Tuckerton Awards Construction Bid to Complete New Town Hall

Feb 08, 2017
File Photo by: Pat Johnson The Tuckerton Municipal Complex at 420 East Main St. will be getting a facelift, and the court/meeting room will be finished.

The Tuckerton Municipal Complex at 420 East Main St., which was purchased and renovated in 2014, has been functioning well these past three years consolidating the offices of the clerk, tax collector, construction department and the police station, but the last bit of reconstruction, the courtroom and public meeting room, has been on hold, waiting for the release of Stronger New Jersey Community Development funding.

On Monday, Feb. 6, as the mayor and council met again in the old borough hall (140 East Main St.) for the regular meeting, they announced they had awarded a contract to Kavi Construction of Berlin for $1,165,251. An additional bid for $61,063 will pay for an emergency generator through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Not only will the courtroom/meeting room get finished as per state mandates for security, an addition will bring it flush to the building. Funds will also cover a sprucing up of the building facing Route 9 to make it more attractive and to pave the parking lot.

Mayor Sue Marshall said it was a long time coming, and Deputy Mayor Sam Colangelo said the company appears to be a good one as it has done work for Rowan University. The town received eight bids for the work.

The borough also approved an application to the New Jersey Department of Transportation for repaving sections of Curlew Road.

The council voted to purchase a 2012 police vehicle from state surplus for $6,900, which includes the police package of lights and safety grills. It also voted to buy a wheel-balancing machine for $10,498 to use on the entire fleet of borough trucks.

Councilman Ron Peterson said the borough has employees capable to do the mechanical work, and this has saved the borough a substantial amount of money.

Public works employee John Grogan was promoted to public works/water utility supervisor/foreman for a salary of $21 an hour. Borough Administrator Jenny Gleghorn was reappointed borough clerk.

The borough settled a lawsuit, Puzio v. Tuckerton Borough, for $50,000. The individual was a former member of the Tuckerton Volunteer Fire Co. and alleged he was unlawfully dismissed, explained Christopher Dasti, a borough attorney. The town’s Joint Insurance Fund will pay $30,000 and the borough will pay $20,000, the insurance deductible.

The Tuckerton Fire Co. was also named in the lawsuit, but it is not settling, said fire company President Amanda Unkefer. “We are going to proceed with it as a frivolous lawsuit.”

Fire Chief Dale Eggert read the fire company’s January report: It was dispatched to nine fires and 20 emergency medical calls, and completed four training drills. The company currently has 26 active members and one on active military duty.

Peterson read the court report for 2016: There were 332 criminal cases disposed of, 22 DWI cases, and 1,738 traffic cases, equaling $96,549 in fines for the borough, $52,694 for the state and $37,194 for the county.

In January, the police department answered 354 dispatched calls; made 25 arrests, seven of which were for controlled substances and made 323 motor vehicle stops, which resulted in 164 summonses. There were nine motor vehicle accidents, 30 assaults, eight domestic violence calls and 29 calls for suspicious persons.

“That was a busy month,” said Marshall.

Councilman Mike Santo read the construction report for January: 40 construction permits were applied for, and the borough did 42 inspections and took in $11,896 in revenue.

Councilman John Schwartz, speaking by iPhone from Florida, said the waterways committee was still involved with the marsh and shoreline restoration grant; he also said it was not a dredging project, although some dredging will be done in order to use the material for bolstering shorelines. “The start date is in June; best scenario would be May, and the project must be completed by Dec. 31 or the funds ($2.1 million) will go away.”

He said Little Egg Harbor is the lead agency for the project because it has some permits that need to be renewed.

Marshall read a resolution from Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari urging the governor to appoint an Ocean County representative to the N.J.Turnpike Authority. She also read a proclamation urging revision to the Criminal Justice Reform Act.

Marshall said the new reform act is proving costly to municipalities because they have to send a public defender to the court for every case now that bail reform is in place. She suggested it costs $500 each court session.

“And judges have to work seven days a week,” she added. “It constitutes an unfunded state mandate.”

The council approved both the resolution and the proclamation.

The Pride and Celebration Committee is seeking vendors for a Fishing Flea Market to be held outdoors at the All Wars Memorial ball field on Bay Avenue on Saturday, May 6. Interested vendors should call 201-978-8997 or 609 296-4090. Vendor space, 10  feet by 10 feet, costs $25.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net 

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