TOWNSHIP TO BREAK GROUND ON PARK RENOVATION

Mayor John G. Ducey will be joined by Council members, township officials and residents at the ceremonial ground breaking for the Bernie Cooke Park renovation project on Wednesday, August 15 at 9am. This will be the sixth park renovated since Mayor Ducey took office in 2014.

“The renovation of Bernie Cooke Park has been a long time coming. We are excited to finally break ground and get this project underway,” said Mayor Ducey. “We are confident that when this project is complete and the park is open to the public, it will be a very popular place for our residents.”

The ground breaking ceremony is open to all and Mayor Ducey encourages residents, particularly residents of the Parkway Pines neighborhood, to join him at there.

The renovation of Bernie Cooke Park will include a multi-purpose field with an infield for baseball/softball, a basketball court, a concrete skate park, two age appropriate playgrounds for children up to 12 years of age, a bicycle training course for young people a walking/jogging path. A new parking area will be constructed and the park will have new fencing and landscaping. The park will be ADA-compliant and accessible to all.

The cost of the renovation will be $1,613,688. The winning bid was submitted by Precise Construction of Freehold, NJ. Precise Construction previously completed the Herbertsville Park, Angela Hibbard Park and Hank Waltonowski Park renovations. CME Associates designed the park and are serving as consulting engineers on the project.

The renovated project is expected to be open in the spring.

Park and playground renovations completed under Mayor Ducey include Windward Beach playgrounds, Herbertsville Park (formerly Colorado Park), Lake Riviera Park, Angela Hibbard Park and Hank Waltonowski Park. Future renovations are slated to take place at Bayside Park and Cedar Bridge Manor Park.

MAYOR URGES GOVERNOR MURPHY TO VETO BILL

Mayor John G. Ducey is calling on Governor Phil Murphy to veto Senate Bill 2, which was passed by the Senate and Assembly. The bill strips adjustment school aid from over 100 districts, including Brick Township and redistributes it to other districts around the state. Under the plan, Brick will lose approximately $22.5 million in adjustment aid.

“This bill is an affront to our community, our schools and our taxpayers. Eliminating aid from our schools will have a severe impact on Brick Township in terms of higher taxes and poorer education for our schoolchildren,” said Mayor Ducey. “I implore Governor Murphy to do the right thing and veto this bill.”

Senate Bill 2, which was sponsored by State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (3rd District) will eliminate adjustment aid from the Brick Township public schools over the next seven years. That money would then be redistributed to districts that are said to by underfunded. According to the state’s formula, Brick Township is considered a ‘wealthy’ district.

“Our schools are trying to provide our students with a great education in as affordable way as possible and this bill is going to make that task even harder,” said Mayor Ducey.

Brick Township is also still dealing with the financial impact of Superstorm Sandy. “Our ratable base is still down over $309 million dollars from before the storm which is still impacting the taxpayers of our town. To add this to their burden is quite frankly unacceptable,” said Mayor Ducey.

The increases caused by this bill will hit older residents particularly hard. According to the last census, here in Brick Township there are 18,067 residents ages 60 and over – nearly 25% of the entire community.

“A significant number of our older residents are retired or are on fixed incomes. The massive school tax increases that will be caused by this legislation will have a severe impact on their quality of life,” said Mayor Ducey.

Mayor Ducey encourages residents to share their views on this legislation with Governor Murphy by calling the Governor’s Office or reaching out via social media including Facebook and Twitter.

MAYOR DUCEY HONORED FOR HIS COMMITMENT TO RECREATION AND PARKS

Mayor John G. Ducey was named the recipient of the New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association’s Public Service Award. Mayor Ducey received the award at the NJRPA’s Annual Conference in Atlantic City on March 6.

“I am honored to have been chose recipient of this award. I thank the New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association for both this recognition and the work that the entire organization does to better our communities through recreation,” said Mayor Ducey. “I would also like to thank the staff of Brick Township, particularly our Recreation Department. While my name is on this award, I humbly share it with the people who work every day to keep our Recreation programs and facilities running for the residents of our community.”

Mayor Ducey was nominated for the award by Brick Township Recreation Director Daniel Santaniello.

Mayor Ducey’s nomination highlighted his commitment to improving the quality of life through the provision of excellent recreational facilities, events and programs. These efforts include the renovation of Herbertsville (formerly Colorado) Park, Lake Riviera Park, Angela Hibbard Park and Hank Waltonowski Park, the construction of new playgrounds at Windward Beach Park, the creation of Brick Township’s first dog parks, the renovation of the Forge Pond Tennis Courts, the construction of the town’s first dedicated pickleball courts, the enhancements to the SummerFest series, the creation of the FallFest event and the creation of the township’s first teen center, Lounge 270.

