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Berkeley Township Waterways Advisory Commission

End of Year 2013 (FULL REPORT)

On February 11, 2013 and after the appropriate resolution hearings, the Mayor and Council of Berkeley Township created Ordinance No. 2013-08-OA 2-52.7(c) to be named The Berkeley Township Waterways Advisory Commission. The commission consists of 9 members from various areas of the township and was established as an advisory body to the Mayor and Council of Berkeley. Four of it’s members reside in Berkeley Shores and all are members of BSHCA; Bill McGrath, Bob Nunn, Vito Esposito, Fred Bekiarian.

Powers and Duties are as follows:

A - Formulate such recommendations to the Mayor and Township Council concerning the restoration, protection and maintenance of all tidal and nontidal waterways within the township.

B - Seek alternative sources of funding for waterway initiatives from all available public and private sources.

C - Keep records of its meetings and make an annual report to the governing body.

D - Perform any other duties as directed by the Mayor and Township Council.

The first public meeting was held on April 13, 2013 at the Municipal Building, 627 Pinewald-Keswick Rd, Bayville, at which time Mr. William McGrath was nominated by the commission members and established as Commission Chairperson and Mr. Fred Bekiarian was established as Secretary. Subsequent to this meeting on February 4, 2014, Mr. McGrath and Mr. Bekiarian were reappointed along with a new position of Vice Chairperson, Mr. Lee Gashlin. All sessions are open to the public, who are invited to comment at the end of the business meeting. All meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month with the exception of June and November, on the second Tuesday.

The full Commission 2013 year end report is available on the BSHCA web site under the heading of Berkeley Township Waterways Commission Report for the year ending 2013.

Significant 2013 Accomplishments; Issues pertinent to Berkeley Shores are shown in bold type.

  • Continuous monitoring of debris removal by state contractors.
  • Formulation of a township wide comprehensive dredging priority plan concentrating on those areas most affected by Superstorm Sandy.
  • Made recommendations to address the preliminary FEMA Advisory Base Flood Elevations that would have a devastating effect on flood insurance rates. This action along with strong appeals by township government, resulted in elimination of almost all V zones and lowering the base elevations from 1-2 feet in Berkeley Shores, Glen Cove and most other areas of the township.
  • Supported the delay of the Biggers-Waters Act, which established much higher flood insurance premium rates, until all base elevations are fully vetted after hearing all objections and arguments.
  • Formed committee to perform a site search for the establishment of a public boat ramp.
  • Vital to Berkeley Shores, the commission passed a resolution, strongly urging the township to purchase the Mastapeter property, Lots 6 and 7, Block 1221.06, located on approximately 170 feet of our main Amherst Inlet lagoon. The successful purchase was closed in the last quarter of 2013. This purchase gives the township full control of the inlet and the freedom to address its’ dredging needs for the future with no interference from a possible private property owner.
  • Attended various meetings invited by Mayor and/or Council throughout the year for projects pertaining to waterfront issues.
  • Supported and sent letters to the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund for the release of $500,000 to construct an experimental catch basin structure that would eliminate storm water outflow into the Moorage Ave. lagoon, via a 4 foot pipe. This is a county project.
  • Provide speakers to present waterways issues in a public forum for various groups.
  • Monitored the Bayview Ave pipe/culvert replacement project and advised owners along Bayview Ave of scheduled events leading to completion, especially road closings.
  • Requested the services of the NJDEP, funding, for dredging of our most silted in lagoons, in progress.
  • Requested and monitored 128 cubic yards of replacement sand on Amherst Beach.
  • Received petition from 73 homeowners in the Maple Creek area for serious silting issues affecting navigation as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
  • Monitoring of the storm damaged Ocean County Utilities Authority pumping station at the end of Allen Road. Seeking a timetable for repairs.
  • Investigated the plan to store dredge spoils at Berkeley Island Park in an onsite meeting with county officials. Conclusion: Spoils are non contaminated and will be used to establish a living shoreline on the south side of the park, damaged by Sandy. The Berkeley Island Park is a county project and is planned for major renovation that will not be completed in the 2014 time frame. However, it is possible that the dock and boardwalk areas will be repaired and made available to the public for fishing and crabbing with somewhat restricted parking facilities by the summer of 2014. More on this as plans develop.
  • Investigated remaining V zones for their possible reversal of FEMA designations.
  • Investigating federal grants for marine debris removal after the state deadline.
  • Investigating Green and Blue Acres funding rules for blighted waterfront land acquisition for a Township Maritime Park.
  • Encouraged township to increase penalties for dumping debris into lagoons.

