Lacey Looks At EZ Pass Problems

Lacey officials discussed a variety of subjects during a recent Township Committee meeting. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  LACEY – A recent Township Committee meeting featured discussion of the annoyance of non-functioning EZ Pass poles and also included a variety of contract approvals for the purchase of police equipment.

  Mayor Mark Dykoff said he and Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh frequently receive complaints from residents about the “EZ Pass poles on the Parkway not registering and consequently what happens is the individuals receive violation notices and it is kind of difficult to rectify online and hopefully you’ll get a phone call.”

  The mayor added that “Veronica has reached out to the highway authority and they are a little difficult to get a response from so I spoke with Sen. (Chris) Connors and our 9th District legislators who reached out to the appropriate authority to see if something could be done to assure that the poles are operational.”

  “The northbound entrance ramp that’s where the problem is,” Laureigh noted.

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Police Purchases

  During the meeting the township approved contracts for a number of police related purchases including five police cars as well as a new radar system for those vehicles, and five more tasers.

  Laureigh told The Southern Ocean Times that “prices haven’t come in yet for the cars. We are waiting for that before we can move forward.”

  Dell computers were ordered for installation for those police cars and a camera surveillance system was also approved to go to contract from Crime Point Inc.

Playground Equipment

  Lacey officials also approved a contract for the purchase of playground equipment from Ben Shaffer Recreation Inc. of Oak Ridge for the Bamber Beach West playground. Laureigh mentioned, “this will complete our Bamber Lake items once we get this in place this year.”

  Bids have been received for various township projects including tennis courts at Hebrew Park and for the resurfacing of Hebrew Park Mill Pond and Gille Park basketball courts. Laureigh noted that “the Hebrew Park tennis courts are being converted to pickle ball courts.”

Flood Plan

  The township will name a flood hazard administrator which Laureigh said was all in accordance with changes in FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the State Department of Environmental Protection.

  She explained this establishes a new chapter in township code “so as to adapt flood hazard maps designating a flood plain administrator and adopting flood plain regulations. This regards the new maps that have come out. Each town is required to adopt the updated maps. You can make some changes but DEP does review it.”

  She said the DEP could make “corrections or deletions on any changes you make. If you don’t continue to be compliant with the maps, we would no longer be in the National Flood Insurance program and that would cause problems for people to get flood insurance who are on the east side of Route 9.”

Noise Regulations Updated

  Township officials also voted to revise its regulations on noise “so as to adopt the state model noise control act. We’ve had a lot of issues with quality-of-life issues with noise in various neighborhoods and some of the laws currently on the books are not enforceable by state law,” Laureigh said.

  “We are now adopting this to get it on the books so we can work on some of those quality-of-life issues,” the administrator added.

Property Purchases

  The governing body also moved forward on the purchase of property off of Calvin Street. “This is two non-conforming lots that is in phase III of the Walters Development site. We are purchasing it for $68,000 out of our Affordable Housing trust fund,” Laureigh added.

  Additional lots were also approved for a $77,000 and a $11,000 purchase and were also connected to phase III of the Walters Development site.

Cyber Security

  Officials also approved the formation of a cyber unit response plan which will amend the employee handbook. “This is for us to be compliant with our joint insurance fund. We’ve seen a lot of cases in the past 18 months related to cyber security and ransomware in a lot of municipalities,” Laureigh said.

  She added, “they are at very high deductibles so we if we don’t get ourselves into this program and have certain stop gaps in our systems our deductibles will be at $250,000 ranges so we are getting ourselves into the program right now.”

  Laureigh noted the township is at tier two “which is good, tier three is the best. Our deductible at this point would be $20,000.”