RENOVATED BAYSIDE PARK OPENED TO THE PUBLIC

On Monday, October 5, Mayor John G. Ducey and the Township Council joined members of the community at the ribbon cutting for the renovated Bayside Park. This is the seventh park improvement project completed during Mayor Ducey’s term.

 “This ribbon cutting has been a long time in the making and we cannot be more thrilled with how the renovation of Bayside Park turned out,” said Mayor Ducey. “The park is filled with great amenities and will offer residents and guests to Brick Township a place to spend sun-filled days fishing, crabbing or a number of other activities in one of the most beautiful locations on the Barnegat Bay.”

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Bayside Park is located on Route 35 South opposite Brick Beach III. The improved park includes a new gazebo, an enlarged and improved playground with safety surface, a new picnic area, new benches and shade structures on the boardwalk, bait tables for people to fish and crab, a concrete patio for activities and two concrete cornhole games. A new boardwalk was previously installed on the site. The project also included landscaping and installation of sod and an irrigation system.

 Bayside Park suffered extensive damage during Super Storm Sandy in 2012. In the subsequent years, the park was used as a staging area for recovery projects such as the dredging of Barnegat Bay and the beach replenishment project. The Township waited for those projects to be finalized before moving forward with the renovation design and construction.

 The cost of the renovation project was $722,022. The winning bid was submitted by Precise Construction of Freehold, NJ. Precise previously completed the Herbertsville, Angela Hibbard, Hank Waltonowski and Bernie Cooke projects. CME Associates designed the park and served as the consulting engineers for the project. The Township has applied for Green Acres funding to offset the cost of this and other park projects.

 This is the seventh project completed in Mayor Ducey’s Park Improvement Program. Previous projects include the playgrounds at Windward Beach Park, Herbertsville Park (formerly Colorado Park), Lake Riviera Park, Angela Hibbard Park, Hank Waltonowski Park and Bernie Cooke Park. Other recreational facility improvements completed in the past few years include the installation of fitness stations and replacing the field turf at the Drum Point Sports Complex.

 The next planned park improvement project will take place at Cedar Bridge Manor Park.

MAYOR DUCEY SWEARS IN NEW POLICE OFFICERS

Mayor John G. Ducey swore the six newest members of the Brick Township Police Department yesterday in a ceremony at the Municipal Building.

“The men I swore in today all met the high standards that the Brick Township Police Department demands when looking for new officers. Four of these men have already served our Nation in the Armed Forces,” stated Mayor Ducey. “I am confident that all six of our new officers will prove to be assets to our Police Department and our community.”

The six new officers are Daniel Araque (Badge #308), Corey Rackliffe (Badge #309), Jeffrey Maehl (Badge #310), Turner Robbins (Badge #311), Kyle Dudak (Badge #313) and Matthew Farnkopf (Badge #314).

From Left: Chief James Riccio, Matthew Farnkopf, Kyle Dudak, Turner Robbins, Corey Rackliffe, Jeffrey Maehl, Daniel Araque, Mayor John G. Ducey, Councilman Vincent Minichino

Daniel Araque has served in the United States Army Reserves since 2010 and currently holds the rank of Sergeant. He was deployed to both Kuwait and Iraq. Daniel, who is a graduate of Union County College and Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Monmouth University, was previously employed by the Linden Police Department.

Corey Rackliffe is a 2010 graduate of Brick Township High School and is a veteran of the United States Army where he was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and was deployed to Iraq. He is a graduate of Ocean County College and Kean University.

Jeffrey Maehl served in the United States Navy as a Military Police Officer from 2009 until 2018 and currently serves in the Naval Reserves. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Homeland Security from American University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from John Jay College.

Turner Robbins is a 2008 graduate of Brick Township High School. He is a veteran of the United States Navy and served in Operation Enduring Freedom. He earned his Associates Degree from Ocean County College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Homeland Security from Monmouth University. He was previously employed as an Officer with the New Jersey State Park Police.

