South Toms River Mayor and Council Present Full Cleanup and Vision for Waterfront Property: Emphasize Clean Shores and Ability to Deliver Beautification for Businesses and Residents Through Grants

 

PRESS RELEASE:  

May 19, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Joseph Kostecki

South Toms River Municipal Clerk’s Office

732.349.0403

SOUTH TOMS RIVER MAYOR AND COUNCIL

PRESENT FULL CLEANUP AND VISION FOR WATERFRONT PROPERTY:

EMPHASIZE CLEAN SHORES AND ABILITY TO DELIVER BEAUTIFICATION FOR BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS THROUGH GRANTS

 

(SOUTH TOMS RIVER, NJ) – Today, Mayor Joseph Champagne, alongside South Toms River Environmental Commission Chairman Greg Handshy, the Department of Environmental Protection and other Borough Officials and professionals announced a conceptual for the waterfront property along Mathis Veterans Memorial Park following the cleanup that involved an abandoned boat and an old Naval Tugboat.

 

“Today marks the completion of one chapter, and presents a very viable and vibrant vision for all businesses and residents in and surrounding the Borough of South Toms River,” stated Mayor Champagne.

 

The clean-up involved working hand-in-hand with the Department of Environmental Protection to ensure all necessary precautions were taken to ensure the integrity of the land and water. “Due to the previous use of the abandoned vehicle as a makeshift home, there were some unforeseen delays. However, thanks to all professionals involved, we ensured all remnants of the boat were contained and disposed of properly,” stated South Toms River Councilman Handshy, the Environmental Commission Chair. Clean-up crews expected a two-week time-frame, however was completed in a little over a week, with extended hours to expedite the process due to weather and further assurance of safety related thereto.

 

The Borough Administrator, Joseph Kostecki, maintained a continued presence on-site to oversee the projects completion, working with Special Counsel Robert L. Tarver, Jr. and the Department of Environmental Protection to expedite any and all environmental guidance requested. “The overall cost of project will increase due to the Borough taking extra precautions at the request of the NJDEP, to ensure the safety and full containment of any unforeseen remnants during the removal of the abandoned boats. However, at the end of the day, there is never too great of a cost to protect our waters, our Green Acres, and overall environment. The Borough took the necessary actions to ensure just stat,” stated Borough Administrator Joseph Kostecki.

 

As the removal process progressed, the Borough and professionals working with the Department of Environmental Protection dispersed additional Boom to surround the boat to ensure full containment. Subsequently, additional equipment was brought in to provide additional safety measures before the last pieces of the boat were removed. “The removal of the recent boats, totaling 115 in all, was part of a long-awaited process. Moving forward, the beautification process continues as the Borough of South Toms River has moved forward with a competitive grant process with a plan to reinvigorate the South Toms River Borough which will also positively support neighboring communities,” stated Mayor Joseph Champagne.

 

The cleanup and beautification plans will assist neighboring communities as well.  In attendance at the Press Conference, Beachwood Mayor, Ronald Roma, stated “We (Beachwood) are extremely happy South Toms River is stepping up to the plate with this beautification effort. These efforts and plan greatly assists with the plan of our community and we couldn’t be happier.”

The Borough’s beautification process presents developments on the following:

CDBG-DR Federal Disaster Recovery Funds – NJEDA Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (NCR) Program Streetscape Revitalization Program

The Borough’s Route 166 Streetscape Improvements project is one of eleven projects that has been selected to advance to the next phase of the approval process for this program. With this funding, the Borough will install curb, sidewalk, driveway aprons, decorative pedestrian lights and street trees along Route 166 from Admiral Avenue to Herflicker Boulevard. The project will greatly impact the corridor as curb and sidewalk are for the most part non-existent on Route 166.

The Borough anticipates receiving funding for the total cost of the streetscape project, in the amount of $600,047. The project now moves on to federally required environmental and historic preservation reviews by the DEP to ensure compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations.

NJDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

In addition, the Borough will pursue funding through another Federal grant program, which is administered by the NJDOT, to fund additional improvements along Route 166. The Borough is proposing to acquire an easement along the west side of the roadway in order to eventually extend the Barnegat Branch Trail along Route 166 from its current terminus at Admiral Avenue to Herflicker Boulevard. Such a project, should it become a reality, would create the opportunity for the Township of Toms River to further extend the multi purpose trail along a Township-owned portion of the former Barnegat Branch Railroad right-of-way to connect with the Toms River Bus Depot and beyond.

Additional questions can be directed to the Borough Administrator/Municipal Clerk, Joseph Kostecki at (732) 349-0403, or email joseph.kostecki@boroughofsouthtomsriver.com

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