Solar panels are one step closer to becoming a reality at the Gloucester Environmental Management Services, or GEMS, landfill in the township's Erial section.
Gloucester Township Council on Monday unanimously approved on first reading an ordinance adopting the redevelopment plan, which calls for "renewable energy development on the GEMS landfill site."
The ordinance will likely be on the agenda for second and final reading at Council's Sept. 24 meeting, at which point the township can begin moving toward awarding a lease or selling the land to a private developer.
A public hearing will be held before Council considers the ordinance on final reading.
"I would like to thank you for your support for the GEMS redevelopment plan," Mayor David Mayer told Council minutes after the unanimous roll call vote Monday night. "As you know, we are going through that process so that we can look at alternative energy uses on that property, in particular solar. That is something we will add to our overall energy master plan."
Mayer noted the township has already installed solar panels on the municipal building, and is working with the Black Horse Pike Regional and Gloucester Township school districts to bring solar panels to school and other municipal properties.
The Township Planning Board in August advanced the redevelopment plan, which was crafted by Haddonfield firm Remington & Vernick, to Council.
The bipartisan Planning Board had in April recommended the property be declared as one in need of redevelopment. Council agreed with the recommendation, and declared itself the redevelopment entity in May.