Stafford Officials Rescind Community Center Ordinance - For Now

After revisions, new center should be completed by end of 2014

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.

mr henry December 11, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Time to get a second opinion from a real life engineer like real people would do about the level of damage and weather it could be repaired and stop Moran from spitting out numbers like he has a open atm machine to get the cash from.
anonymous December 11, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Im so glad they think 140,000 dollars is the equivalent of pocket lint. I think we are starting to see the real problem. anonymous
Skitch December 12, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Welcome to our world (the residents at least in BHW) Stafford Township. This is the same thing that all of us home owners are facing with the flood adjusters. We are getting paid about 1/3 of what the damage is really worth to our homes. That is if you are getting paid at all. In addition Stafford Twsp has not made it any easier for us to rebuild. changing the rules, regulations, codes etc making us jump thru hoops to comply with something new you have thought up each week etc. I was almost ready to throw in the towel but didn't want to give you the satisfaction or the power to make me quit.
Ann Powers December 12, 2013 at 09:14 AM
Skitch: the rules apply to some people, more than others, and to some, not at all.
Melinda Russell December 12, 2013 at 09:29 AM
$390,000 sounds like a good amount of money to me. How about barter exchange? How many handy people and skilled craftspeople right in BHW who need relief from the township red tape (as indicated in some of the comments above) would volunteer some time and skills to help rebuild the center in exchange for a waiver of fees or red tape? Things don't always have to cost so much if people would think outside the box once in a while.
mr henry December 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Melinda the problem with the building still needs to be looked at by a trust worthy engineer. To take the word of someone thats involved in a new building (which means more money to them ) is just stupid..Quit taking Moran as God and give us some real answers. Right no all we hear from Moran is what he started shouting a few weeks after the storm it is Destroyed when they were looking to collect big from Insurance.
Mike Mazzucca December 13, 2013 at 12:34 PM
I cant imagine spending any amount of money on a community center when there are so many people still with out a home to even live in. I wish the mayor and administrator would work as hard for it's residents in fighting flood carriers as the are with this notion of rebuilding or building the community center. It's a total joke. Skitch I am with you. The township building dept is the other bookend to this challenged duo. What type of changes to the code do you think we'll see when it comes time for this thing to be built. How do you think they'll line their pockets ??


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