Tuckerton Gets NJDEP Permits, Approval to Dredge Creeks and Lagoons

By Pat Johnson | Sep 18, 2019

Tuckerton — Tuckerton has received its permits to dredge, Councilman John Schwartz announced during the September 16 municipal meeting. He didn’t shout it, but it reverberated through the crowd anyway as some broke into applause.

Could it be the long-awaited dredging of Thompson Creek, Paradise Cove and Tuckerton Beach lagoons was on the horizon? The general waterfront development permit, or GP21, allows for the removal of 77,500 cubic yards of material from all the low spots that have bedeviled boat owners in the two lagoon communities for at least 20 years.

The permit calls for the town to indicate it intends to de-water the dredge mud brought up from the bottom. Schwartz said the plan now reads that half of the material will go to the Gomez property adjacent to where Paradise Cove is located, and the other half, from Tuckerton beach and Tuckerton Creek, to be de-watered on the new South Green Street Park.

Although Schwartz said a contract with Gomez is not signed, talks with the property owner have been positive. As for the park site, the mud would be dumped on the asphalt on one side of the park and then the other. He didn’t know exactly when this would occur but mentioned that it was possible to amend the plan to use a different site. He had hoped that a property off Little Egg Harbor Boulevard would be acceptable to the state, but that wasn’t so. “The idea of thin layer deposition is off the table,” said Schwartz. However, there are two historic disposal sites that might be reopened on the west side of the mouth of Tuckerton Creek, and the state is also working now on returning Story Island in Little Egg Harbor Bay to a confined disposal facility. Schwartz is optimistic these could stand in for the park.

In other news, Tuckerton will lease a small area of its public works yard to Selco Partnership, Verizon Wireless for $157,691 to erect a communications monopole. The lease is for five years.

Council President Sam Colangelo has shouldered another responsibility, as Office of Emergency Management coordinator. Christine Peterson was appointed to the Pride and Celebration Committee as a second alternate member for an un-expired term that lasts until Dec. 31. It was announced the Pride and Celebration Committee will hold the annual Tucker’s Treat Halloween Parade at the Bay Avenue Ball Field on Oct. 19.

During the public comment period, Tuckerton Beach resident Paula Bell asked if the borough had taken any action on the sale or rent of the former borough hall, or Grist Mill, formerly used for the construction offices. Mayor Sue Marshall said no, there had been no movement but Administrator Jenny Gleghorn asked if she could give an explanation. Gleghorn said there are buried heating oil tanks under both properties that would require extensive construction to get them out as they are under the floorboards. Disposal of these tanks and remediation of any earth are expensive. The state DEP no longer offers financial help in oil tank removal. The public works department has tested around the tanks and there are no obvious leaks, she said.

In the meantime, the properties are not costing the borough anything to run, and the town has other priorities, such as dredging, she said.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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