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Bellmawr is a borough in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 11,583, reflecting an increase of 321 (+2.9%) from the 11,262 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 1,341 (-10.6%) from the 12,603 counted in the 1990 Census.
Bellmawr was incorporated as a borough on March 23, 1926, from portions of the now-defunct Centre Township, based on the results of a referendum held on April 21, 1926. The boroughs of Mount Ephraim, Runnemede and Lawnside were also created in the same two-day period. The borough was named for Ernest C. Bell.
Bellmawr is home to the main post office for the area, one of the largest in the state of New Jersey, handling an average of 4.5 million pieces of mail daily. In late October 2001, the office was closed due to possible anthrax contamination in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks. The office was re-opened several days later, in early November, after testing negative for anthrax.
Bellmawr joins Cranbury, Egg Harbor Township, Montclair and Woodbridge Township as one of the five municipalities (of 565 in the state) that have authorized dispensaries for the sale of medical marijuana.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Bellmawr borough had a total area of 3.110 square miles (8.057 km2), including 2.979 square miles (7.717 km2) of land and 0.131 square miles (0.340 km2) of water (4.22%).
The borough borders Barrington, Brooklawn, Gloucester City, Haddon Heights, Mount Ephraim, and Runnemede. Bellmawr also borders Deptford Township and Westville, both in Gloucester County.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,583 people, 4,670 households, and 3,068 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,887.7 per square mile (1,501.0/km2). There were 4,883 housing units at an average density of 1,638.9 per square mile (632.8/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 86.44% (10,012) White, 2.46% (285) Black or African American, 0.15% (17) Native American, 5.86% (679) Asian, 0.06% (7) Pacific Islander, 3.38% (392) from other races, and 1.65% (191) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.68% (890) of the population.
There were 4,670 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.5% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 93.8 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $56,182 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,809) and the median family income was $66,947 (+/- $3,353). Males had a median income of $47,251 (+/- $3,082) versus $39,932 (+/- $4,677) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,961 (+/- $1,460). About 7.3% of families and 9.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 11,262 people, 4,446 households, and 3,134 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,715.5 people per square mile (1,435.1/km2). There were 4,561 housing units at an average density of 1,504.7 per square mile (581.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 92.79% White, 1.18% African American, 0.06% Native American, 3.05% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.54% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.50% of the population.
There were 4,446 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the borough the population was spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $44,653, and the median income for a family was $53,839. Males had a median income of $38,646 versus $27,050 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,863. About 2.6% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
Bellmawr is governed under the borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a mayor and a borough council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Bellmawr, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2016, the Mayor of the Borough of Bellmawr is Democrat Frank R. Filipek, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. The members of the Bellmawr Borough Council are Ray Bider (D, 2016; appointed to serve an unexpired term), James F. D'Angelo (D, 2017), Steve B. Hagerty (D, 2018), Paul C. Sandrock Jr. (D, 2017), Steve M. Sauter (D, 2018), David A. Spector (D, 2016; appointed to serve an unexpired term).
In January 2016, Ray Bider was appointed to fill the seat expiring in December 2016 that became vacant following the resignation the previous month of Joshua Tregear, who was appointed to serve as Borough Administrator.
In October 2015, David Spector was appointed to fill the seat expiring on December 2016 that had been held by David M. Duncan until his death the previous month.
In November 2012, the council selected Joshua Tregear, from among a list of three candidates recommended by the Camden County Democratic Committee, to fill the vacant seat of Regina Piontkowski, who had resigned two months earlier after serving nearly 20 years in office.
Bellmawr is located in the 1st Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 5th state legislative district.
