Work Begins on ‘Park ’n Ride’ Lot in Little Egg Harbor

Mar 06, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson The commuter parking lot will be at the corner of Poor Man’s Parkway in Little Egg Harbor, just off Garden State Parkway Interchange 58.

Mathis Construction has started a park and ride commuter parking lot on the corner of Poor Man’s Parkway and Route 539 near Garden State Parkway Interchange 58. The project has been considered for 10 years since first proposed by 9th District Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Little Egg Harbor resident Craig Verscheck, a retired bus driver.

The project will include 49 paved parking slots and an internal bus loading and unloading area. According to Township Engineer Jason Worth, New Jersey Transit has agreed to service the lot. The lot will also be lit and have a gravel overflow area.

Ocean County initially appropriated $400,000 for design of the facility and recently awarded the bid of $421,212 to Mathis Construction Inc., a local company. The county expects to be reimbursed for the cost of designing, securing all the permits and constructing it under a proposal with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which also operates the Parkway.

Worth announced the project start during the Feb. 28 Little Egg Harbor Township municipal meeting.

Worth also stated that now the weather has improved, a sidewalk project linking the Mystic Shores senior community to the town center will resume. The design for Maryland Road improvements has been completed and sent to the state Department of Transportation for approval. Worth anticipates awarding a contract on March 15 when the bids are opened.

Two township committeemen, John Kehm and Ray Gormley, were absent but the committee had a quorum and continued with township business, hiring Scott Nino as a Class II special officer for the schools, and appointing Linda Chico as a member of the senior advisory committee.

During a hearing on an ordinance that would raise the weight limit of trucks allowed to park overnight in the township, from 8,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds, two neighbors who live across from each other on Los Angeles Drive brought up their grievances. Resident John Pinto said the weight allowance was too high, but if the township stuck with the 12,000 pounds, it should specify that it is the manufacturer’s gross weight, labeled on the driver’s door frame, rather than the registered gross weight.

The finer points of this were discussed at length with Township Attorney Jean Cipriani.

Pinto said he had to put up with his neighbor’s two pickup trucks and a larger work truck parked in the street outside his home. “I don’t think it would be a good idea for everyone to have these trucks in their neighborhoods,” he said.

His neighbors, Matt and Maryann Kominski, spoke up to say they are not running a business out of their home, as Pinto intimated. The pickup trucks are their personal vehicles.

After much more discussion, Mayor Barbara Crea suggested tabling the ordinance until the full committee is present.

Committeewoman Lisa Stevens spoke up for the working class. “My concern is we have a lot of people who are hard-working people that necessitates depending on a vehicle to work here, there and wherever. I wouldn’t want this to be a hardship.”

The ordinance was held over until the next meeting, on March 14.

Real estate developer Linda Fahmie was back to entreat the mayor and committee to write a letter of general interest that she could show to the owners of Great Wolf Lodge resorts. Cipriani said one of the attorneys in her office was in the process of crafting that letter and apologized for not getting back to her.

Fahmie said she was going to fly to Wisconsin to talk with the principals about considering her property in Little Egg Harbor as a site to locate one of their resort lodge plans that includes a water park.

“I need this to move forward,” she said.

On another matter, seniors advocate Art Mooney had a good word for the kids in town. He said soon the children will be out of school and will be biking along Radio Road, Mathistown Road and Center Street. He asked the engineer to consider bike lanes on those heavily trafficked roads. Worth said he was meeting with Ocean County engineers on March 4 and would discuss it with them.

Stevens added that New Jersey’s helmet law for juvenile bike riders should be enforced. She hoped a bicycle safety program could be instituted by the police department.

Committeeman Blaise Scibetta read a proclamation declaring March as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. He would like to see a walk started to raise money for MS research.

He also said the Little Egg Harbor “Team to Clean Up” would be hosting a community cleanup event on May 18 starting at 9 a.m. at the township community center. The organizers are looking for donations.

Crea announced she would be holding another Meet the Mayor event at the Little Egg Harbor Library on March 19 at 7 p.m.

— Pat Johnson

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