Borough of Manasquan, New Jersey

Borough of Manasquan
Administrator’s News Letter
December 2008

 

  Hopefully, you will find this information helpful and informative.

  1. Virginia Ave Project: Phase II of this project is complete. Punch list items remain. The Borough Engineer and the Public Works Committee did have a concern about the paving along the curb line. No reveal (lip) was present and a concern existed about water flow during a storm. Following a meeting with the company, T&M, members of the Public Works Committee and me, the company milled the street along the gutter line and repaved that section of the roadway. We will monitor this work over the winter and spring. The company is required to post a two year bond following the release of their performance bond with us.

  2. South Jackson Drainage: The bid on this project has been awarded. The Borough has been fortunate to obtain $750,000.00 in state grants towards this project. This is up $200,000.00 since my last letter as we received a third grant under a separate program. A preconstruction meeting was held recently. The time line on this project (weather permitting) is to begin pipe work in February and have the project complete by late March or early April. Paving of the roadway is weather sensitive as the asphalt plants are closed during cold weather.

  3. Life Saving Station: No change on our construction status since last newsletter. The Council Committee is still looking to restructure the bid so it meets construction cost estimates. In two prior bid rounds the bid was much higher than the architect estimated. One change the Council is working on is changing the deed designation of this property. It was acquired under a transfer from FEMA. We have learned that this limits uses within that building and many of the community benefits we thought would be permitted are not. We have learned that it is possible to switch this building over to the National Park Service as a Historic Monument which will greatly increase the permitted uses in this building. Under this program the focus is on the integrity of the historic structure and not on the uses of the building.

  4. Community Center Grant: We have not heard anything on this grant application.

  5. Riverside Drive & Third Ave Bulkhead: The County and the Borough of Manasquan had received a grant for 1.5 million dollars towards bulk heading the area along Third Ave, from Riverside Drive. The Borough owns approximately 60 feet of the water’s edge in that area, with the balance belonging to Monmouth County. The Borough Engineer and County Parks Department are working with the State DEP to establish what type of material they will permit to be used in that area.

  6. Manasquan Plaza Study: The first of several outreach meetings was held on this project in December. Letters were sent to all property owners in the business district of town, as well as those adjacent to the study area. Their input was solicited at that meeting. Other meetings will be held as this plan is being developed.

  7. Mac’s Pond: The Public Property and Grounds Committee, along with Public Works, joined together with the Monmouth County Mosquito Commission to clean out the silt trap at Mac’s Pond. This trap is located in the westerly part of the lake and collects sediment that runs down stream before it enters the main part of the lake. Working with the Mosquito Commission saved the Borough the expense of hiring an outside contractor. We appreciate the cooperation of Monmouth County Freeholders in providing this service.

  8.  COAH (Council on Affordable Housing) Third Round: The Borough has moved closer to submitting our Third Round Plan. I can safely say that we are not pleased with the new rules and feel that COAH’s methods of calculating our obligation is flawed. One of the main problems that we see is that a demo and replacement of a house is viewed as a new additional unit in the town and is not an equal replacement. COAH did change the rule so that if the house was owner occupied for one year prior to the tear down it will not be viewed as a new unit, but we have only a few of these. In two years we will need to revisit our obligation to see what our revised obligation will be. Hopefully the rules will be changed to reflect a more sensible approach to demos and replacements.

  9. Budget: The Mayor and Council will begin the budget review process in January. The public is not only welcome to attend but I would encourage it. We put a lot of time and effort into developing a cost effective budget; one that provides good services at a reasonable cost, and it would be beneficial for our residents to see and understand what we endeavor to obtain. The meetings are held on the first four Saturday mornings in January at 9AM in Council Chambers, and go to about noon, if not longer. Department Heads will be on different days to explain what their proposed budget contains and why. Please attend.

  10. Economic Stimulus Package: The Council is working with T&M to be in a position to benefit from an Economic Stimulus Package should it occur. We have identified several projects that may be eligible for funding. It is our understanding that eligible projects under this program will need be out to bid by March 1, 2009. This is not definite, as this package has not been made official. But those communities who are ready to move on a project will benefit.

  11. Borough Attorney:   Our current Borough Attorney, Mr. Ken Fitzsimmons, has advised us that he will be accepting a full time position with Toms River Twp which will require him to resign as our Borough Attorney. Ken has been representing the Borough for about 32 years. Ken has done an excellent job and he will be missed.

  12. Spending Resolution: The Mayor and Council recognizing the bad economic conditions have passed a resolution putting many projects on hold. Some work will continue to be done where it affects the health, safety or welfare of the community or if it negatively impacts the quality of life in the community. As economic conditions improve, the projects will be reviewed.

  13. Snow Plowing: It would greatly benefit to Public Works (and yourself) if during snow events residents would not park their vehicles in the roadway. We understand that in some cases off street parking is not available, but for those of you who do have it, please use it. The Public Works Department needs to clear the roadway for fire, first aid and police response as well as general traffic.

  We receive many complaints from residents that the plows push snow back onto the sidewalks. I think this has happened to all of us.  It is almost impossible to push snow back without this happening. The roads could be cleared with a front end loader (we have one), but this takes a lot of time and this would be very frustrating if your street is at the end of the list of streets to do. Not only would we need the front end loader but a truck to haul it away. With only one large truck and one front end loader the time to clear roads would be greatly increased. The additional issue is where do we haul it to?

 I think it would also be beneficial for residents to understand that under state law that regulates Commercial Driver’s License (CDLs) drivers must be given a rest break. The Public Works Superintendent attempt to schedule staff so we can keep plows on the road, but he has a limited number of people to work with. We do use part-timers for this, but they are not always available. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.

201 East Main Street • Manasquan, New Jersey 08736
732-223-0544

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