by Patricia A. Miller
Township Council members voted unanimously to officially rescind a $2 million bond ordinance to construct a new Community Center to replace the one destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
Township officials have been in discussion with the center's architects and plan to make "substantial changes" to the project, Mayor John Spodofora said at a brief Dec. 10 meeting.
"We need new cost estimates," he said.
"What happens from here?" resident Mary Harris asked during the public portion of the meeting.
"We will be presenting new drawings as soon as we have them," the mayor said. "Our plan is to have the building completed by the end of 2014."
The Mill Creek facility took in four feet of water during Sandy. The foundation of the roughly 6,000 square-foot building was cracked and the infrastructure destroyed, Township Council President Henry Mancini has said.
"Our engineer says the building is totaled," he has said.
The township so far has received only $140,000 from the flood insurance carrier for the center. Stafford is appealing the decision, Mancini said.
"Obviously, you can't do anything for $140,000," he has said.
Actor Alec Baldwin recently donated $250,000 to help rebuild the center in Beach Haven West.
Baldwin’s philanthropic foundation, the AB Foundation, made the donation to rebuild the Stafford Township center last year after learning about the situation through Governor Chris Christie's office.The township has been using the old Town Hall on Bay Avenue as a temporary community center for the eastern section of Stafford.