LAKEHURST – Borough officials discussed sewer line work, tree plantings and the status of a vacant building during a recent council meeting.
Council President Steven Oglesby reported on a meeting he attended about phase two about the water line/sewer line replacement. “Because of the expense of Union Avenue we have pretty much decided against replacing all the sewer lines and will instead will be relining them which will be a major, major cost savings.”
“I have it on expert opinion that relining them is every bit as good as replacing the lines. The lines are sufficient in size, however we do need to make sure the current ones are intact. They will be using cameras to inspect them and the relining will fill any minor defect and if there is anything further we will have to deal with that at the time,” Oglesby said.
The council president also said the borough is in need of a qualified purchasing agent.
“Having a QPA would increase our purchasing threshold and it is something that once or twice a year we should have,” he said. A recommendation was made for an existing employee to provide those services through a stipend of around $500.
The council president updated the public concerning the tree replacement project and provided some showing trees that have been recommended.
Previously Oglesby had presented two choices, the Bradford pear and the Japanese cherry tree but now the Bradford pear tree is third on the list. “Bradford pears really need to be pruned. The first two don’t need to be pruned.”
He added that “once they are set up they are pretty much low maintenance. They are pretty much designed to adapt to the space between the sidewalk. They are three quarter size trees. The Kousa dogwood and the other is the Ahmedabad cherry tree. Both of them are low maintenance.”
He said neither species requires a lot of water and were ideal for busy streets and for roads having utility lines. “The only thing I was not able to obtain which I hope to get, is prices because it depends on how big of a tree you want.”
“If you are talking a three to six-foot tree it is one thing. If you are talking about a 10-foot tree it is considerably more. We will have to make a decision on what we are looking for. I don’t think we want to go to small because they may be vandalized either intentionally or accidentally,” Oglesby said.
“We want to act soon so why don’t we make a decision on which tree. That would be a start,” Mayor Harry Robbins said.
Councilman Brian DiMeo suggested ordering both types and alternating the planting of the trees.
“We certainly don’t want to have to hire a company to come in and prune our trees for us,” Oglesby said explaining why the Bradford pear was not the best choice to make and favoring the cherry tree instead.
Councilman DeMeo inquired about the status of a building across the street from the Borough Hall. “The last I recall we sent them another letter and gave them an opportunity to respond.”
Borough Attorney Ian M. Goldman said a certified letter was sent to them on August 27 and “we gave them 60 days to demolish the property or summonses may be issued and to date that hasn’t happened so we are approaching the 60 days.”
Councilwoman Patricia Hodges who described the structure as an eyesore stressed, “we need an end point.”
“Starting November 1 code enforcement will start issuing a summons, Mayor Robbins said.
Goldman added, “I think we should give them a few summonses.”
In other news, Councilman Robert McCarthy said he’d gone on a drill with members of the borough’s fire department. “They were showing me some of the new equipment that they recently purchased and a new type of hose and the nozzle attachment which minimizes the possibility of firefighter injury and it is lighter. It was a nice night and they really had their stuff together and everything went well.”
It was noted that the borough’s Land Use Board meeting was “contentious” as some residents came out to it to object to a proposed Wawa that would be built across from the Borough Police station in a wooded area.
By unanimous vote, Anthony Florio was approved as a temporary police officer.