VILLAS – Lower Township Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) introduced its 2013 water and sewer budgets which feature no rate increases.
At an Oct. 3 meeting, MUA Executive Director Matt Ecker said the authority’s financial condition, considering the current economic climate, is good.
“Our use of unrestricted net assets to fund this budget to maintain our rate stabilization and reduce debt is actually less than in past years,” he said.
MUA Board of Commissioner s Chairman Nels Johnson said “unless something catastrophic happens, we’re looking extremely healthy.” He said it was the third consecutive year MUA balanced its budget.
Accountant Stephen Testa said the sewer budget used less net assets than originally anticipated for 2012. He said MUA was budgeting about the same amount in 2013.
In the water budget, no use of unrestricted net assets is projected to the balance the budget, said Testa. A public hearing for the budget will be held at MUA’s Nov. 7 meeting.
IN OTHER BUSINESS: the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has scheduled a public hearing for the MUA’s water allocation permit to supply water to newly installed mains in Town Bank and future expansion in Villas. The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 4 Moore Road in Crest Haven.
The hearing will be cancelled if no requests for a hearing are received by DEP by Oct. 28.
The water allocation permit seeks to increase diversion from five existing wells in the Conhansey aquifer and one proposed 269- foot deep well. The application to DEP requests to divert 143 million gallons per month, 1,330 million gallons per year at a maximum rate of 4,250 gallons per minute.
The request represents an increase of 30 million gallons per month or 462 million gallons per year.
Written comments on the application must be sent on or before Oct. 30 to Barbara Ware, Mail Code 401-3, DEP, Division of Water Supply and Geoscience, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420.
Ecker said he expected MUA would receive a water allocation permit 60 days after the hearing.
PAVING: Ecker said South State General Contractors was completing all the work in the Town Bank phase two project. He said paving should be completed in a few weeks.
Final paving has been done of most of the west side of Bay Drive but none of the east side of the road, said Ecker. There are some “punch list items” to be handled on Shore Drive, he said.
Lower Township is applying for state aid to totally reconstruct Clubhouse Drive from Townbank Road to Pinewood Avenue, said Ecker. He said he expected the township would know if their grant application was successful by Nov. 15.
Ecker said if the township was not successful in obtaining grant money, the MUA and township would look collectively at MUA repaving the entire stretch of Clubhouse Drive.
During public comment, resident Frank Majane complained the roads in Town Bank were “deplorable,” on Clubhouse Drive to Beach Drive on Townbank Road.
“It’s like you’re riding in a bomb field,” he said.
Ecker said Clubhouse Drive was in poor condition but not due solely to MUA’s water main installation.
Majane complained of a new strip of blacktop from Clubhouse Drive to Beach Drive on Townbank Road and also from Cox Hall Creek heading north.
Johnson said the MUA was trying to get the township to repave the road. He said the MUA could not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at this time to repair the road.
Majane said he blamed the contractor for the poor condition of the roads. He said there were three and four inch dips in the blacktop.
Resident Jay Young said Bay Drive was in poor condition from Townbank Road to Hollywood Avenue.
Ecker said Clubhouse Drive north of the “S” curve was part of the coming phase three project where trenches would be constructed for pipe installation.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which is supplying funding, is expected to shortly approve advertising for bids for the Town Bank phase three project, said Ecker.
He said the entire project should be completed by the end of summer 2013.