STAFFORD, NJ - The long contested attempt by Stafford Township to get permission from the NJ Pinelands Commission ot build an additional stormwater drainage runoff area has finally been approved.
There has been flooding in one particular area of the Ocean Acres development in the Neptune Drive area of Stafford Township for many years. The rising water and flooding was a continuous problem. Even the construction of the existing large basin at Neptune Drive and Route 72 numbers of years ago has not effectively taken care of the problem.
Readers may recall homes being damaged, cars completely under water during a number of rainfalls and storms. It wasn't necessary for a lot of rain, just quick and heavy rain was always a danger for damage. .
The Stafford Township leadership have put much effort and research into coming up with a plan to fix the problem. The solution was to add another basin parallel to the one existing on Neptune Drive in Ocean Acres. The additional basin will be across on the other side of Route 72 where it is currently wooded. The township owns land there and the project will be 7.2 acres in size.
The township will construct large pipes under the highway to move the Ocean Acres water into the additional basin. Therefore increasing the drainage capacity.
The community and residents are very hopeful that this will remedy the situation. Even along the highway during heavy rains, much water stands in the highway creating a continual dangerous situaion.
The challenging aspect of the remedy has been working with the NJ Pinelands Commission. The Pinelands Commission New Jersey Pinelands Commission is an independent state agency whose mission according to their website "is to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands National Reserve, and to encourage compatible economic and other human activities consistent with that purpose."
The area residents have shared their concerns to the Council the last few years. The township has secured the permits and have gained the victory. The victory only was approved in the last week by a slim margin of 8-7. Stafford has been working on this permit with the Pinelands Commission for 3 and a half years.
Stafford Township has adopted a $3.3 million bond ordinance to cover the project and they expect a 50 percent reimbursement in a grant from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust,. This is great news for the residents who live in this section of Stafford Township and for commuters on Route 72.