Brick Township has approved the second portion of its annual capital improvement budget, which allocates funding for town-wide projects such as parks, infrastructure and similar items.
Mayor John Ducey said this week that the township passed an initial capital budget earlier this year, but held off on some items due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. Ducey, as part of his administration’s pledge to reduce the township’s debt, has limited bonding to $8.5 million per year throughout his two terms in office, and the two separate measures this year are $8.5 million combined
The second portion of the budget allocates funding for many items, but most significantly, the mayor said, Brick will purchase a third bus to serve senior citizens. The township currently operates two buses, one of which was cost-free as part of a grant and one of which was purchased.
“The demand for the bus service is incredible,” Ducey said.
The bus provides transportation for anyone age 60 or above to the township’s Senior Center, numerous local shopping plazas, the Ocean County Mall as well as recreational areas.
The township is also buying sets of generators that will be installed at major intersections in town with the aim of keeping traffic lights operational during power outages.
“We seem to be having a lot of power failures, and these are generators that will be hooked up so we don’t have to have our police officers out directing traffic,” Ducey said.
The generators will be installed permanently at several traffic lights at major intersections which are still being determined. The township already owns several portable generators that can be used to power traffic signals, but most of Brick’s major intersections are county and state roadways, which has led to some backlash from officials at those levels of government.
“They want something permanent rather than having us going in there every storm,” Ducey said.
The remainder of the second portion of the capital budget includes replacement vehicles for some departments, an extra four-wheel-drive pickup truck that can be used for snow plowing by the parks department, and the continued development of the township’s master dredging plan.
Ducey said another item included in the budget has been requested by those who use the new skate park at Bernie Cooke Park. A turnstile will be installed which will ensure that only skateboarders will be allowed to use the facility.
“We had some problems with some bikes going in there,” said Ducey. “It voids the warranty and endangers the equipment.”
Finally, another item of note is a replacement sign in front of town hall. The current sign is showing its age, with some irregular letters and lighting. The new sign will be blue, but otherwise resemble the current sign, the mayor said.