Tuckerton Repairing Hardest Hit Roads with Grants

Apr 29, 2015

Two of the roads hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy in Tuckerton Beach will get new water and sewer lines and repaving thanks to New Jersey Department of Transportation grants plus low-cost bonding through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund.

Mayor Susan Marshall announced that Tuckerton has received a $325,000 New Jersey Department of Transportation grant to repave Heron Road in Tuckerton Beach.

Residents who live on that road are encouraged to get their natural gas service laterals installed as soon as possible because once the road is paved there is a five-year moratorium on road openings, said Borough Clerk and Administrator Jenny Gleghorn. Water and sewer lines will not be replaced as they were found to be sufficient when the town had the pipes scoped by video camera, she added.

Also at the April 20 borough council meeting, the ordinance to raise the water and sewer rates $15.74 a quarter was passed after a public hearing. Tuckerton resident Skip Deckman asked why the rates were going up. Gleghorn said the borough’s debt service is projected to rise 7 percent since the borough incurred a loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund to pay for replacing 11,812 feet of sewer line and 8,000 feet of water pipes on five roads in Tuckerton Beach: Parker, Dolphin, Marlin, Little Egg Harbor Boulevard and a portion of South Green Street. The money will also go toward painting the water tower inside and out and installing a circulation device to keep the water moving within the tank.

Later in the meeting Gleghorn announced that the borough might not have to incur all of the NJEIT debt as bids for the projects came in at much less than the bond anticipation notes. The borough bonded $1.28 million to paint the water tank and the job was bid and awarded to U.S. Tank for $600,000. The bond to complete the water line was $1.26 million and sewer at $1.98 million ($3,245,000 total) and Mathis Construction bid $2.7 million for the projects and was awarded the contract.

Replacing the water and sewer interconnects between Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor that lay under Tuckerton Creek is included in the total bid price by Mathis.

The water interconnect must be replaced before the water tower can be drained and painted as Little Egg will supply water to the town during the project. A preconstruction meeting is set for May 1, said Gleghorn, and the town must complete the projects by June 2016.

The borough also has received a $325,000 DOT grant to repave Parker Road once the water and sewer are completed.

Although there may be change orders as the projects progress, the mayor and council were pleased to hear they may not have to incur the entire $4.5 million debt. The NJEIT fund has also been known to forgive 20 percent of the debt incurred.

Deckman also asked about the new borough complex at 420 East Main St. (Route 9) and if the roof is getting repaired soon. He said the blue tarp on the roof is unsightly.

Gleghorn said the town has received a $1.5 million government grant to finish repairs to the building – repairs that were started and 75 percent finished by public works and volunteer labor – but once they were awarded the grant, work had to stop so that an environmental study could be completed. That has been done and now the borough is hiring an architect and engineer to finish the specs and then it can go out to bid for construction. The demolition of the police station, parking and stormwater drainage were also included in the grant, she said and added, “I wasn’t going to jeopardize a large grant like that to repair the roof.”

Councilman John Schwartz attended the meeting by Skype from his Florida home. He said rumors about dredging and shoreline restoration are circulating and he wants to set them straight. “Information will come from the team only (New Jersey Future and T&M engineering and town officials), and theories that dredge material will be put at the end of Little Egg Harbor Boulevard and that we will only dredge the speed bumps in Kingfisher lagoon are not true. Only the committee will issue statements as they are available.”

Councilman Sam Colangelo said the public works yard is now open every day and bulk pickups are scheduled for Mondays, but residents must call 609-296-5058 to schedule. He also reminded residents not to flush personal wipes because their fibers turn into ropes in the pump station grinders that ruin the pump blades and cost the borough thousands of dollars in repairs.

Leaf pickups will continue through May 19 and residents should put them in bags and leave by the curb.

Two fire hydrants were repaired since the last council meeting and two others have been temporarily repaired.

Councilwoman Doris Mathisen said properly ventilated fire pots that are sold in stores are allowed in backyards without a permit, but residents are not allowed to just dig a hole for a fire pit. “That requires a permit from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service,” she said.

A house on North Marine Street is being inundated by stormwater from a construction site, said Environmental Commission Chairman Joel Mott. The house is alongside the former Acme site that is being transformed into a strip mall by developer Tony Cheng. “It’s been three years of construction and there is no stormwater control in place,” said Mott. “The footprint of the building has doubled and the flow of stormwater has increased substantially. Also they have removed curbing.”

Mott said Ocean County Soil Conservation has filed a letter with the owners because they have not sent in their soil permits. “Not a lot of people are paying attention back there,” he added. He said he had been to the last meeting of the land use board and because there were no active projects on the agenda the board attorney and engineer were not there. Mott said he was told that Jack Mallon of T&M Associates is the engineer on the project.

When contacted on Monday, Mallon said Cheng has plans to develop stone and vegetated rain gardens in the parking island strips and also will have a stone trench running along the entire back of the property to intercept some of the stormwater. Mallon said the trench had to be moved 6 feet back from the neighboring property because he didn’t want to kill the existing tree roots.

“The problem is the property slopes to the back of that corner (where the house is) and always has,” said Mallon. “The places where he has enlarged the building were pavement before, so it was always impervious coverage.”

Mallon said two larger rain gardens on both the right and left side of the property will be vegetated nicely and will cut down on the stormwater running across the property to the back.

Cheng will post bonds when he is ready to start the buffer and the drainage areas, said Mallon. “He will pay for construction inspections, but he didn’t have to bond for the building because it was already built,” he said. “I believe within the next two weeks he will have final approval on his plans.”

Cheng has not yet announced any tenants for the stores.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

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