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more than Mayor Ducey. He has a great appreciation for the importance of Recreation and has been a great supporter of our Department and has given us the resources we need to make Brick Township better,” said Mr. Santaniello who has served as Director since 2014 and has been a part of the Recreation Department since 1992. “Mayor Ducey always has an open door and an open mind for our suggestions and requests and I can’t understate how important that is.”

Mayor Ducey and the Council will continue their Parks Improvement Program with the renovations of the Bernard Cooke and Bayside Parks which will be followed by the improvement of Cedar Bridge Manor Park.

The NJRPA Public Service Award is given to elected or appointed individuals at any level of government serving at time of nomination and has provided dedicated service for at least three years on behalf of area residents in the interest of parks, recreation, conservation or leisure activities.

The New Jersey Recreation and Park Association (NJRPA) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all New Jersey residents by supporting outstanding park, recreation, and natural resources management programs.  Since 1928, the efforts initiated by NJRPA and its membership have resulted in tangible benefits for communities throughout the state.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL DONATE CDBG FUNDS TO LOCAL SERVICE GROUPS

Mayor John G. Ducey and the Township Council will present checks to representatives of fourteen local service providers at the February 27, 2018 Council meeting. The checks, which range from $2,000 to $8,000, are from funding the Township receives as part of the Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The checks will assist the organizations in providing a wide variety of services to the community.

Every year, the Township receives grant money from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program which is in turn passed on to local service providers.   The Township identifies issues of concern in the community and then provides the Federal funds to the organizations most appropriate to address those issues. This year, the Township donated a total of $37,000 to these organizations.

“The organizations that we are honored to support through our CDBG program have an enormous impact on our community and the Jersey Shore. It is impossible to calculate how many lives are touched by and how many people will be helped by them,” said Mayor Ducey. “We are honored and privileged to help each one of these groups in their missions to make people’s lives better.”

The CDBG Check recipients are:

  • Community Services, Inc. of Ocean County/Meals on Wheels – $7,000 Through its ‘Meals on Wheels’ program, Community Services Inc. provides nutritious meals to homebound elderly in their own homes. The program also serves meals daily to seniors at the Brick Township Senior Center on Adamston Road.   For more information, please call 732-367-1400 or the Brick Senior Center at 732-920-8686
  • Church of the Epiphany, St. Vincent DePaul Society – $3,000Volunteers provide counseling to those in need to manage housing expenses and provide financial assistance to cover food, clothing, utilities and rent. For more information please call 732-458-0220.
  • Ocean County Hunger Relief – $2,000Ocean County Hunger Relief provides emergency food assistance for needy people. They operate 38 food pantries throughout Ocean County. They may be reached at 732-505-HELP.
  • Providence House – $3,000A division of Catholic Charities, Providence House provides a wide variety of services related to preventing domestic violence and assisting its victims.   For many years, the Township has worked with Providence House to fight domestic violence in our community. Providence House may be reached at 732-350-2120.
  • Dottie’s House – $2,000Dottie’s House provides transitional housing for victims of domestic violence and their children. These grant funds will help offset the operating costs for the transitional housing facility. They may be reached at 732-295-7380.
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network of Ocean County – $2,000There are times when families face becoming homeless because of personal, financial or medical reasons. Interfaith Homeless Assistance provides a safety net program for Brick Township residents who face becoming homeless. They may be reached at 732-736-1550.
  • The Arc, Ocean County Chapter – $2,000The Arc, Ocean County Chapter advocates for, provides supports and empowers children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families, ensuring they are accepted and valued as citizens of our community.  The Arc does this through vocational, recreational, family support, residential, transportation and primary medical care programs. Their phone number is 732-363-3335 ext. 115.
  • Ocean’s Harbor House – $8,000Ocean’s Harbor House provides free short-term shelter and crisis intervention for male and female youth ages 10-17. Any youth who is homeless, has runaway, been thrown away or abused, or is otherwise in need of immediate intervention may find help 24 hours a day at this safe haven.   Their Shelter Services 24 Hours/Day Hotline is 732-929-0660 and their Outreach Center phone number is 732-929-0096.
  • Church of the Visitation – $2,000The Church of the Visitation on Mantoloking Road hosts a community lunch on the third Wednesday of each month. Lunches are free and available from 12pm-1pm. For more information call 732-255-2835.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County, Inc. – $2,000Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Ocean County provides community and site-based mentoring services for young people throughout the county. This year’s grant will help offset funds for Big Brothers to start a mentoring program in Brick’s elementary schools. They may be reached 732-905-5349.
  • Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey – $2,000Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey is a non-profit interfaith organization that provides volunteers to assist frail elderly with simple daily tasks enabling them to live, with dignity, where they are most comfortable – in their own homes. And there is never a charge for help provided! Their phone number is 732-505-2273.
  • Jersey Shore Council Boy Scouts of America – $2,000Jersey Shore Council, Boy Scouts of America, headquartered in Toms River, serves more than 6,000 young people in four Jersey Shore counties: Atlantic, Ocean, Southeast Burlington and Ocean City in Cape May County. It is among the largest youth serving organizations in the state of New Jersey led by approximately 2,000 volunteers. For more information call 732-349-1037.

