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GLOUCESTER COUNTY STORE OPENS IN THE DEPTFORD MALL Anchored by the County Clerk's Office, over 20 additional County Services will be available each month at the Store


(Deptford, NJ) - The Gloucester County Board of Freeholders and County Clerk joined today to cut the ribbon of the new County Store in the Deptford Mall. The Store, operational in only 10 weeks after it was announced, will provide governmental services in a high profile destination with evening and weekend hours.

"A County Store is one of the services I have wanted to be able to provide our residents since I became a freeholder," said Director Sweeney. "This store puts governmental services and information right in the middle of where people shop, eat and relax - the mall. It makes more sense to bring government to its citizens rather than making them come to us, and Gloucester County is here," said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney.

Sweeney said that the store will be anchored by County Clerk Jim Hogan's office. The Clerk's office in Woodbury is visited by more than 25,000 members of the public each year for people seeking passports, identification cards, land recordings, business trade names, public notaries, veteran's documents and vending licenses, and election services.

Freeholder Dr. Wallace, who serves as liaison to the County's Human Services Department, coordinated this project to help increase the awareness of county services.

"In addition to the services the Clerk provides, the county's departments, Sheriff and Surrogate will have an active role in providing services and information to our residents."

Wallace said, "You can get health screenings, learn how to start a small business, get a living will, a permit from our Public Works department, you name it, you can get it at the County store in the mall."

Wallace said, "Since 2001 the county has held an annual, day long event where we bring all of our departments out to the mall and showcase our services. The event was a huge success, but it wasn't enough. We learned that we need to be were our residents are in order for them to get what they need, not the other way around."

Director Sweeney said, "If you work during week, which many of our families do, it can be a daunting task to have to get services from the government - youd have to take off at least a half day to get what you needed in many instances. On top of that the County's buildings are spread out with the Courthouse in Woodbury, our Five Point Building and Health Department in Washington Township, and Public Works, Planning and the Animal Shelter in Clayton. Now with the store here in the Deptford mall, residents will be able to go to one central location and get what they need when they need it," Sweeney stated.

Clerk Hogan, whose office is anchoring the store, said, "We are very excited. Our staff is working with county staff and we are cross training so that we can help people answer questions that may not have to do with the Clerks' Office. This is a true group effort."

The County Clerk's Office is one of the few locations that residents can apply for a passport without having to go to Philadelphia. "We do a huge passport and identification business and now we will accept credit cards here and in our Woodbury Office too," Clerk Hogan said, "It will make the process even more efficient."

"We have public access computers so folks will be to access the county departments and we will be able to do everything we do at our offices in Woodbury in Deptford. We also have a children's area so that parents can conduct their business while their kids have a place to hang out," said Hogan.

Hogan's office funded all of the technology and equipment that is in the Store through the Clerk's Improvement Fund. The rent for the store will be will be offset by the revenue collected by the Clerk's Office for passports. The hours for the new store are: 10 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday.