Stafford Approves $7.5M In Bonds For Purchases and Projects

One of several projects bonded at Tuesday's meeting is the construction a new community center on East Bay Avenue.
One of several projects bonded at Tuesday's meeting is the construction a new community center on East Bay Avenue.

The Stafford Township Council adopted a trio of bond ordinances totaling nearly $7.5M at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Two of the ordinances will cover bonding a variety of projects and acquisitions ranging from the purchase of vehicles to installing new water and sewer lines.

The third is specifically for the construction of two new buildings in the township. A new community center on East Bay Avenue and a pavilion with rest room facilities on the site of the old Mill Creek Community Center that was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy.

The first measure for $2.684M will cover items approved in the preliminary 2014 municipal budget, said Mayor John Spodofora. “These are items that we need to repair, replace and maintain within the township,” said the mayor in response to a question from the audience. 

Among them are police vehicles, trash and recycling trucks, new computers, software upgrades, road paving projects and a new fire truck.

The second set of bonds, in the amount of nearly $2.6M will finance new and ongoing water and sewer projects, including new lines on Walter and Charles boulevards and repairs and upgrades along Mill Creek road, said the mayor.

The final bonding ordinance for $2.245M drew the most public comment is for the construction of a community center at 775 E. Bay Ave. and a pavilion building in Mill Creek Park.

Councilman Henry Mancini told audience members that the Mill Creek building will be a small 1,000 square foot structure with a covered pavilion. “It is not a second community center,” he said.

But it will again enhance the quality of life in Beach Haven West, by providing a place to hold meetings and community events, he added. The pavilion will feature meeting space, kitchen facilities and provide the park with accessible rest rooms. It had no bathrooms in the past, while all other township parks do, he added. 

Resident Mike Mazzuca asked about the timing and need for the projects, since there is already a center in Ocean Acres and the old town hall on East Bay is currently being utilized a center.  

Councilwoman Lori Wyrsch said more than 25 groups and organizations as well as the school now vie for the use of the smaller Ocean Acres center and another 35 utilize the current old town hall on Bay Avenue that also houses the township’s Recreation Department, she added. 

“You may never use them, but they will contribute to the greater good,” said Wyrsch. They will be part of what makes Stafford a great place to live, she added. 

The mayor and Councilman Stephen Fessler also said that buildings will be built with rust proof, pre-fabricated metal and constructed to withstand another storm or hurricane such as Sandy. 

In a worse case scenario, the buildings, primarily the new community center can serve as a shelter or be utilized for other emergency management needs, said Fessler. 

The mayor and Township Administrator James Moran said the eventual cost to the township should be reduced once it settles with FEMA and their insurance carriers. In addition, there are applying for state and federal grants the help fund the projects.

David March 20, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Let me get this straight . We are 100 million in debt we lost ratable from sandy . Me taxes are going up and we are building useless buildings my life better . Am I missing something ? These people should not be allowed to get away with this . Help get them out of office before we are beyond help
Esther Libenschek March 20, 2014 at 02:37 PM
@sim... I agree with everything you said. I'm 49 years old and a caregiver to my 76 year old mom who lives with us so I am seeing up close and personal the effects of fiscal irresponsibility on all fronts. If my mom didn't live with us, she would be unable to live in Stafford... and her pension and SS are no different than the majority of our seniors living in this town. I find it unconscionable that our governing body has such tunnel vision and reckless abandon to the will of the people they are supposed to represent. The spin that goes on from our dais is an insult to all the hard working taxpayers, young and old, picking up the tab for every bond this governing body approves. The lack of transparency and true motives behind their plans is an affront to everyone who put their trust in them in the form of a vote.
Mac March 20, 2014 at 03:25 PM
so much for future services - 2% cap - two buildings, much like our schools, built by insiders who build things to need lots and lots of maintenance and repairs - several years of shrinking population before area rebuilt - grants in question for expanded replacements - higher, higher and higher taxes for sure - but you have some new metal sheds - isn't Republican government priceless?
Mac March 20, 2014 at 03:28 PM
I think the annual barrage of Republican/Gilmore glossy campaign flyers promise you more bang for your bucks. And when it comes to more of your money, Gilmore and his lackeys always deliver as promised.
Mike Mazzucca March 20, 2014 at 04:27 PM
The argument made by our Mayor is that when the storm hit FEMA and Emergency mgmt. had no where to go. Additionally the 5000 sf building going back by the old original community center is intended to bring more traffic to the bay ave business community. The harsh reality is, if you can lower taxes, there's more disposable income for families to go out and enjoy restaurants and stores and spend in your community. Community centers serve one purpose, and that is to provide gathering places for organizations. They do not generate income that sustains them....but they should.


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