Department of Transportation Nixes Pump Station in Ship Bottom, Plans to Construct New Drainage SystemBeach Haven Working With County to Improve Flooding in Town
Beach Haven Council passed a resolution against the installation and operation of a pump station near Eighth and Ninth streets in Ship Bottom during its regular town meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14.
The station was originally planned as part of the state Department of Transportation’s Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project to provide relief from flooding in that area, which is traveled by all motorists coming and going from Long Beach Island. But DOT officials have instead decided on the implementation of other flood relief tactics.
After reviewing the proposed improvements in Ship Bottom, DOT officials have decided to create a new drainage system composed of underground gravity flow pipes that will be installed along Eighth and Ninth streets from Long Beach Boulevard to the bay.
“This new system directs runoff to two new, separate outfall locations on the north and south sides of the East Thorofare Bridge,” explained Kevin Israel, DOT spokesperson. “This alternative provides operational redundancy, such that one clogged outfall will not cause flooding problems at both locations. This allows the NJDOT to eliminate the pump station and still provide similar drainage improvements on Long Beach Island. The proposed system will cost less to build and maintain.”
Ship Bottom Council passed a resolution in December supporting this new plan and has asked the Island’s other municipalities to do the same. During the council’s regular town meeting Feb. 8, members were not aware of the details of the DOT’s new plans and thus decided against passing a resolution at the time.
Beach Haven Council will meet with Ocean County officials this week regarding the town’s pump stations on Seventh and 10th streets and relevant flooding.
“We had major flooding in town on Jan. 24. And just to let people know, we are trying to address it,” stated Councilman Don Kakstis, who noted that the borough has been identified by Expedia as one of the East Coast’s most scenic travel spots.
In other Beach Haven meeting news, council authorized a partnership with the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce for a Downtown Driven Pilot Program to help enhance the borough’s declining business community.
“It’s in motion, and we’re looking at a lot of opportunities for the town, short-term as well as long-term,” Kakstis stated.
He also noted that new state legislation is being proposed to establish a Main Street Economic Growth Program to encourage business development in small, highly developed municipalities.
Mayor Nancy Taggart-Davis also announced that there may be theater operations at Surflight Theatre this summer.
“There’s a lot going on, and we’ll know more shortly,” she stated. “That would be exciting.”
Council awarded a $24,530 contract to Johnson Baran to repair and repave borough utility trenches.
Council members also approved an expenditure not to exceed $30,160.28 for the purchase of an F250 pick-up truck for the Department of Public Works and another expenditure not to exceed $61,008.53 for the purchase of a skid steer loader to maintain the beach’s hard-pack crossovers that were put in during replenishment.
An expenditure not to exceed $45,008.00 for the purchase of an Intercepter utility vehicle for the police department was also approved.
Ordinance amendments to provide veterans with free boat ramp access as well as free tennis play were passed on first reading along with an ordinance amendment to establish fees for “additional services requested or needed by special events permit holders.”
Council also adopted an ordinance amendment limiting the number of motorized peddlers of refreshments from five to three. The new measure also increased the minimum bid for each motorized license from $2,500 to $5,100 and now includes a minimum $2,500 acceptable bid for a pedacycle license.
— Kelley Anne Essinger