State of the Township/Pay it Forward events have raised over $250,000 since 2015.
Contained inside the heart of his State of the Township address, Mayor Fried highlighted a third straight municipal tax cut and five consecutive years of either flat, or reduced taxes. The Mayor, who has preserved over 1,000 acres of open space since being elected, also referenced the success in acquiring the 220 acre Washington Woods/Edinburg Village property across from Robbinsville High, a purchase that included a $2 million grant from Mercer County and Executive Brian M. Hughes.
“We are currently looking how to best fix the damage that was done to the property and we will hopefully replant some of the trees that were so recklessly destroyed,” Mayor Fried said.
Robbinsville also is adding two new School Resource Officers so each of the town’s three schools will have an SRO.
The Mayor used humor to clap back at Hamilton Township Chief Financial Officer John Barrett, who recently accused “a nearby town” – widely acknowledged to be Robbinsville Township – of using “gimmicks” to cut taxes year after year at a recent Hamilton Township Council meeting. Barrett admitted during his presentation that he never reviewed Robbinsville’s budget.
"(Barrett) must have a superpower that allows him to opine on another town’s budget without even reviewing it," Fried said.
Additionally, Mayor Fried revealed the Township will acquire the 140 units that comprise the Mercer Mobile Home Park and add it to the town’s already ample affordable housing inventory. Robbinsville’s Affordable Housing Plan recently was deemed conditionally compliant by the NJ Superior Court, thus taking a giant leap toward fulfilling its affordable housing obligations over the next 10 years. Plans also are underway to build a new police station and court with neighboring Hightstown, along with expanding recreation with a new indoor basketball facility at Pond Road Middle School.
Berkshire Bank Senior Vice President and MidJersey Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jeannine Cimino served as Master of Ceremonies for the fourth consecutive year.
In a somber moment midway through the address, the Mayor choked back tears in acknowledging the recent deaths of both Debbie Dauer - last year’s Pay it Forward recipient - and Township Recreation Director Joe Barker.
Donations and sponsorships to the C.A.R.E. program will be used for partial scholarships, travel and lodging expenses en route to recovery and other essentials items necessary for treatment and recovery. Treatment options and essentials are based on eligibility and availability. Admission to the C.A.R.E. program does not absolve the arrestee from his/her legal obligations, including fines and/or possible imprisonment.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and in need of an immediate intervention, call Recovery Advocates of America at 888-360-7788.