Kyle Dudak is a 2014 graduate of Brick Township High School. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of the Monmouth County Police Academy and previously served with the Sea Girt Police Department.

 Matthew Farnkopf is a 2019 graduate of Brick Memorial High School where he ranked second in his class of 379 students. He is currently attending Rutgers University Honors College where he is pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry. Matthew’s comes from a law enforcement family and follows his father, two cousins and his uncle on the BTPD.

 “Throughout my time as Councilman and Mayor, I have always said that the Brick Township Police Department is the best in New Jersey and I continue to stand by that,” said Mayor Ducey. “These new officers will be responsible for upholding the outstanding tradition and reputation that has been established since the Police Department’s founding nearly fifty years ago.”

 

BRICK AND TOMS RIVER ENTER SHARED SERVICES AGREEEMENT TO ADDRESS FLOODING

Brick Township and Toms River Township will enter a shared services agreement to address the flooding issues in the Normandy Beach section of the Barrier Island.  This project will focus on Broad Street and portions of 5th, 6th and 7th Avenue. Through the agreement, the townships will seek state funding for street elevation projects in flood-prone areas.

The Normandy Beach section of the Barrier Island overlaps the border of Brick Township and Toms River. In recent years, Normandy Beach has seen an increase of flooding events.

“It has gotten to the point that prolonged flooding occurs every month during the full moon and new moon and the residents are understandably upset,” said Brick Township Mayor John G. Ducey. “Regardless of the factors causing this flooding, we have an obligation to do what we can to address and mitigate the problem and help protect the quality of life for our residents.”

“Normandy Beach is a barrier island neighborhood that spans the border between Brick and Toms River Township, and this project is a great example of two communities coming together to solve a common problem” said Toms River Township Maurice “Mo” Hill.  “While this project will not stop all flooding, such as larger more intense storms like Superstorm Sandy, it will help minimize the frequency and depth of flooding during lesser intense storms and certain high tide events”

The proposed project will elevate the road surface on affected streets in the Normandy Beach section to alleviate flooding.

As part of the agreement, Toms River will prepare and submit a joint application to the New Jersey Department of Transportation for 2021 funding for street elevation projects in both municipalities. Brick Township will continue to look for additional funding opportunities and apply to any that are identified.

The design of the project and the construction estimate will be prepared by Tom River’s professionals with assistance from Brick Township. The cost of these services will be distributed proportionately between the two municipalities according to the total disturbed area in each community.

Toms River will be responsible for seeking bids and awarding the contract for the project.

The shared services agreement will go into effect on June 1, 2020 and is contingent upon being awarded NJDOT funds. The agreement will expire upon final acceptance of the project by the NJDOT.

DRIVE-IN MOVIES COMING TO DRUM POINT SPORTS COMPLEX IN JUNE

Mayor John G. Ducey is pleased to announce that the Township of Brick will be hosting Drive-In Movies at the Drum Point Sports Complex every Friday evening from June 12 through July 10. The movies will be held at the Drum Point Sports Complex and will be subject to guidelines for car gatherings issued by the State.

“We usually have our Drive-In Movies in August, however, once Governor Murphy announced that drive-ins were allowed, I asked our Recreation Department to get some going quickly,” said Mayor Ducey. “We want to give people the chance to get out and have some quality family time. Hopefully this is the start of a fun summer in Brick Township.”

The Drive-In Movie Schedule is as follows:

  • June 12 – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • June 19 – Frozen II
  • June 26 – Jumanji: The Next Level
  • July 3 – Toy Story 4
  • July 10 – The Lion King (NEW DATE)

Registration is required for Drive-In movies. Registration for each Drive-In begins at noon on the Monday before the movie. Register online at https://brickrec.twp.brick.nj.us/. Registration is limited to Brick Township residents.

The movies will begin at 8:30pm. Parking opens 1/2 hour before the movie.

CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT TO OPEN FOR APPOINTMENTS

In light of Governor Phil Murphy’s signing of an executive order permitting non-essential construction to resume effective Monday, May 18, the Township of Brick Construction Department staff will be available to meet with customers by appointment only beginning Tuesday, May 19.

Residents and contractors who need to meet with the Construction Department regarding permits and inspections are asked to schedule an appointment by calling 732-262-4604 or emailing permitstatus@twp.brick.nj.us. Appointments must be made at least one day in advance. Please provide as much information regarding the project as you can so the appropriate staff member can be assigned.

All customers will be required to have a temperature scan upon entering the building and must be wearing a mask or face covering.

 

BRICK FARMERS MARKET TO OPEN MAY 16; NEW RULES IN PLACE DURING CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

The Brick Township Farmers’ Market will return for its sixth season at Windward Beach Park on Saturday, May 16. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, there will be strict rules in place for both vendors and customers at the Farmers’ Market.

“We are excited to announce that the Farmers’ Market will be open to give our residents the opportunity to purchase fresh produce and other items from local businesses,” said Mayor John G. Ducey. “Much like other many others aspects of daily life, we had to adapt the Farmers’ Market to make it as safe as possible. But having the market open will provide some sense of progress and normalcy which is a positive thing right now.”

The Brick Farmers’ Market will be open from 9am until 2pm every Saturday from May 16 to September 19 at Windward Beach Park. Until further notice, the following rules are in place for the Farmers’ Market and will be strictly adhered to:

  • All vendors must wear masks and gloves
  • All customers must wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines
  • Customers will line up on Challenger Way spaced a minimum of 6ft apart until admitted to the market
  • Foot traffic will proceed in one direction
  • All booths must be staffed by a minimum of two people with one person handling payments
  • No self-service for customers; all handling of produce and items must be done by vendors
  • Samples of produce items will be displayed for customers while produce is in secure area
  • No samples

“It is our expectation that people visiting the Farmers’ Market will understand the necessity of the rules we have put in place and will observe them,” said Mayor Ducey. “These rules are in place to protect them and the vendors.”As of May 5, 40 vendors have signed up for the 2020 Farmers’ Market. Not all vendors will be at the Market every week. For more information on vendors, please visit the Farmers’ Market page on the Brick Township website, www.bricktownship.net.

STATE REVERSES COURSE ON GRACE PERIODS; MAYOR AND COUNCIL’S EXTENSION OF GRACE PERIOD UNTIL END OF MAY IN EFFECT

Earlier this month, Mayor Ducey and the Township Council extended the grace period for property tax payments until the end of May in an effort to help people financially impacted by the coronavirus crisis. This week, the State issued guidance that prohibited such an extension. Today, the State reversed course and Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order allowing municipalities to extend the grace period.

“When the coronavirus began closing businesses and industries, we began looking into ways to help people impacted. We researched and worked on the property tax grace period extension and we were confident that what we did was right and in line with past practices,” said Mayor Ducey. “Needless to say, when the State told us that the grace period was not allowed, we were disappointed and quite frankly, angry. We appreciate Governor Murphy listening to us and permitting us to help our residents.”

As per the Council’s resolution from the April 14, 2020 meeting, the grace period has been extended until May 31, 2020.

Payments made on June 1 or later will be subject to the statutory interest rates retroactive to the due date as mandated by law.

 

STATE RULES PROHIBIT PROPERTY TAX GRACE PERIOD EXTENSION

Earlier this month, the Township Council unanimously passed a resolution that would have extended the grace period for quarterly property taxes to May 31. This was done in an effort to provide some assistance to families impacted by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The township has been informed by the state that this grace period extension is not permissible and Mayor John G. Ducey is voicing his frustration.

“I cannot overstate how disappointed and frustrated I am with the state’s decision. Extending the grace period has been done in the past by the state in the wake of Sandy and even for Federal employees during the recent furlough” said Mayor Ducey. “All we were doing was giving people – many of whom are not earning a paycheck right now – more time to pay their quarterly taxes without worrying about penalties. I cannot understand why the state won’t approve this small gesture during this unprecedented time.”

