Little Egg Harbor Firemen Honored for Tunnel to Tower Commemorative Event

Oct 31, 2018
Photo by: Pat Johnson The award ceremony for Tunnel to Tower Run participants included (from left) Committeeman David Schlick, firemen Chris Pietsch and Michael Silvers from Mystic Island Volunteer Fire Co., Deputy Mayor Barbara Jo Crea, Committeewoman Lisa Stevens, fireman Matt Gillmore from Parkertown Volunteer Fire Co. and Mayor Ray Gormley.

Three Little Egg Harbor volunteer firefighters who took part in the 2018 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K run on Sept. 30 were honored at the township committee meeting last week.

Michael Silvers and Chris Pietsch from Mystic Island Station 72 and Matt Gillmore from Parkertown Station 70 ran the 5K in their turnout gear to commemorate the final steps of NYC fireman Stephen Siller, who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to lower Manhattan and the World Trade Towers on Sept. 11, 2001 to try and save lives and lost his own in the attempt.

The run raises money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that helps injured firefighters and their families.

During the Oct. 25 meeting, Mayor Ray Gormley gave the men a proclamation honoring their effort. “On behalf of the township we thank each and everyone of you and the EMS for what you do serving the residents of our town. You never say no when that bell rings and we truly appreciate you.”

In other business, a resolution to prepare bid specifications for a demolition company was approved. This measure will allow the township to demolish and remove debris from privately owned properties in the township. When questioned, Gormley said the township had set aside funds to allow it to start the process and the properties would then have a tax lien placed on them for the cost of the demolition and debris removal, payable when the property was sold. This allows for the township to clean up unsightly buildings. Each job will be bid separately and the code enforcement office has a list of about 20 abandoned properties that are the worse offenders. “This is to improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods (affected by blight),” said Gormley.

The township also adopted a resolution making the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce a “partner” in improving the commercial base in Little Egg Harbor.

Gormley said chamber officials had met with the township’s newly formed Commercial Revitalization Committee and accepted an offer from Little Egg to be a partner in bringing business to Little Egg Harbor and to help businesses that are already in the township.

Ed Andrew, a member of the CRC, said this was an “excellent opportunity” for the township. “They have great services that are free and are very experienced,” said Andrew.

Committeeman David Schlick voted nay on the resolution as he and others have recently founded a separate Little Egg Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

Township engineer Jason Worth commented on the various ongoing improvements in the township. Drainage and bulkhead improvements are still going on for Twin Lakes Boulevard and the pace in the dredging of Osborn Island lagoons has picked up. “Today they moved 20 loads (of dredged mud),” said Worth.

Mystic Island resident William Martin asked about Twin Lakes drainage as he said there are four areas of the road that see flooding during high tide events such as nor’easters and spring tides.

Worth said all the new outflow pipes to the lagoons will be equipped with tide valves that should help and some sections of the road would be raised. He offered to meet with Martin to discuss the areas he felt needed raising.  —P.J.

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