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Stafford Introduces Bond Ordinance for Community Centers

Proposed new pavillion at Mill Creek Park
Proposed new pavillion at Mill Creek Park

Stafford Township took another step forward in constructing a new community center on Bay Avenue and a public pavilion at the site of the old community center in Mill Creek Park on Tuesday night.

The Township Council passed an ordinance on first reading to issue $2,245,000 in bonds to cover the construction costs of the projects during their meeting.
During the public portion of the meeting, Beach Haven West Civic Association President Dawn Papatheodorou questioned the council about the cost and type of construction being used.

The buildings are to be made for pre-fabricated metal, which Mayor John Spodofora is the “cheapest” type of construction available. “We’re giving you a cheap building,” the Mayor said, “but using the most inexpensive method available.”    

As for the cost, the mayor and various council members noted that the cost of public construction is often more expensive then private construction.

As an example the mayor said the new Surfside Casual building on Route 72, which is also a metal building, would cost the township far more to construct than it did the furniture retailer.

“Public sector contractors must adhere to prevailing wage laws and other government mandated conditions that private contractors do not,” said the mayor. 

The bond amount is to cover the total “anticipated” costs based on the figures provided by the township’s architect and engineer at a presentation at last months meeting, he said.

The actual amount of the bond will be determined by where the bids come in for the projects. “This gives us the ability to seek competitive bids for the projects, which could be all over the place,” said the mayor.

Previously he said all monies received from FEMA and the township’s insurers related to the old Mill Creek Center destroyed in Superstorm Sandy will also go to offset the construction costs, which also will reduce the bond amount.

The council also introduced two other bonding ordinances. One for $2,684,205 for “capital improvements and acquisition of various capital equipment” related to the 2014 budget. 

The preliminary 2014 Capital Budget was approved by resolution earlier.

The final bond ordinance was for the water and sewer department’s upcoming capital improvements and acquisition in the amount of $2,595,679.

In a related matter, the council approved two resolutions to apply to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and Environmental Infrastructure Trust for water main replacement along Mill Creek Road due to failure and for replacement on adjacent roads due to anticipated failure.  

The second filing is to replace water mains running from the water treatment plant on Mill Creek Road to Paul Boulevard.

All three bonding ordinance will be open for public comment and final adoption at the next council meeting on March 18th at 7 p.m.

LT March 05, 2014 at 06:07 PM
I'll be there. Why do we need a third "community center"? We don't have the population to support this foolishness and I for one am sick to death of our tax dollars getting flushed down the toilet by the erstwhile SEAL.
Ann Powers March 06, 2014 at 09:58 AM
Ridiculous. $2.8 million for CHEAP buildings. Stafford residents need to say No Thanks on March 18.
sandrah March 06, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Could someone clarify what exactly a community center will do? Who uses a center like that? Will it not be empty a large majority of the time???? I do not understand this town. Why don't they invest the money in fixing up the town part. I am not sure what is declared "downtown" also, because by the flea market -it is not really considered a quaint area. Even thought I applaud all the businesses there to try and bring a normalcy to Manahawkin. By the library and park, is where the "small town" feel somewhat is, with the older houses and stores and renovation of the old Cranberry Bog bldg. . And even though it has a major highway running through it, it could be fixed up !!!! Look at Point Pleasant downtown, Red Bank, Chester, Madison, and etc. , why cant we get it together and make a town we can be proud to live in. We certainly don't need a community center for that cost and especially when some of us don't even know what it will do or bring to Stafford ?! I do know one thing - It wont bring revenue.!!!!! Come on Manahawkin, get it together and think of the future for our children and families and visitors-- so we can have a town that people don't cringe when they say they are from Manahawkin. Instead people could say - Oh I love that downtown area. So awesome. NO COMMUNITY CENTER NEEDED. !!! Lots more to say but I will zip it.
Mike Mazzucca March 06, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Sandrah...bring it on March 18th so the mayor can hear it first hand. You make some excellent points regarding "downtown" Manahawkin. I do believe though that many organizations use the community center and it is quite busy, however it doesn't draw revenues, so it is subsidized by our tax dollars. In essence you're paying for others to use it.
NavyE9r March 06, 2014 at 05:48 PM
I'm going to "Crystal Ball" how the March 18th meeting is going to go. The Mayor and his inept Councilmembers will listed to all of us pouring our hearts out and then do out what they want to do in their best interest not yours. Any objection or intelligent refute will result in the admonishment by the Senator. The Mayor will have pre-staged pro-agenda speakers who will be selected at opportunistic time to praise him as he so desperately needs. Those people will not have to adhere to the five minute time limit, while the others will be counted to the second. The next time you are at the OA School/community center and you happen to pass and read his Bio for his induction into the Stafford Hall of Fame and you find yourself in awe, just know that a good portion of that was fabricated and is false. He's too arrogant and lacks the intestinal fortitude to to fix it himself.


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