Tuckerton Borough Discusses Banning Pot Sales

May 02, 2018

Tuckerton Borough may join the county and a host of other towns in banning the sale, distribution and cultivation of marijuana within the borough.

During the April 16 meeting, Councilman Keith Vreeland suggested the borough adopt an ordinance based on Surf City’s ordinance. Police Chief Brian Olsen said if the state legalizes marijuana for recreational use, it would become “more of a burden to the community.”

“There’s no talk of revenue-sharing,” he added of Gov. Murphy’s plan to reap tax revenues from the sales, if legislation is approved.

Borough Attorney and state Sen. Christopher J. Connors said at this point in time, “There does not appear to be enough votes to adopt legalizing legislation,” but he added the borough could adopt its own ordinance with the prohibitions but with the realization that there might be a chance it could be preempted by a state law.

“It’s hard to tell at this point, but the municipality and the governing body can let the citizens know where they stand. Nothing prevents you from going forward.”

The council took no action that night.

Committeewoman Doris Mathisen reported Kavi Construction is still finishing up odds and ends at the new municipal building, but the front parking lot has been paved and looks nice. Work continues on South Green Street Park: Curbs have been completed, but more dirt has to be added to the parking lot to raise it, and water lines and electric lines have to be put in before paving is completed there. “Once that is done, then the playground can go in, and then hopefully, all you guys can get in there to go fishing.”

Peter Gioiello from Kingfisher Road and the Tuckerton Beach Association asked if the park would have a gate and be closed at night. “We are a boating community, and people like to fish there at night.”

Mathisen said the borough is considering such a measure as in the past, vandalism has occurred – one summer all the sinks and toilets in the restrooms were ripped out. This time the borough has decided not to have a permanent restroom facility built but to have a restroom trailer that can be locked at night and moved if bay flooding is imminent.

The borough has also looked into security camera systems, but nothing has been decided yet.

“There have been lots of things kicked around,” said Business Administrator Jenny Gleghorn.

Tuckerton Volunteer Fire Co. Assistant Chief Lee Eggert Sr. reported the company had responded to 13 fire calls in the first quarter of the year, and 12 medical emergencies plus four mutual aid calls: two to New Gretna and two to Surf City.

He also reported on the renovations to the fire hall that changed two windows in the original building into three garage bay doors to allow two antique parade trucks to be housed in an area that was heated but got little use. The fire company and EMS have seven vehicles, and last winter they were hard pressed to get them all under a roof. “The only other option we had was to expand the building out to the back, and this was the cheaper option.”

Resident Skip Deckman asked a number of questions, and Eggert answered for the council. The borough does not own the building; the fire company owns it, said Eggert. The original building used to house the fire trucks and has large beams and heavy floor joists able to hold the weight of the 1946 Ford “pumper” and 1939 Chevrolet fire truck.

Deckman wanted to know why the borough’s public works were helping during the reconstruction process since the fire company owns the building. Gleghorn said the borough was asked to supply a jackhammer, and for liability reasons, she was more comfortable loaning it with the operator who is trained to use it. “We like to help the fire department that helps the citizens of our town,” she said.

Deckman asked if the borough taxpayers contribute $70,000 toward the fire company, why did they spend $14,000 to build what he termed a “museum.”

Eggert said the $70,000 – $60,000 for the fire company and $10,000 for the EMS – is not enough to cover all expenses, and the volunteers collect additional funds through grants, an annual appeal letter and by standing in the weather on street corners to collect donations three times a year.

He suggested Deckman compare the cost of running Tuckerton’s Fire and EMS with surrounding companies that are supported by a taxing district.

The volunteers will house antique documents and artifacts telling the history of the fire company and the defunct Tuckerton First Aid Squad in a display case, but does not consider that a “museum.”

On its Facebook page the company elaborated that the borough owns two pumpers, and the rescue truck; the fire company owns one pumper, two ambulances, a pickup truck and the antique trucks.

The borough covers insurance and fuel for the fire company and EMS, and the fire company supplies the borough with an annual audit.

— Pat Johnson





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