Brigantine seeks grants for bus shelters, bike path improvements, street paving

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City Council’s Sept. 6 meeting included resolutions authorizing applications for three New Jersey Department of Transportation grant programs. The meeting also included contract awards for various equipment, supplies and city services. All six agenda items were approved unanimously, 7-0.

Council authorized application to NJDOT’s Bikeway Grant Program that provides funds to promote bicycling as an alternate mode of transportation. Typically priority is given to municipalities seeking new construction of bike paths, or designation of open space separate from motorized vehicle traffic, according to the NJDOT website, state.nj.us/transportation.

Maintenance of existing bicycle paths is also a consideration, however, and if approved for a grant Brigantine would use the money to repaint the island’s 8 miles of bike paths, according to City Manager Ed Stinson.

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Council also authorized a grant application to NJDOT’s Safe Streets to Transit program, which is a follow-up to a December council meeting in which installation of three bus shelters was discussed.

Should the city receive the funding, prefabricated shelters would be placed at the bus stops that tend to see the most people waiting to use public transportation. The areas discussed include the stop on Harbor Beach Boulevard by TD Bank, the Harbor Beach stop in front of the Dolphin Cove Condominiums, and at 14th Street South and Brigantine Avenue in front of the police station.

A third NJDOT grant application was approved for the municipal aid program that is part of $78.75 million of state funding earmarked for street improvements and street safety projects. New Jersey’s 370 municipalities are responsible for maintaining more than 74 percent of the total roadways statewide, according to the NJDOT website.

Brigantine would be seeking grant funding to repave Bayshore Avenue from Sixth Street South to 20th Street, thereby completing a stretch of Bayshore that was recently repaved. Work has already begun on a stretch of Atlantic-Brigantine Boulevard from Harbor Beach Boulevard up to the lighthouse circle that is part of the same grant program. Work is expected to be completed on that project by November.

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Council awarded a contract to A.C. Schultes Inc. of Woodbury Heights for maintenance, service and repair of the city’s water wells, sewer-lift stations and stormwater pumping stations. Estimated expenditures for the year-long contract should not exceed $31,000, excluding any emergency situations.

A contract was also awarded to Mid-Atlantic Salt LLC of Narberth, Pennsylvania, to provide rock salt for snow and ice removal at a price of $58.90 per ton.

“Let’s hope there is little occasion to use it this winter,” said Mayor Phil Guenther.

Vital Communications of Trenton was awarded a contract for tax assessment software and maintenance, and miscellaneous services as needed.

Council also unanimously approved a resolution authorizing participation in the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance for automotive parts and accessories with Carquest Auto Parts. Participation in the program allows Brigantine to save money on auto parts, officials said.

Council also approved a resolution authorizing the city to renew membership in the National Joint Powers Alliance for heavy equipment purchase, through which the city recently purchased a John Deere four-wheel-drive front-end loader for $162,250. Public Works Superintendent John Doring said the machine replaced a 1988 loader that had more than 87,000 hours of use on it.

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Stinson said the city boat ramp project has been completed. Funded largely through a New Jersey Economic Development Authority grant, the project should alleviate some of the severe flooding that takes place in that north-end bay area.

The project included installation of a new stormwater drainage system; installation of a new pumping station and electric generator; reconstruction and regrading of roadway, sidewalks and curbing; and establishment of a removable flood gate that can seal the gap in the bulkhead where the ramp is when tidal or storm flooding is anticipated.

Stinson said dredging of St. George’s Thoroughfare Bay will soon be underway and is anticipated to be finished before November. The last time the waterway was dredged was in 2014, when about 40,500 cubic yards of sediment was removed to facilitate boating traffic.

Council unanimously approved a request for four-wheel-drive permit holders to access sections of Brigantine’s front beaches from Sept. 25 to Dec. 3 during the Atlantic County-Atlantic City Surf Fishing Derby.

Throughout its more than 30-year history, the tournament has donated tens of thousands of dollars to charities such as the United Way, the Shirley Mae Breast Cancer Assistance Fund, and local police benevolent associations.

Council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20.

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