Public Works Building Takes Shape in Barnegat

By Eric Englund | Jul 03, 2019

Barnegat — Over the summer, Barnegat Township officials hope to make progress on the new public works building located off Lighthouse Drive. Last fall, the township committee awarded a $2.4 million contract to R. Wilkinson and Sons, Absecon, to construct the facility.

“It was planned, but it never got done,” said Township Administrator John Hess. “That area has a salt dome and fuel tanks for the vehicles. The building has been on and off the back burner, but now it’s going to happen. Without that building, many vehicles have to be stored outside. The town quickly outgrew the old public works facility.”

Mayor Alfonso Cirulli said the steel frame for the structure is nearly complete.

“We’ve lost a lot of days due to the weather,” said Cirulli. “We were hoping to be up and running by August, but now it’s looking more like it will be October.”

The public works building was included in a $14.2 million bond ordinance that would provide for various improvements. The ordinance’s centerpiece is a new township hall in addition to renovations of other buildings located at the municipal complex on West Bay Avenue.

Cirulli said the town hall will be very high on the priority list for 2019.

“Hopefully, it will go out to bid soon and later this year, we’ll be able to start construction,” he said.

Committeeman Albert Bille said the current municipal building complex is more than 40 years old. Prior to that, a developer used the site to display several model homes.

“But what we’re looking at is constructing a new building closer to the roadway (Bay Avenue) and then tear down the current one, which is set back from the road,” he said. “We could use that space for parking.”

Bille said committee members have received feedback from residents complaining that the current town hall is insufficient.

“It’s a disgrace,” he said. “There are several areas where the roof leaks after a bad rainstorm. It is severely outdated. We don’t even have enough room for keeping all our records.”

He said the police station is also too small, noting that when it opened the department had 12 officers and the town had a population of 8,000. Since then, those numbers have quadrupled and tripled, respectively.

“We needed a new police station 20 years ago,” said Bille. “Ten years ago, we needed it really badly and it has gotten worse since then.”

— Eric Englund

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.