Holly Lake Returns After Homeowners Ask for Community Support

Jun 28, 2017

A small lake owned by two homeowners associations in Little Egg Harbor Township has been restored to its former sparkling self after repairs were made to the wooden dam. A year ago, the spillway was undermined and the lake water drained away into a lagoon.

It took a year of trying to get help from various sources such as the township, which owns that portion of the road; Ocean County, which owns the rest of the road; and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The township did provide the services of the township engineer, Jason Worth of T&M Associates, who met with the DEP and county officials, but it was determined it was the responsibility of the Holly Lake Condominium Association to raise the funds.

“After five years of uncertainty about the future of Holly Lake, the new spillway is finished and the lake has been restored,” said Bari Page, president of the Holly Lake Condominium Association, which represents 53 condos on Great Bay Boulevard.

“Whether you gave us a monetary donation, moral support or advice, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Special thanks to our engineer, Dan Fischer, and our contractor, Rich Giberson, for bringing Holly Lake back to life,” said Page.

The 10-acre freshwater lake’s spillway was possibly damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 with subsequent damage by winter Storm Jonas in 2016. The spillway runs under Great Bay Boulevard in the portion that is owned by Little Egg Harbor and empties into the lagoon community of Holly Lake.

When the ground around the spillway eroded severely in the spring of 2016, the DEP mandated the homeowners association drain the lake and hire a company to remove the fish.

The condominium owners spent $9,000 to hire a company to remove the small and large mouth bass, pickerel and sunfish left in the lake and relocate them to Lake Pohatcong in Tuckerton. They also spent over $50,000 on engineering fees. Page had estimated the spillway repair to cost $108,000.

Last year Page put out a request for help from the larger community, saying the condominium association did not have the financial resources to complete the repair, there were no Sandy funds or other government grants available and many condo owners could not afford a $2,000 assessment they might have to pay if they couldn’t raise the money. Direct mail letters were sent to businesses and area residents and the association also set up a GoFundMe​ page.

— Pat Johnson



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