Mayor Ducey is concerned about the future of these grants as President Trump’s proposed budget that was unveiled earlier this month eliminates the CDBG program. “These organizations help thousands of citizens every year and the CDBG money is crucial to their mission,” said Mayor Ducey. “The proposal to eliminate this funding shows an alarming lack of passion and empathy for the most vulnerable members of our society. It is my hope that our leaders in Washington do not allow the CDBG program to be eliminated.”

Mayor Ducey also credits Township Planner Michael Fowler for his work on the CDBG Program. “I commend Mr. Fowler for the hard work he did coordinating this year’s CDBG Program. This used to be handled by a vendor and he added this to his workload. He has done a great job and has created significant savings for the township in the process.”

 

 

MAYOR DUCEY ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY

Mayor John G. Ducey would like to inform high school juniors and seniors in Brick Township about a scholarship opportunity offered by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The League is offering three $1,000 scholarships through the Louis Bay 2nd Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition. The statewide competition centers on the theme “What My Municipal Government Does Best” and seeks to advance the virtues of elected members of municipal government.

“Brick Township has many exceptional young students. I encourage all juniors and seniors to participate in this scholarship competition and show just how exceptional, talented and dedicated the young people of our community are,” said Mayor Ducey.

Applicants will be required to write an essay of approximately 500 words with the theme “What My Municipal Government Does Best.” The essay should be based on the applicant’s perceptions and experiences with your municipality’s local government and should consider the public contribution of the municipal government. Judging is based solely on the essay including originality, technical composition and appropriateness and effective articulation of theme.

Students wishing to apply for the scholarship competition can download an application packet here. If you would like to request an application by email, please send an email to emoroney@twp.brick.nj.us.

The scholarship is open to all high school juniors and seniors. Residents who live in Brick but attend schools in other communities should return their application to Mayor Ducey’s office.

A committee will select one essay from Brick Township as a semi-finalist. That application will be forwarded and reviewed by the NJSLOM Scholarship Committee. That committee will select 15 finalists and 3 winners. The winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship and their essay will be featured in New Jersey Municipalities Magazine.

All applications must be returned to Mayor Ducey’s office by March 9, 2018. Completed applications should be mailed to Mayor John Ducey, Attention: NJSLOM Scholarship, 401 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick, NJ, 08723.

 

 

TOWNSHIP SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR SNOW CORPS

Mayor John G. Ducey is seeking volunteers for the town’s Snow Corps program. Volunteers will help senior and disabled citizens by removing snow from their walkways, driveways and sidewalks.

“For many older and disabled residents, snow removal is a nearly impossible task,” said Mayor Ducey. “The Snow Corps was created to help these residents while giving people the chance to give back to the community.”

The Brick Township Snow Corps was started by Mayor Ducey in 2016. The town is seeking volunteers ages 16 and over to provide their services during the winter. Volunteers will shovel the walkways, driveways and sidewalks (if necessary) of senior citizens and disabled residents who do not have the physical or financial means to have this done. Volunteers will need to have their own snow removal equipment.

“Many of our older residents are on fixed incomes and do not have the money to hire a service to clear their driveway and may not have loved ones nearby to assist,” said Mayor Ducey. “These are the types of residents that we have in mind for this program.”

Mayor Ducey is looking for volunteers from all sections of town. “Volunteers will be assigned to homes as near their own residences as possible. We do not want to have our volunteers driving all over town during snow removal. That is why it is important for us to get volunteers from throughout the community.”

Volunteers must:

  • Be ages 16 and over
  • Agree to not accept any compensation, tips or gratuities
  • Must wear proper winter clothing and gear while providing services
  • Must provide their own snow removal equipment
  • Must provide services within 24 hours of the end of snowfall
  • Must agree to not enter homes under any circumstances
  • Remove snow at homes scheduled to receive services only, no other properties

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Brick Township Snow Corps or for being on the service list should call Christopher Chace in the Administration Department at 732-262-1053. A volunteer registration form is also available on the Snow Corps page on the Township website, www.bricktownship.net.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL HONOR POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR RECEIVING AWARD

Mayor John Ducey and the Township Council honored the Brick Township Police Department on receiving the 2017 New Jersey EMS Award for the town’s Blue HART Program at the December 5 Council Meeting. The award was given during the New Jersey Statewide Conference on EMS in November.

