Tuckerton Approves Water, Sewer Rate Increases

Apr 17, 2019

The Tuckerton Borough Council approved a $53.29 increase to the annual base rate of $240 for 73,000 gallons of water, an amount that equates to an additional $13.32 a quarter. Rates for overages above the base rate increased to $4 a thousand gallons for water, and $8.94 for sewer.

Councilman Sam Colangelo said the borough has taken steps to decrease the amount of bay water that is infiltrating the sewer pipes and causing the rates to process wastewater to rise. This has been a problem for over 20 years and it is only this administration, he said, that has been fixing water and sewer infrastructure in the Tuckerton Beach area by replacing aging pipes. It has cut down on the number of leaks reported to the borough, said Colangelo.

“We have a good crew (at public works and the water utility) and they are in the process of replacing faulty water meters. We are trying to make up for things that happened in the past.”

Borough Administrator Jenny Gleghorn said the water utility recently put a new liner in two of the sewer mains on Bass Road and at the pump station on South Green Street. “We are already seeing a significant difference,” she said.

The council also heard a new ordinance meant to curb the planting of invasive species, such as bamboo and English ivy. The ordinance allows neighbors some redress when a neighbor’s yard starts to impact their own, said legislative chairman Councilman Keith Vreeland. A second reading and public comment are scheduled for May 6.

The environmental commission will be collecting litter and trash on Route 9 from Mickey’s Restaurant north to the border with Little Egg Harbor. Volunteers must first watch a quick online video about safety if they want to join the April 27 Adopt a Highway effort. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the borough hall, 420 East Main St.

The Tuckerton Beach Association is also holding a cleanup of South Green Street on April 27. Meet at the South Green Street Park at 9 a.m. for that effort.

The Tuckerton Economic Development Commission is hosting its first Restaurant Week, April 27-May 5. Councilman Ron Peterson asked the public to support the dozen or so restaurants participating.

Mayor Susan Marshall announced the Tuckerton Library Open House is on Thursday, April 25 ,at 7 p.m. The annual Arbor Day celebration in Tuckerton is Thursday, April 25 ,at 5:30 p.m. at the borough hall. A plaque will be installed to honor former Councilman Jim Edwards. Essays by the Tuckerton Elementary School students will be read.

During the public comment period, Paula Bell asked if historic Scow Landing on South Green Street was owned by the borough, and was told yes. She stated the Rotary Club would like to establish a memorial for veterans on the site.

David Schlick asked if the town had come to any decisions on what to do with the historic Grist Mill on Water Street and the former borough hall on 140 East Main St. Peterson said the former borough hall has an oil tank beneath it that has to be remediated, and the ground around it tested before anything could be done with the property.

No decisions on the Grist Mill were forthcoming.

Schlick also asked what the borough has offered for the Zito property, a partially submerged lot needed as an easement for the reconstruction of Little Egg Harbor Boulevard peninsula. Attorney Christopher Connors said Terry Brady was the lawyer on that project, but the town could let the public know the assessment on the property was $30,000. Unless Zito refuses to accept that number and goes to court, the borough would pay the amount and own the easement.

Councilman John Schwartz, speaking from Florida via Skype, said thin layer deposition of dredge mud might be allowed to backfill that peninsula. The thin layer was not allowed on the Great Bay Boulevard Wildlife Management area by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Game Division.  But private property owned by the Knoeller family at the end of Great Bay Boulevard could be filled with dredged mud in a thin layer, said Schwartz.

In answer to another question posed by Schlick, Henry Gomez has signed a document in the dredging permit application to the NJDEP, saying he is willing to have dredged material placed on land he owns behind his business. But the borough and Gomez have not signed any agreement on terms, said Connors.

Concerning the project on South Green Street being paid for through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which includes a manmade concrete berm enhanced with oyster spat, the contractor has mobilized his equipment on Iowa Court in Little Egg Harbor and will mobilize about May 1 in Tuckerton.

“We’re just as anxious to get this done as you are,” said Marshall. “We’re moving along.”

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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