New Jersey's First Congressional District is represented by Donald Norcross (D, Camden). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 5th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D, Barrington) and in the General Assembly by Arthur Barclay (D, Camden) and Patricia Egan Jones (D, Barrington). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Camden County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members chosen at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2015, Camden County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. (Collingswood, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2017; term as director ends 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Edward T. McDonnell (Pennsauken Township, term as freeholder ends 2016; term as deputy director ends 2015), Michelle Gentek (Gloucester Township, 2015), Ian K. Leonard (Camden, 2015), Jeffrey L. Nash (Cherry Hill, 2015), Carmen Rodriguez (Merchantville, 2016) and Jonathan L. Young, Sr. (Berlin Township, November 2015; serving the unexpired term of Scot McCray ending in 2017)
Camden County's constitutional officers, all elected directly by voters, are County clerk Joseph Ripa, Sheriff Charles H. Billingham, and Surrogate Patricia Egan Jones. The Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey with the advice and consent of the New Jersey Senate (the upper house of the New Jersey Legislature).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,368 registered voters in Bellmawr, of which 3,416 (46.4% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 839 (11.4% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 3,110 (42.2% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 63.6% (vs. 57.1% in Camden County) were registered to vote, including 79.9% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 3,064 votes (61.5% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 1,788 votes (35.9% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 63 votes (1.3% vs. 0.9%), among the 4,983 ballots cast by the borough's 7,875 registered voters, for a turnout of 63.3% (vs. 70.4% in Camden County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 3,124 votes (59.2% vs. 66.2% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 1,985 votes (37.6% vs. 30.7%) and other candidates with 62 votes (1.2% vs. 1.1%), among the 5,275 ballots cast by the borough's 7,654 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.9% (vs. 71.4% in Camden County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 3,277 votes (60.8% vs. 61.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 2,034 votes (37.7% vs. 36.4%) and other candidates with 36 votes (0.7% vs. 0.8%), among the 5,389 ballots cast by the borough's 7,307 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.8% (vs. 71.3% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 63.0% of the vote (1,678 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 35.3% (939 votes), and other candidates with 1.7% (45 votes), among the 2,759 ballots cast by the borough's 7,921 registered voters (97 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 34.8%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 1,422 ballots cast (46.4% vs. 53.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 1,348 votes (44.0% vs. 38.5%), Independent Chris Daggett with 170 votes (5.5% vs. 4.5%) and other candidates with 57 votes (1.9% vs. 1.1%), among the 3,066 ballots cast by the borough's 7,349 registered voters, yielding a 41.7% turnout (vs. 40.8% in the county).
The Bellmawr School District serves public school students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its three schools had an enrollment of 1,618 students and 84.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 19.3:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Bellmawr Park Elementary School (grades PreK–4; 399 students), Ethel M. Burke Elementary School (PreK–4; 310) and Bell Oaks Upper Elementary School (5–8; 450).
For ninth through twelfth grades, public-school students attend Triton Regional High School in neighboring Runnemede, one of three high schools that are part of the Black Horse Pike Regional School District. The other communities in the district are Gloucester Township and Runnemede. As of the 2014-15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,230 students and 90.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.7:1. The two other schools in the district are Highland Regional High School and Timber Creek Regional High School, which serve students from Gloucester Township, based on their address. As of the 2015-16 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,168 students and 90.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.9:1.
Students from Bellmawr, and from all of Camden County, are eligible to attend the Camden County Technical Schools, a countywide public school district that serves the vocational and technical education needs of students at the high school and post-secondary level at Gloucester Township Technical High School in the Sciklerville section of Gloucester Township or Pennsauken Technical High School in Pennsauken Township. Students are accepted based on district admission standards and costs of attendance and transportation are covered by the home district of each student.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Regional School in Barrington was formed in September 2008 through a merger of Bellmawr's Annunciation Regional School and Barrington's St. Francis de Sales Regional School. With an enrollment of about 150 students, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden announced in June 2009 that the newly combined school would be closed.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 45.98 miles (74.00 km) of roadways, of which 34.87 miles (56.12 km) were maintained by the municipality, 5.62 miles (9.04 km) by Camden County, 4.57 miles (7.35 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 0.92 miles (1.48 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
Major roads that pass through Bellmawr include Route 168, and a very small portion of U.S. Route 130. In terms of major highways, Bellmawr hosts the interchange with the "North-South Freeway" (Route 42 / Interstate 76) and Interstate 295. The New Jersey Turnpike passes through the southern part, hosting part of interchange 3. Both the interchange and the toll gate (which features six lanes at the gate) runs along the border with Runnemede.
The major county road that passes through is CR 551 in the western part.
NJ Transit bus service is available in the borough on the 400 route between Sicklerville and Philadelphia.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bellmawr include:
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