Golf Carts Don’t Get Green Light in Barnegat Light

Backyard Drainage Can Pit Neighbor Against Neighbor
By Maria Scandale | Sep 18, 2019

Barnegat Light — “Low-speed vehicles,” also called golf carts, did not get the green light in Barnegat Light. An ordinance that had been introduced July 10 and tabled on Aug. 14 was not advanced by borough council.

State law mandates that low-speed vehicles cannot travel more than 25 miles per hour, among other rules. In order for low-speed vehicles to be allowed on roads where the speed limit is more than 25 mph, an exception to the state law could be made by an ordinance if “deemed appropriate by the municipality, county, or the NJDOT,” state rules say.

But council chose not to do that at its Sept. 11 monthly meeting.

“We probably won’t be hearing the ordinance tonight,” Mayor Kirk Larson informed the audience at the caucus meeting before the regular meeting.

Some issues revolved around Central Avenue, a county road, having a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or more, depending on the time of year.

“I talked to the county today, and I talked to them about a month ago to see what they wanted to do,” said Larson. “The amount of people that go to the lighthouse, and the fact that (Long Beach Township Police) Officer Neil Rojas told me that to cross the street on Central Avenue you have to cross at a stoplight, and I don’t know where you’re going to cross at a stoplight except for 10th and 20th, so we probably won’t be hearing the ordinance tonight.”

Said Councilman Frank Mikuletzky, council chairman of public safety, “We would have to have a stoplight at every corner.”

Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds added, “People I spoke to said they did not see the benefit as compared to the risk.”

Real estate broker Joy Luedtke, who owns the vehicle that led to the question, said she would not have a comment until she consulted with her legal counsel.

Council expressed its thanks to Edward Sulecki upon his retirement as public works superintendent after a career of more than 35 years. Stuart McGowan is the new superintendent.

On the ongoing topic of water meter installation, Councilwoman Mary Ellen Foley said council is still investigating options on the method of installation, and will report back to the public in the coming months.

On a separate topic, drainage issues that are emerging when, for example, newer properties are built next to older ones, and when fill is brought in and then a lower-lying neighbor’s property floods, were a lengthy topic of discussion during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The mayor and council listened to complaints that included rotted trees and the loss of a storage shed and contents at an East 17th Street house that a family member said is “constantly underwater.”

Some council members replied that their yard has had the same issue either since Superstorm Sandy or with high rainfall the past two summers, and that there was no immediate answer for the problem. Some residents, including Councilwoman Reynolds, have brought in pumps to drain their yard after heavy rains.

Mayor Larson said he has considered suggesting a drainage system along the streets that homeowners could tie into, but that has not been decided upon. In the end, he said the matter will be looked at in the coming months.

Also, after two heavy rainstorms Aug. 13 and 19, two separate emergency repairs had to be made to the sewer pump station. Council authorized spending $43,656 for a contract to Crest Construction Group. Another repair contract in the amount of $21,587 was awarded to A.C. Schultes Inc.

Because mop heads and other debris were found in the pumping system mechanisms during the repairs, it prompted a request by some borough council members for residents to be aware that flushing disposable wipes down the toilet can lead to overstrain on the municipal pumps.

“The Lysol wipes and wet wipes that say they are safe for sewer and septic systems, are not,” said Foley, chairwoman of the water and sewer committee on council.

— Maria Scandale

mariascandale@thesandpaper.net

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