Tuckerton Escapes Hurricane’s Wrath After Suffering Damage From Nor’easter
Tuckerton escaped damage during the Hurricane Matthew rain event, but homeowners in Tuckerton Beach sustained some damage during the previous four-day nor’easter (Sept. 22-25). Some boats and a few floating docks shook lose from their moorings and ended up in the streets. Some cars were inundated by rising tides and a couple of boats sank, reported Tuckerton Councilman John Schwartz at the Borough Council meeting Oct. 3.
But the real bane of the roads in Tuckerton Beach was the sawn-off “butt” ends of pilings that some people use as decorative yard fences – until they began floating away.
“Those were all over the place, plus stuff that people did not put away or take to higher ground,” Schwartz told the audience at the meeting. “The tides rose between 6 inches and 3 feet on some roads, every single tide,” he reported. “And salt water is corrosive. I don’t know how many trucks and SUVs I saw powering through the flooded streets; they are going to know it the next time they get their tires changed.”
Schwartz said the nor’easter was good practice for the Tuckerton Emergency Management team.
In connection with that, Mayor Susan Marshall appointed Marilyn Kent as Office of Emergency Management coordinator. Kent was second in command when the late Harold Spedding was in charge and was trained by him, noted Marshall. Spedding, who passed away this summer, left big shoes to fill, she said.
Resident Joseph Kaufman asked when it was the public’s responsibility to collect eelgrass and debris from roads. Councilman Sam Colangelo said residents should call the public works department and workers would come out and clear the road. Colangelo said the borough also is proactive, calling contractors before storms hit so they can clean up their construction sites and secure portable toilets.
Because there was no Nixle warning for the recent storm, some transient people did not secure their garbage cans, allowing a number of them to land in lagoons or Tuckerton Creek, added Borough Clerk/Administrator Jenny Gleghorn.
In other news, Schwartz said the borough is taking corrective action after losing telephone communications “for days on end.” The municipality is changing from Comcast back to Verizon. The Verizon plan is a “V over IP” plan so the borough will never lose service.
Councilman Keith Vreeland introduced an ordinance that better defines when a property owner is responsible for water and sewer repairs and when the borough is.
The council adopted an ordinance on second reading that will raise the minimum fee for a fire inspection to $75 – more in line with other inspection fees.
Vreeland said he would like to discuss whether the town needs to change its recreational vehicle ordinance when the council has the next workshop meeting. “We may find it’s not an issue after all,” he said.
Colangelo put forward a resolution to allow New Jersey Natural Gas to cut into the newly paved Marlin Road so a homeowner can connect utilities. “The house was a RREM (disaster aid) house and completed after the road was paved,” he explained.
“We have a number of these in Tuckerton Beach,” added Schwartz. “After the patch has settled, we will have them come in with an infrared machine that binds the patch to the road.”
The council has a five-year moratorium on road openings after they have been paved but is making exceptions in cases such as the one on Marlin Road.
Councilwoman Doris Mathisen gave the construction report for September: There were 77 permits issued and 129 inspections made for a total of $19,510 in revenue. Code enforcement made 32 on-site inspections. “If you are ever in the borough complex early in the morning, you will see everyone is very busy. Nothing is slowing down,” she said.
The council approved an amendment to a parking lot lease with the First United Methodist Church of Tuckerton, allowing the church to increase the time period it may use the municipal parking lot next to the church, to be from midnight to 1 p.m. on Sundays.
Councilman Mike Santo said the Pride and Celebration Halloween Walk will be held this year at All Wars Memorial ball field on Bay Avenue from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 29. The council also approved fireworks for New Year’s Eve, a collaboration between the 4th of July Celebration Committee and the Tuckerton Seaport.
Councilman Ron Peterson read the police report for September: There were 70 incidents, with 38 requiring a report, three of which were domestic violence related. There were 20 arrests, seven motor vehicle accidents, 160 motor vehicle stops and 112 summonses issued. There were 27 first aid calls, three fire calls and 12 alarm calls.
The September revenue from municipal court was $8,726 for Tuckerton, $3,575 for Ocean County and $3,947 for New Jersey. Marshall said the total amount for this year so far is $69,580 from fines and adjudicated matters.
The borough received a $2,500 New Jersey Drunk Driving Enforcement grant.
Marshall also announced that the Tuckerton Police Department had won a WOBM radio contest for the best-looking police vehicles in Ocean County. “Thank you, police department, for all that you do,” she said.
Marshall presented members of the Southern Ocean Chapter of Zonta International with a proclamation declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She noted that the organization, of which she is a member, was started in 1919 as a women’s “Rotary” because women were denied membership in that club. Amelia Earhart was one of the founding members.
Marshall said the nonprofit consists of professional women dedicated to the empowerment of all women and advocating on their behalf.
Zonta helps domestic violence victims by supporting Providence House in Ocean County, a shelter for battered women and their children.
— Pat Johnson