At their April 16, 2020 meeting, the Township Council unanimously passed a resolution that decreased the interest on late payments to 0% until May 31.

As per the state’s guidelines, penalties and interest rates will take effect at the statutory levels after the 10 day grace period. The Township will proceed with the quarterly payments due May 1 and a maximum grace period of 10 days as required by law.

Mayor Ducey urges the state to reconsider and approve the grace period extension. “We are going through a national emergency and no one knows when it will end. Providing some relief to people struggling in the way of a few more weeks to save for property tax payments is just plain common sense. I urge Governor Murphy and the State Legislature to address this issue and give towns the ability to help their taxpayers. They should be following past practices. Now is not the time to change course from what was previously allowed.”

 

TOWNSHIP ANNOUNCES FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR NON-PROFIT SERVICE AGENCIES

The Township of Brick has received funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as part of their CDBG Entitlement Program called CDBG-CV. The funding will be available to all non-profit social service agencies and should be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus. Mayor John G. Ducey is urging all such agencies that serve Brick Township residents to apply for funding.

 “The importance of non-profit service agencies during times of emergency cannot be understated and this current crisis is no different,” said Mayor Ducey. “This funding can assist these agencies as they help residents in need and it is our hope that we see many of these organizations apply for and receive funding.”

 Examples of priority projects include providing equipment, supplies and materials necessary to carry-out a public service and delivering meals or other basic necessities to quarantined individuals or those that need to maintain social distancing due to medical vulnerabilities.

 The deadline to submit a grant application is June 1, 2020.

 To obtain an application for the CDBG-CV Public Services Grant, please visit the Township website, www.bricktownship.net. You may also contact Tara B. Paxton at tpaxton@twp.brick.nj.us or Lauren Helmstetter at lhelmstetter@twp.brick.nj.us. For more information, please contact the Township of Brick Division of Land Use & Planning at 732-262-1030 ext. 5312 or 732-262-1039 ext. 1327.

 

TOWNSHIP EXTENDS GRACE PERIOD FOR PROPERTY TAX PAYMENTS

While quarterly property taxes are due May 1, Mayor Ducey and the Township Council have extended the grace period to pay taxes without interest or penalty until May 31. The Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the extension on Tuesday evening to provide relief to taxpayers and businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone is experiencing some level of hardship due to the ongoing public health crisis,” said Mayor Ducey. “While we do not have the authority to delay the property tax due date, we do have say over the interest rate on late payments. Waiving that interest for 30 days is one way we can help people struggling during this time.”

The zero percent interest rate effectively provides a 30-day grace period to property owners.

While the Township is only responsible for roughly 30% of the total property tax bill, it is responsible for collecting 100% of property tax payments. The Township then forwards the funds collected to the Brick Township Public Schools, the County of Ocean and local fire districts.

“We are a pass through for most of the property taxes we collect,” said Mayor Ducey. “We send most of what is collected to the schools and county so they can meet their bills.”

The due date for property tax payments is May 1. For Brick Township taxpayers, payment must be received by May 31 to avoid interest on delinquent payments. On June 1, the interest reverts to statutory interest rates retroactive to the due date of May 1 as required by law.

During the pandemic, property taxes can be paid by mail or online by credit card. Tax payments may be made with check, cash, money order and by credit card through Paymentus Corporation (Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card). Be advised Paymentus charges a convenience fee of 2.5% for Credit and debit. Payments made through Paymentus are not received until the next business day and interest may be charged accordingly. Paymentus also allows Echeck payments and charges a $1 convenience fee. Taxes may also be paid via a dropbox at the municipal building.

Property owners may fill out a short form and provide a voided check at the tax office which will allow the Township to make a direct withdrawal (at no additional cost to the property owner or the township) from the taxpayer’s checking account or savings account. ACH payment may be cancelled by the property owner in writing at any time prior to the quarterly tax due date. ACH payments will come out of your account during the ten day grace period.