Little Egg Harbor Township Accepts Margaret DePergola’s Retirement

Many Matters Addressed at Township Committee Meeting
Aug 24, 2016
Photo by: Pat Johnson Former Mayor and Committeewoman Margaret DePergola worked part time for the township--she is retiring to Florida.

The Little Egg Harbor Township mayor and committee recently honored Margaret DePergola for her years of service to the community. She served as a Democratic committeewoman in 1996 and was the Republican mayor of Little Egg Harbor for a time. After leaving office, she also worked for the township starting in 2016, most recently as a part-time clerk in the construction office. DePergola plans to retire to Florida.

During the Aug. 11 municipal meeting, the committee approved her $1,779 payment for accumulated sick and vacation time.

Mayor Gene Kobryn said DePergola was a “cherished” employee. “We go way back,” he said.

The committee passed a resolution to put into practice the collective bargaining agreement that it said was formalized in a memorandum of agreement in May, with the Superior Officers Association. That MOA contained language for annual raises of 2 percent. This resolution is for a three-year contract with a captain and three lieutenants and is retroactive to 2015.

When asked by resident Peter Ferwerda if there were raises in the resolution, Township Attorney Robyn LaBue said there were no new raises and no additional costs to the township.

Chief Financial Officer and Administrator Garrett Loesch said the Safe and Secure grant of $60,000 from the state would go toward salaries and benefits of police officers. The town matches the grant with $154,990.

The township has again authorized an additional $2,000 to go toward a special counsel who is representing many Ocean County municipalities in the Superior Court case that will decide how many affordable houses Little Egg Harbor is responsible for creating in the coming years.

A resolution passed that evening means Little Egg is in agreement with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to establish a no-passing zone on Route 9 between Mathistown and Otis Bog roads.

The township amended the property maintenance ordinance to include rules on invasive plants. LaBue said this was mainly to control bamboo, but other invasive plants are named as well.

Using recycling funds, the township is purchasing a 2017 recycling truck for the Department of Public Works; the cost will not exceed $70,000.

Lt. Michael Hart gave the police report. In July the number of calls for service, 1,952, was an increase of 220 over June. There were 47 motor vehicle accidents, 148 first aid calls, six fires, 41 animal complaints, 45 domestic disputes, and 62 criminal complaints of which 23 were narcotics related.  Six NARCAN doses were deployed for opiate overdoses.

The township introduced a bond ordinance for $3,320,250 for a variety of capital projects that were put on hold for the past two years.

Loesch said recommendations are for paving roads, complete drainage on Great Bay Boulevard east of Holly Lake, bulkhead issues that are ongoing, and for an IT and communications systems overhaul for the police department and replacement of six police cars.  In addition are upgrades to the construction office systems and recycling cans plus town hall building maintenance, as well as a scissors lift to serve in replacing light bulbs in the cavernous courtroom.

Loesch said the 2016 budget paid off $1 million in debt, and Phoenix Financial advisers said the bond will add approximately $270,000 a year to the debt service.

Committeeman John Kehm asked what effect it would have on the tax rate, and Loesch said a little more than half a penny.

A second reading and public hearing will be held on Sept. 8.

Hart said the police department is in dire need of a new radio system to replace the one purchased in 2004.

— Pat Johnson

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