NJ Rules May Delay Tuckerton Dredge Spoils Site

Jul 16, 2019

Tuckerton Beach Association President Jamie Gross asked the Tuckerton Borough Council whether the state Department of Environmental Protection has required the borough to get a Coastal Area Facilities Review Act permit for the dredge spoils disposal site called the Gomez property, and if that will delay dredging the lagoons in her community.

The borough is trying to minimize the costs for the Gomez de-watering site they are hoping to lease. The state requires any major development that creates impervious coverage within the CAFRA area (all land east of the Garden State Parkway) to apply for a permit.

Borough Clerk/Administrator Jenny Gleghorn said the DEP Land Use Regulation office is questioning whether once the land is filled, it would be available for development. Gleghorn said the borough’s engineer is arguing that the land will not be developed.

However, if the site becomes a permanent “confined disposal facility,” the borough may need a CAFRA permit anyway, she said.

“As far as dredging, we are not getting any pushback” (from the DEP), said Gleghorn.

In other business, the council passed two ordinances at the July 15 meeting. Ordinance 6 will amend the borough code to make the town police the sole agency hired by private contractors when they need traffic control. Previously, the state police were getting the extra work, coveted by departments.

Contractors will pay the overtime to the Tuckerton Borough Police Department and it will go to the individual off-duty officers deployed by Police Chief Brian Olsen.

The ordinance also sets standards for contractors or utilities before they do any work that inhibits traffic flow. At least one week before the traffic disruption takes place, they must hold a pre-construction meeting with the police chief or his designee to determine how many officers are needed.

The second ordinance codifies the 10-year contract between the borough and Comcast, the only TV communications company operating in the area. The contract allows the borough to collect 2 percent of the gross yearly revenues Comcast collects in subscribers’ fees. Also, within six months of the “renewal certificate of approval” by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Comcast will pay the borough a one-time technology grant of $8,000 to meet the technology needs of the community. Comcast also provides one outlet of expanded basic cable television to the Tuckerton Elementary School, the public library, existing and future municipal buildings and police, fire and emergency management facilities.

By law, the borough cannot dictate the types of programming or which stations the company provides.

During the public hearing on the Comcast ordinance, Curlew Road resident Frank Fehn asked why the borough signed such a lengthy contract. Township attorney Christopher Connors said negotiating terms with Comcast is difficult because they are the only telecommunications company delivering service to the borough. Verizon, the only other telecommunications company in the state, has chosen not to extend their Fios service to the area.

Fehn also asked if the 2 percent revenue could be earmarked for live-streaming the borough meetings, but Connors said the revenue goes into the general fund. Gleghorn did not know how much the revenue was last year but a check of the 2018 municipal budget shows the CATV or cable television revenue was $16,742.

The borough hired two municipal court officers to preside over a police disciplinary matter for Corp. Justine Cherry, recently absolved in Superior Court of wrongdoing in unleashing his police dog on a Barnegat woman eluding police in January 2014. Cherry has been on administrative leave without pay and wants to collect his back pay and come back to work.

The borough hired conflicts attorney Bonnie Peterson to be the hearing officer and Ian Golden to be the prosecutor for the hearing.

A second personnel issue concerning Police Corporal John Sanzari was held over for discussion in executive session.

The borough purchased two dehumidifiers for the water treatment plant for $6,154 from the lowest responsible bidders: U.S. Bluebooks.

The public works did a good job of cleaning up after the Fourth of July celebrations but Councilman John Schwartz reminded residents that only certain types of fireworks are legal in New Jersey: those that don’t leave the ground. Bottle rockets are not legal and residents are urged to call the police if they see or hear illegal fireworks that could do damage to property.

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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