BARNEGAT – At a recent Township Council meeting, the committee passed an ordinance that would provide for improvements and an addition to the town hall property, to be financed by $15 million in bonds.
The ordinance states that the bonds will finance the renovation of the current property, facilities and buildings, as well as the construction of a new town hall and new public works building.
The money allocated to finance these projects will be given as a line of equity, said Committeeman Albert Bille during the meeting. The meeting was in December, when Bille was mayor. Committeeman Frank Caputo has since been selected as mayor. The township is bonding for a line of credit for an estimated $10-11 million. The council decided on the higher amount of $15 million to account for growth and any other necessary upgrades not accounted for already.
“We don’t expect it to be $15 million; we expect it to be between $9-11 million,” said Committeewoman Susan McCabe at the meeting.
“The present town hall is in deplorable condition,” said Bille. He also noted that the building used to be a sales office for a housing development that had trailers attached in the back, years before it was a township building.
The bonds will be used to construct a new town hall and police station, said Bille.
The new building will be located at the east end of the township parking lot and will be about 22,000 square feet; 8,000 of that to be designated for the police station, according to Township Administrator Martin Lisella.
The renovations will be going on around the existing township buildings. This allows for the committee members and police staff to remain working out of their current locations while the construction is taking place. While completely new structures are going to be built for the town hall and the police station, the Barnegat Recreation Center, located behind the current township building, will just be undergoing renovations.
In addition to these changes, the Public Works building will be making a transition into the Southern Recycling Center.
Following the completion of construction, the township will move into the new building and the current building will be demolished to add to the size of the township parking lot.
“We hope to have the new town hall in place within two years,” said Bille.
Officials are not yet sure of how much of the bonds will go towards the different projects included in the ordinance.