Tuckerton May Bond for Dredging of Lagoons

Mar 06, 2019

Borough Administrator Jenny Gleghorn told a contingent of waterfront homeowners that Tuckerton will bond for the dredging of Thompson Creek and the lagoons in Paradise Cove and Tuckerton Beach through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, instead of levying a special assessment on the waterfront dwellers.

Her comment came during the Monday, March 4 borough council meeting. But on Tuesday, Mayor Susan Marshall said the bonding is just one of the options she and the council are looking at.

“The funding that we get will not be just for dredging,” Marshall said. “We will be looking at a number of projects throughout the borough so when we do the bonding it will benefit all parts of town. It’s not just for dredging. The funding will be spread over other parts of town and again that’s just one of the options we are considering.”

The borough has not yet released the estimated cost of the dredging as many details have yet to be finalized.

During the meeting, various questions came up about the many projects the town has undertaken to make the waterfront more resilient.

Carolyn Keen from Curlew Road in Tuckerton Beach asked if the borough has a project plan for dredging including steps and a timeline and if they do, could they share it with the Tuckerton Beach Association and the Waterways Commission.

Gleghorn said the borough does have a plan but was only able to estimate a timeline, so as not to disappoint residents.

Gleghorn said the borough engineering firm, Owen and Little, is working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and is nearly ready to submit the dredging permit application. “We will get the documents to them in March and then the DEP has 30 days to review it, taking it to April ... but then there is the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife that have to approve it. Once it gets through the DEP, the others should not be a problem. We would love to see it done in September of this year.”

Keen said that at the last Waterways Commission meeting there seemed to be a disconnect between the borough and the commission. Gleghorn said the borough has sent the commission the plans for dredging “multiple times.”

“The Waterways Commission is an advisory group and they advised us of the need for dredging and now they should be moving on to other projects,” Gleghorn added.

The Shoreline Protection project to add a hard breakwater and sand to the beach area along South Green Street is being paid for with $421,212 of the $1.2 million National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant. The lead agency for that grant is Little Egg Harbor and their engineer, Jason Worth of T&M, has done the engineering. Worth has said both the Iowa Court shoreline protection project in Little Egg and the South Green Street project are ready to go once the contractor, Albert Marine of Waretown, is ready. The land owner has signed off on an easement for the borough.

TBA President Peter Gioiello asked about a separate project that requires easements, the project to shore up an eroded peninsula at the end of Little Egg Harbor Boulevard in Tuckerton Beach. The owner of the last lot that is needed has held up this project. Borough attorney Christopher Connors said the borough has appraised the largely eroded and vacant lot and has sent the figure to the owner. The borough must decide if it wants to go along with eminent domain to have a perpetual easement on the portion of the vacant lot needed for the revetment, a hybrid living shoreline of hard structure and marsh. The borough has hired Terry Brady of the firm of Brady and Kunz to be a conflict attorney in this matter.

The borough has paid for water and sewer reconstruction of Heron Road by bonding through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank. The NJIB offers low-cost loans to municipalities.

In other matters, Marshall asked Councilmen Frank D’Amore and Mike Santo to investigate what to do with two vacant buildings the borough owns: the grist mill that used to house the construction offices and the former municipal hall at 140 East Main St.

— Pat Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

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