Little Egg Harbor Approves Mystic Island Lagoon Dredging

By Pat Johnson | Jul 24, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson One phase of the Iowa Court shoreline restoration is coming to an end. Next is replanting the reclaimed land and installing oyster spat on rocks.

Little Egg Harbor, NJ — Little Egg Harbor Township approved Ordinance 2019-11 during its July 11 municipal meeting, providing for $380,000 for future dredging of Mystic Island lagoons’ trouble spots located on the west side of Radio Road and posting $361,000 in bonds. Committeeman Ray Gormley said the ordinance “will improve waterfront residents’ homes and the total waterfront will move forward in the process of getting the lagoons dredged.” Gormley said the state Department of Environmental Protection also helped the township by not requiring extensive testing of the mud in the lagoons, as it had with other sections of the township. All of the samples taken so far have shown the mud is not contaminated with heavy metals.

The township also approved Ordinance 2019-12 to purchase new playground equipment and upgrade the Little Treasures Playground on Radio Road, using $200,000 in funds from the dedicated tax put in place in 2000 for Natural Lands and Open Space preservation.

Township Attorney Jean L. Cipriani said the wording of the original referendum, passed in 1998, allows for the use of the dedicated tax to improve existing parks.

Zoning Officer Mark Ellis is now director of community development and will continue to oversee planning, zoning and the construction office. Mayor Barbara Jo Crea said the title does not include a salary increase.

Crea was pleased to announce the township will allow the first 100 people who ask to receive a smaller recycling can, for $20, and be part of a pilot Robo-Can recycling program. Mystic Island resident Janice Bennet had brought the matter to the township in April, saying the larger cans were too cumbersome for someone of her age to handle alone, and the mayor had said she would look into it. Crea had called her with the good news, she said. Residents desiring a smaller recycling can should call the public works department at 609-296-3600.

The committee passed a resolution to award a contract to Mathis Construction for $70,000 to demolish three abandoned houses at 45 Sea Breeze, 252 Country Club Blvd. and 110 National Union Blvd. “It’s very unfair for residents who live next to homes that are abandoned and neglected,” said Gormley. He said the process of condemning properties is lengthy and had taken two years.

“This is the first of many; we have close to 100 abandoned homes and we have to budget for that,” he added. “A lien will be placed on the property, and eventually we will be made whole.”

The list of abandoned properties was compiled by the zoning code enforcement officers.

The committee awarded a contract to Sussman Enterprises of Brigantine for $303,582 to complete Phase II of the Veterans Park on Radio Road. The contract includes the gazebo and the monument bricks but does not include lighting or landscaping. Township Administrator Matthew Spadaccini said the project should be completed by the end of this year.

During the public comment period, Sunrise Bay resident Art Mooney said he was awakened that morning at 6 by the sound of a crash and saw another resident had driven his car into the front of the clubhouse. “It landed in the exercise room. I had to scramble and call 911.

“I can’t say enough for the first responders,” he commented. “Three police cars, a fire engine and the ambulance showed up immediately. They are wonderful people – they’re there when you need them.”

No one was seriously injured in the crash, and the driver did not have to go to the hospital. Said Mooney, “It started out as a beautiful morning and then, wham!”

He also asked the committee to send a resolution opposing New Jersey Bill 2425, which would tax common areas in senior communities.

Little Egg Harbor will hold its National Night Out at Freedom Fields Sports Complex on Aug. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. The Municipal Alliance Committee sponsors the free family event, which will include music, food trucks, an archery demonstration, a K-9 demonstration and a scavenger hunt.

The next Senior Advisory Board meeting is July 29 at 10 a.m. at the repaired Sunrise Bay clubhouse.

— Pat Johnson

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