Firehouse To Become Senior Center

The “Aurora Place Rehab” will turn this building into a senior center and an EMS station. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – A former firehouse/volunteer EMS headquarters will be transformed into a new senior center as part of the township’s 2021 Capital Budget.

  Some $1 million is budgeted for “The Aurora Place Rehab,” said Mayor John G. Ducey as he introduced the spending plan during the most recent Township Council meeting.

  “It is going to be a very special project,” he said. “That rehabilitation will turn it into our awesome senior center, right here in the center of town.”

  Senior Services currently operate out of the VFW on Adamston Road, which is not owned by the township and is not always available since they host their own events, the mayor said.

  “Now the seniors in town will have their own home,” he said.

  Department heads submitted some $26 million in budget requests, which was pared down to $10 million, the mayor said.

  “We have always done an $8.5 million budget for the capital budget every year, and this year, based upon our experience in 2020, I did agree to up it to $10 million,” the mayor said.

  The additional $1.5 million would be dedicated to the Sunny Day Flooding Project, which was named for when skies are clear, there is no rain, but water still comes up from the storm drains in some of the township’s waterfront communities.

Flooding is still an issue in the Normandy Beach section of the township. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  “So when it’s a high tide, or a full moon…these streets are inundated with water,” he said. “We are going to do a minimum of $1.5 million per year to try and alleviate that problem as best we can.”

  The remaining $8.5 million of the capital budget would be earmarked for various departments, including Engineering, DPW, Buildings and Grounds, IT, EMS, Police, Recreation & Marina, Beach and Parks.

  Some of the highlights include one new Ford F-250 for Building and Grounds (who had requested two of the trucks with snow-plow attachments), and some $20,000 to replace rusted police ramp handrails at Town Hall.

  The Department of Public Works will get three new side-arm garbage trucks ($900,000), and a used street sweeper ($250,000) since more residents requested a street sweeper in 2020 than ever before, the mayor said.

  “If everybody remembers, everybody was walking every single day in March, April, May and June, walking their neighborhoods, and so requests came in about sweeping the streets more often,” he said.

  The budget includes a new golf cart ($10,500) for the Department of Recreation, to be used with assisting handicapped residents at events like SummerFest, which “is a great amenity that we can offer to people with those needs.”

  The mayor said that Engineering is one of the most expensive departments, with $2.5 million earmarked for Normandy Beach road elevations. The department will spend an estimated $220,000 on the Channel Drive bulkhead, and about $330,000 on dredging.

Mallard Point Park will be modernized and upgraded, officials said. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  The EMS Department will get a new Ford F-450 ambulance ($255,000). Two large-ticket Police Department items include $324,000 for radio infrastructure and $120,000 for 50 wireless body worn cameras, licensing and a new server.

  Some $200,000 was approved for the IT Department for a new SDL server, plus about $200,000 for additional technology.

  Some special projects to be funded in the 2021 Capital Budget include $375,000 towards the renovation of Cedar Bridge Manor Park (which has been funded over several years), scheduled to begin in the fall; and $75,000 in permitting costs for the renovation of Mallard Point Park.

  The next council meeting will be on Tuesday, July 13 at 7 p.m.