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.
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
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.