Eagleswood Gets Earful About Dock Road Gas Line Work

Local Emergency Plan, $100G Map Upgrade Also Topics
Jan 29, 2019

Dave Fox is livid.

The Dock Road resident attended Monday night’s Eagleswood Township Committee meeting to give officials a piece of his mind about construction work at the public boat ramp near his home. The project is to install a New Jersey Natural Gas pipeline across the bay to Long Beach Island.

Fox pulled no punches, railing about “lying politicians” and lamenting, “The whole street is a big slop hole.” One neighbor is experiencing headaches from the constant vibration, he said.

“It’s 7 (a.m.) to 7 (p.m.), day in and day out,” Fox said, screaming, “Beep! Beep! Beep!” for added effect. In general, “it’s not pleasant down there right now.”

Despite having been told the public recreation area would remain open and usable during the work period, temporary closures have been put into effect.

“What are you going to do, throw your fishing line over the barge to get to the bay?” Fox asked.

Earlier this month the town authorized an easement, right of way and temporary workspace to New Jersey Natural Gas for the purpose of connecting a 2.72-mile secondary natural gas pipeline under Little Egg Harbor, by way of directional boring or horizontal directional drilling, to supply Long Beach Island in the event of another weather event on the scale of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The new 12-inch epoxy-coated steel pipe will serve as a redundant main to the existing 12-inch main on Route 72. The new line will run from the end of Dock Road in West Creek to West 99th Street (Alabama Avenue) in Beach Haven Park. In exchange for the .02-acre subsurface easement, Eagleswood Township receives $70,000 to purchase open space.

How and where that money will be spent has not yet been determined, according to Committeeman Nick Sommaripa.

Fox told the committee he hopes the town will at least repair the road, in recompense, when the work is finished, given that residents who are feeling the pain and suffering “are getting nothing out of this project.”

Mayor Michael Pasternak told Fox, “We’re going to try everything we can to get that road taken care of.”

Also during the public comment portion of the meeting, Emergency Management Coordinator Karl Brobst reported to the committee on the town’s emergency operations plan. All the annexes are being rewritten, he said, which is a lengthy process. Some recommendations in the plan call for an AmbuBus and upgrades to the municipal building, which is currently “woefully inadequate” to serve as an emergency operations center, he said. In related news, the $12,000 the town recently spent on a generator is one step in the right direction, and “a long time coming,” according to Committeewoman Debra Rivas.

Brobst also recommended volunteers throughout the town take incident command system training – free, independent-study courses for college credit that are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Incident Management System, to stay current on emergency preparedness and response. The committee supported all of Brobst’s recommendations.

Brobst also informed the committee of a new 911 system in place that makes Ocean County one of the first in the region to adopt technology that allows emergency responders to access a victim’s smartphone: remotely turn on location services, enable real-time chat and operate the camera to obtain video footage. Users opt in to allow access. Brobst said he could foresee some privacy issues coming to light.

The technology is a plug-in called c-Lite by Carbyne. It works in conjunction with existing platforms or so-called legacy call-handling software programs. The company promises “no integration, no app, no risk.”

“The Carbyne platform delivers rich, accurate, insightful data from any connected device to Public Safety Answering Points, providing call-takers with precise location to within 20 feet, live video streaming, text, chat capabilities and much more,” the company boasts. “Carbyne helps PSAPs slash time to dispatch, reduce operational costs and ultimately, save lives.”

C-Lite went live in Ocean County in the fall, with no massive overhaul needed in the 911-dispatch center, according to the county.

Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy said the technology would help keep citizens safer.

“Being able to find 911 callers sooner, and being able – if necessary – to track them while they are moving, and being able to observe – if necessary – their actual activity through their smartphone camera in real time, has the potential to be game-changing.”

In other news, Eagleswood will undergo a nearly $100,000 tax map digitization process this year. The move will bring records up to date and benefit the town and the public by improving accuracy of acreage, dimensions and all other pertinent information about the land (sales, permits, zoning changes); and helping to ease decision-making, streamline procedures and protect the records from loss. Mayor Pasternak said he would send a letter to the previous tax map maintenance vendor to discontinue the service after the existing contract expires.

At the behest of residents of Staffordville, town officials will look into getting the Department of Transportation to move an errant sign recently placed on Route 9, directly across from Callaway’s restaurant, telling northbound motorists they are “Now Entering Stafford,” which isn’t true. Staffordville is a section that lies within Eagleswood Township; the Stafford Township boundary is farther north.

—Victoria Ford

victoria@thesandpaper.net

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