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Pennsauken Township is a township in Camden County, in the US state of New Jersey, and a suburb of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 35,885, reflecting an increase of 148 (+0.4%) from the 35,737 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 999 (+2.9%) from the 34,738 counted in the 1990 Census.
Pennsauken Township was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 18, 1892, from portions of the now-defunct Stockton Township.
The exact origin of the name Pennsauken is unclear, but it probably derives from the language of the Lenni Lenape people (a Native American group which once occupied the area) from "Pindasenauken", the Lenape language term for "tobacco pouch". Alternatively, the "Penn" in the township's name refers to William Penn, while "sauk" is a water inlet or outlet.
Pennsauken was home to America's first drive-in movie theater, created in 1933 with the opening of the Camden Drive-In in Pennsauken. It featured the comedy Wives Beware, released in the theaters as Two White Arms.
For 50 years, the township was the home to the Pennsauken Mart, a large multi-vendor indoor market, which was closed in January 2006 to make way for a sports arena/conference complex,however that did not materialize. In its place in 2018 a new high-end luxury apartment complex will be built-Haddon Point. Most of the vendors moved to the Grand Market Place in Willingboro Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 12.082 square miles (31.291 km2), including 10.435 square miles (27.027 km2) of land and 1.647 square miles (4.264 km2) of water (13.63%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Amon Heights, Bethel, Biedemon, Delair, Delair Station, Delaware Gardens, Dudley, East Pennsauken, Fish House, Hillcrest, Homesteadville, Jordantown, Merchantville Park, Morris, Morrisville, North Pennsville and Wellwood.
The township includes Petty's Island, a 392-acre (1.59 km2) island in the Delaware River although most of the island actually sits across a narrow strait from neighboring Camden. Once an oil storage and distribution facility, the island is now the site of a container cargo shipping operation and nesting bald eagles. Petty's Island is currently in the process of being turned over to the State of New Jersey by Citgo to be transformed to a new state park and nature center .
Pennsauken borders Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The two municipalities are connected across the Delaware River by the Betsy Ross Bridge which is owned and operated by the Delaware River Port Authority. In New Jersey, Pennsauken borders Camden, Cherry Hill, Collingswood and Merchantville in Camden County, and Cinnaminson Township, Maple Shade Township and Palmyra in Burlington County.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 35,885 people, 12,633 households, and 8,995 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,438.9 per square mile (1,327.8/km2). There were 13,275 housing units at an average density of 1,272.2 per square mile (491.2/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 47.60% (17,081) White, 26.87% (9,644) Black or African American, 0.59% (210) Native American, 7.72% (2,770) Asian, 0.04% (15) Pacific Islander, 13.59% (4,877) from other races, and 3.59% (1,288) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.91% (9,657) of the population.
There were 12,633 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.36.
In the township, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.8 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $57,241 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,957) and the median family income was $65,910 (+/- $3,272). Males had a median income of $47,651 (+/- $3,101) versus $39,229 (+/- $2,035) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,048 (+/- $1,438). About 6.4% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.4% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 35,737 people, 12,389 households, and 9,093 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,392.4 people per square mile (1,310.4/km2). There were 12,945 housing units at an average density of 1,228.8 per square mile (474.7/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 60.10% White, 24.18% African American, 0.35% Native American, 4.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.27% from other races, and 2.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.34% of the population.
There were 12,389 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 16.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.34.
In the township the age distribution of the population shows 27.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $47,538, and the median income for a family was $52,760. Males had a median income of $37,652 versus $30,100 for females. The per capita income for the township was $19,004. About 6.1% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
Pennsauken is home to a large industrial park that includes a Pepsi bottling plant and J & J Snack Foods.
Pennsauken Township is governed under the Township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor.
As of 2016, members of the Pennsauken Township Committee are Mayor John Kneib (D, term of office on committee ends December 31, 2018; term as mayor ends 2016), Deputy Mayor Ricardo V. "Rick" Taylor (D, term on committee and as deputy mayor ends 2016), John Figueroa (D, 2018), Jack Killion (D, 2017) and Elizabeth "Betsy" McBride (D, 2017).
