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Mount Ephraim is a borough in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 4,676, reflecting an increase of 181 (+4.0%) from the 4,495 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 22 (-0.5%) from the 4,517 counted in the 1990 Census.
Mount Ephraim was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 23, 1926, from portions of the now-defunct Centre Township. The boroughs of Bellmawr, Runnemede and Lawnside were simultaneously created during the same two-day period. The borough was named for Ephraim Albertson, who owned a tavern in the area in the early 1800s.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.900 square miles (2.332 km2), including 0.881 square miles (2.282 km2) of land and 0.019 square miles (0.050 km2) of water (2.16%).
Mount Ephraim borders Audubon, Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Gloucester City, Haddon Heights and Haddon Township.
On September 4, 2012, at 6:31 p.m., a tornado touched down in Mount Ephraim, causing damage to trees and homes in the immediate vicinity. It was categorized as F-0 by the National Weather Service, with winds topping out at 70 mph, making it the first tornado recorded in the state in more than a year.
Much of the remainder of the town consists of people who have moved from other places, often low-income communities, trailer parks, and inner-city areas. There is now a large Turkish Community in the town, with several dozen residents of Turkish and Turkish-American descent. Mount Ephraim has the third-largest Turkish population in New Jersey after Paterson, New Jersey, and Delran. The Turkish population is steadily growing, as are the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Filipino, Chinese, Mexican and other immigrant communities. There are also a number of Italian immigrants, most notably the proprietor of Pete’s Pizza, a pizzeria in town.
The town has a small Jewish population, which has been the target of frequent discrimination and antisemitism is widespread in the village. There are have been a number of antisemitic hate crime incidents in the town. However, the Jewish population continues to grow.
A very large portion of the town is elderly, and there are a number of activists and services available for the town’s many elderly residents.
Many people in the town have never left the town, and were born and raised in the town, and subsequently raise their own children in the town. As a result, there are few well-traveled people in the town.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,676 people, 1,909 households, and 1,193 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,307.9 per square mile (2,049.4/km2). There were 2,010 housing units at an average density of 2,281.6 per square mile (880.9/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 93.56% (4,375) White, 2.14% (100) Black or African American, 0.09% (4) Native American, 0.68% (32) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 2.27% (106) from other races, and 1.26% (59) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.33% (249) of the population.
There were 1,909 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 20.6% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 29.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 92.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $61,331 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,103) and the median family income was $73,955 (+/- $4,630). Males had a median income of $51,049 (+/- $3,914) versus $41,087 (+/- $3,242) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $29,885 (+/- $5,190). About 5.6% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.9% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 4,495 people, and 1,174 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,100.1 people per square mile (1,972.2/km2). There were 1,881 housing units at an average density of 2,134.2 per square mile (825.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.51% White, 0.40% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.98% of the population.
There were 1,818 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $44,824, and the median income for a family was $59,468. Males had a median income of $41,455 versus $30,359 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $21,150. About 2.0% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.
Mount Ephraim was featured in an Urban Dictionary article which provided an accurate portrayal of life in the village.
Mount Ephraim is a city, no, a town, no, a village filled with a variety of personalities whose main occupations involve drinking beer, talking trash, and drinking more beer while complaining that the Eagles need to get their act together. It is roughly a square mile in area, and is home to the biggest CVS in the world. Yippee. Also located there is the Spread Eagle Inn, a lovely little bar where a majority of the population (and by majority I mean roughly 100 people) likes to hang out, get plastered, and gossip about your friends and family.
Another quite desirable little pub in Mount Ephraim is the Democrat club where even Republicans are invited (quite a purposeful name, huh?)! This fine establishment consists of about 15 stools, a small arcade machine on the counter, around 2 pool tables, a back door, and even a board on the front of the building that displays information no one cares about! (not even the patrons) Oh, I'm sorry, they display "Go Eagles!" 24/7 but that's about it. There is even a (sometimes broken) pay phone out front so that you can call someone for a ride home when you aren't fit to drive yourself! Talk about accommodation. Just make sure you're getting trashed at the pub when the phone is working.
There are about 5 churches, one of which you'll commonly find 2 or 3 people sitting on the steps waiting for the bus every day.
Mount Ephraim's close proximity to Camden attracts many suspicious-looking hood rats who like to roam the streets one by one looking for someone to sell drugs to or bum a cigarette off of.