A most significant event for Berkeley Shores in the 2013 timeframe was the role the Waterways Commission played in the urging and successful acquisition of the Mastapeter property by the township. Control of dredging, widening and monitoring of water depths in the main lagoon is vital to continued quality access to the bay and becomes a significant asset to stabilization of our property values in our area. We, in Berkeley Shores, are more fortunate than most in Berkeley as regards our waterfront. The Glen Cove area has significant dredging issues brought about by Sandy that are not fully resolved. The recent and continued dredging of Amherst has given us a passable lagoon into the bay. To assure continued access, spring will see the start of a project to widen and install a bulkhead along the entire western side and end at the new jetty next to the beach. It is possible that, given the proper approvals, the east side will also be given a bulkhead that should eliminate or at least, impede the annual silting that has continued to encroach into the main inlet, reducing width and depth. Our hope is that the completion of this project will provide for the ingress and egress of vessels simultaneously, as they navigate the main lagoon.

The purchase of the property contiguous with the beach and the wooded area between, will give us the opportunity to plan for a park stretching several hundred feet on the waterfront. A commission committee comprised of Fred Bekiarian, Bob Nunn and Vito Esposito, residents of Berkeley Shores and BSHCA members, have made some assessments as they proceed with plans for a waterfront park.

 

BSHCA Members are encouraged to comment and provide ideas as we move forward with this project in 2014. We will attempt to develop the park in a manner that is friendly and considerate to the residents in the Amherst neighborhood. Much of what we will plan will be accomplished in house, with the cooperation of the Public Works and Parks Depts. If you have input, please contact the following committee members. We welcome your suggestions.

Fred Bekiarian fred.bek@comcast.net Bob Nunn bnunn101@comcast.net

Vito Esposito vespo2@comcast.net

Berkeley Township Engineering Projects in Design Stage:

-In addition to our planned Amherst Inlet bulkhead project, there are various bulkhead projects planned in several areas of the township.

-Plans are in progress for Allen Road beach replenishment, boardwalk and lighting repairs. The commission has requested a study for Allen Road beach stabilization that is similar to concrete type structures known as prisms, currently installed and under study in Ocean Gate.

-Reconstruction work for the end of Bowsprit Drive, damaged by Sandy, invited bids in January and work is scheduled for the spring, 2014.

A word about the Waterways Commission

The Berkeley Shores Homeowners' Civic Association played a role in the establishment of the Commission. We are a respected organization, with a positive influence on the community. Your continued membership in BSHCA is so very vital to our ability to make progress on these matters that address our increasingly fragile waterfront. Your continued commitment to BSHCA provides the necessary support. We are fortunate to have a council and administration that listens and is sensitive to the needs of our waterways. They have been most cooperative and have willingly provided the means and support for our continued progress. A thank you to Parks and Recreation and Public Works for your continued support and for your machines and manpower. And to my fellow commission members, a thank you for your dedication and especially to our tireless chairperson for his vision and for his progressive and ambitious agenda, wide in scope.

As your commission representative on the exec board, I will do my best to keep you updated on the progress of the commission and especially for those projects and concerns that directly affect Berkeley Shores. Visit us at one of our monthly meetings to express your concerns.

Fred Bekiarian, 1st VP/Advisor BSHCA / Secretary, BT Waterways Commission

 

 

Tides

Contact Us:

Berkeley Shores
Homeowners' Civic
Association
P.O. Box 134
Bayville, NJ 08721
info@berkeleyshores.org

 

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