Pennsauken Township is located in the 1st Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 6th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Pennsauken Township had been in the 7th 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 6th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James Beach (D, Voorhees Township) and in the General Assembly by Louis Greenwald (D, Voorhees Township) and Pamela Rosen Lampitt (D, Cherry Hill). 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 22,704 registered voters in Pennsauken Township, of which 9,989 (44.0%) were registered as Democrats, 2,263 (10.0%) were registered as Republicans and 10,443 (46.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 9 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 78.4% of the vote (12,200 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 20.8% (3,233 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (135 votes), among the 15,722 ballots cast by the township's 24,313 registered voters (154 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 74.0% of the vote (12,195 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 23.2% (3,824 votes), with 16,485 ballots cast among the township's 21,669 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.1%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 63.7% of the vote (9,384 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 32.1% (4,720 votes), with 14,726 ballots cast among the township's 20,846 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 70.6.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 51.4% of the vote (414 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 44.3% (357 votes), and other candidates with 4.2% (34 votes), among the 915 ballots cast by the borough's 2,793 registered voters (110 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 32.8%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 64.% of the vote (5,594 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 28.8% (2,517 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.2% (364 votes), with 8,745 ballots cast among the township's 22,497 registered voters, yielding a 38.9% turnout.
The Pennsauken Public Schools serve public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011–12 school year, the district's 11 schools had an enrollment of 5,402 students and 401.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.45:1. Schools in the district (with 2011–12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Baldwin Early Childhood Learning Center for PreK (103 students), seven elementary schools — Burling Elementary School (K-4; 125), Carson Elementary School (PreK-4; 355), Delair Elementary School (K-4; 418), George B. Fine Elementary School (PreK-4; 316), Benjamin Franklin Elementary School (K-4; 437), Longfellow Elementary School (K-4; 258), Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School (K-4; 179) — Pennsauken Intermediate School (5&6; 819), Howard M. Phifer Middle School (7&8; 819) and Pennsauken High School (9-12; 1,573). Students from Merchantville attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Merchantville School District. The Merchantville district has sought to end the relationship with the Pennsauken school and send its students to Haddon Heights High School.
Also available in the township is the Pennsauken Technical High School, which offers day and evening technical and vocational education to students from across the county.
Bishop Eustace Preparatory School is a coeducational, private high school for students in grades 9-12, founded in 1954 by the priests and brothers of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (the Pallottines). St. Cecilia School is a K-8 elementary school that operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.
As of May 2010, the township had a total of 144.85 miles (233.11 km) of roadways, of which 105.82 miles (170.30 km) were maintained by the municipality, 26.76 miles (43.07 km) by Camden County, 10.27 miles (16.53 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 2.00 miles (3.22 km) by the Delaware River Port Authority.
Major roads through the township include Route 130, the largest highway through the township, which intersects with Route 73 in the northern part of the township, near the Cinnaminson Township border. Route 90 is a short highway leading to the Betsy Ross Bridge, which connects the township with Philadelphia. Owned and operated by the Delaware River Port Authority, the bridge stretches 8,500 feet (2,600 m) between abutments and opened to traffic on April 30, 1976. New Jersey Route 38 and Route 70 merge westbound in the eastern part of the township near the Cherry Hill border and U.S. Route 30 at the border with Camden. US 130 and 30 and NJ 38 and 70 converge at the Airport Circle in the southern section of Pennsauken Township.
CR 537 passes through in the south while CR 543 travels through in the north.
The township hosts three NJ Transit rail stops. The Pennsauken-Route 73 and 36th Street stations on the River Line offer service between Trenton and Camden. The Pennsauken Transit Center on River Road features a transfer between the River Line and the Atlantic City Line, which provides rail service between Atlantic City and Philadelphia. The station was constructed at a cost of $40 million and opened for commuters in October 2013.
NJ Transit bus service between the township and Philadelphia is available on the 317, 404, 406, and 409 routes, with local service available on the 452 route.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Pennsauken Township include:
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