The police force in Mount E. is quite a wonder. The cops who work in the area love to arrest teenagers for "smoking underage" despite the fact that there is no such thing. They also enjoy pulling teenagers over an hour before curfew and telling them to head home now. Which brings me to the topic of curfews. Curfews in Mount Ephraim were recently moved up to 11:00 PM, except during the week up to and including mischief night. The curfew then is 8:00 PM which doesn't make any sense because the trouble caused is traditionally ON mischief night. Cops in the area during that time will pull you over for so much as having a suspicious bulge in your pants which turns out to be your crotch. "Sorry, thought you were hiding an egg." Really noteworthy police force in my opinion. Just make sure you don't run near their cars, they're likely to chase you.
Mount Ephraim's population includes a variety of strange characters. These include, and are for the most part severely limited to, babbling drunks who talk trash on the people whose homes they walk by with their paper bags full of beer in one hand while making rude gestures at phantoms with the other, people who really should be instituted in a mental hospital but instead are left roaming the streets staring at passersby and rooting through garbage cans for nothing, a few choice amiable families, 8-10 year olds running around in mobs cursing like the aforementioned babbling drunks, and the rest are just unnoticeable people who don't make any effort to associate themselves with the public of this town, err, village (who can blame them?).
All in all, Mount Ephraim is a pretty swell place. Half the houses are trashy, half are respectable, it's a pretty average village. In terms of houses, that is. If you enjoy being bored to tears and having to walk for a half hour just to reach a post office then this is the place for you. Mount Ephraim Cop: "Hey, where are you going at this time of night? Don't you know it's past curfew?" Teenager: "I'm on my way to Dunkin Donuts to get a few donuts and a cup of coffee." Mount Ephraim Cop: "Hey me too! Hop in, I'll give you a ride." Teenager: "Sweet! Glazed is my favorite." Mount Ephraim Cop: "Mine too! I'll give ya a ride home. But first, I'm gonna have to pat you down for eggs. God I love my job."
Mount Ephraim has been governed under the Walsh Act by a three-member commission, since 1935. Three commissioners are elected at-large in nonpartisan elections held as part of the May municipal election to serve concurrent terms of office. Each commissioner is assigned a department to oversee as part of their elected service.
As of May 2015, Mount Ephraim's commissioners are Mayor Joseph Wolk (Commissioner of Revenue and Finance), Andrew Gilmore (Commissioner of Public Affairs and Public Safety) and Michael "Traz" Tovinsky (Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property), all of whom are serving concurrent terms of office that end May 15, 2019.
Mount Ephraim 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 3,110 registered voters in Mount Ephraim, of which 1,402 (45.1%) were registered as Democrats, 403 (13.0%) were registered as Republicans and 1,305 (42.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 60.7% of the vote (1,278 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 37.7% (793 votes), and other candidates with 1.7% (35 votes), among the 2,131 ballots cast by the borough's 3,320 registered voters (25 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.2%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 58.6% of the vote (1,334 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 37.6% (855 votes), with 2,275 ballots cast among the borough's 3,086 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 58.8% of the vote (1,309 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 39.9% (888 votes), with 2,228 ballots cast among the borough's 2,982 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 74.7.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 62.9% of the vote (753 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 35.9% (430 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (15 votes), among the 1,222 ballots cast by the borough's 3,353 registered voters (24 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 36.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 47.3% of the vote (621 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 42.7% (560 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 6.2% (81 votes), with 1,312 ballots cast among the borough's 3,127 registered voters, yielding a 42.0% turnout.
In January of 2018, New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney put forward a proposal which would lower real estate taxes in the state and cut state expenses by merging many of the states 568 towns. Mount Ephraim is the second-smallest town in New Jersey after Audubon Park, so it is very likely that the town will be merged with neighbouring towns to cut costs, share expenses, reduce bureaucracy, share resources, and reduce the burden in the taxpayers and the state itself. Mount Ephraim was formerly part of Centre Township, which including all of the neighboring towns, and it is possible that the name may be used again in the future if the merger proposal goes forward.
The Mount Ephraim Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its two schools had an enrollment of 631 students and 34.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 18.2:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Mary Bray Elementary School (244 students in grades PreK-4) and Raymond W. Kershaw Middle School (181 students; grades 5-8).
For ninth through twelfth grades, public school students attend Audubon High School, in Audubon, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Audubon School District. As of the 2014-15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 879 students and 74.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.8:1.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 16.67 miles (26.83 km) of roadways, of which 13.25 miles (21.32 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.35 miles (3.78 km) by Camden County and 1.07 miles (1.72 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Interstate 76 (providing access to Philadelphia and to Interstate 295) and U.S. Route 130 are both accessible across borough lines in Gloucester City.
Mount Ephraim is served by two NJ Transit bus lines. Service between the borough and Philadelphia is available on the 400 route, with local service on the 457 route between the Moorestown Mall and Camden.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Mount Ephraim include:
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