“This award is a testament to the dedication of our Police Department and EMS personnel in the fight against heroin and opioid addiction,” said Mayor Ducey. “They are on the front line of this crisis and every day they are out there working to save lives. This award is recognition of those efforts.”

The Blue HART (Heroin Addiction Recovery and Treatment) Program was started in January. Through this program, addicts and substance abusers who want help can present themselves at the Brick Township Police Department where they will be transported to a treatment evaluation facility without the threat of charges or incarceration.

Since the program began, over 200 addicts have been placed into treatment.

Fighting the opioid crisis has been a top priority of Mayor Ducey, the Township Council and the Police Department. In addition to the Blue HART Program, the township has taken several steps to combat the crisis. These include:

  • Reinstatement of BMAC (Brick Municipal Anti-Drug Coalition) and it has focused on educating the community about opioids.
  • Aggressive campaign to encourage and educate about the proper disposal of unused or unwanted prescription drugs.
  • Creation of an ordinance that holds landlords responsible for repeated criminal behavior of tenants.
  • Hiring a retired police officer to address code enforcement issues in problem areas of town.

According to the Brick Township Police Department, the township has seen a significant reduction in overdoses and deaths this year.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid or heroin addiction and would like to seek help through the HARP Program, visit the Brick Township Police Department on any Thursday. There is no fee for people who seek help through the HARP Program.

MAYOR SEEKS CITIZENS INTERESTED IN SERVING ON BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

Any citizen interested on serving as a member on one of the township’s various boards or committees should send an email with a resume and cover letter to Mayor John Ducey before or on Thursday, December 14.

“These boards not only play an important role in shaping our community, they offer citizens the opportunity to give back and help move Brick Township forward,” said Mayor Ducey. “I encourage any person interested in serving our community to send their resume to my office this week. Every person will be considered and we will make every effort to make sure everyone who would like to serve has the opportunity to do so.”

There are upcoming appointments available for the following boards/committees:

  • Environmental Commission – is responsible for the protection, development and use of natural resources, including water resources located within the township.
  • Brick Township Housing Authority – The Brick Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program.
  • Historic Preservation Commission – works to encourage the use, restoration and preservation of historic structures in Brick Township.
  • Sustainable Brick – works with the township staff to create and support policies, events and activities that support and encourage sustainability.
  • Board of Adjustment – primary function is to review and decide on applications for a variance.
  • Ethics Committee – receives and reviews ethical questions or complaints alleging that the conduct of any local government officer or employee serving the municipality is in conflict with the Code of Conduct, or applicable ethical standard.
  • Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority – The BTMUA is responsible for delivering clean, safe potable water and reliable sewage collection services to customers.

“Anyone interested in serving should send their resume with a cover letter by December 14 to make sure they are considered,” said Mayor Ducey.

Resumes and cover letters should be emailed to mayor@twp.brick.nj.us no later than 5pm on December 14. While efforts will be made to place citizens on requested boards, it will not be possible in all instances due to availability.

MAYOR DUCEY WINS AWARD FOR FACEBOOK LIVE SESSIONS

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce that his Facebook Live initiative was awarded the Best Special/Innovative Media Award in the 2017 Municipal Public Information Contest sponsored by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Rutgers Center for Government Services and the New Jersey Municipal Management Association. The award was given at the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.

Mayor John G. Ducey accepts the award at the NJ League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.

“We have worked hard to create an open and transparent town hall. Using Facebook Live to hear directly from residents and engage them in a dialogue about Brick is a continuation of those efforts,” said Mayor Ducey. “It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to keep the citizens informed and engaged.”

Brick Township’s award was for Class C Municipalities, which for the purpose of the contest are the 130 municipalities with more than 20,000 residents.

Facebook Live is a free live-streaming service offered by Facebook. It allows users to live-stream content. Mayor Ducey began using Facebook Live in December 2016 and since then has hosted 20 sessions. During each session, Mayor Ducey answers questions submitted during the broadcast by viewers.

“I would like to thank all the residents who watch the Facebook Live and ask questions. These sessions don’t work without you,” said Mayor Ducey.

Each session is archived and available for viewing on-demand. The videos of the sessions have been viewed over 59,000 times cumulatively.

This is the third time in four years that Brick Township has been named an award recipient in the contest. In 2014, the Township won the Best Special/Innovative Award for Talking Brick with Mayor Ducey and in 2016 the Township was awarded Best Web/Social Media.

The next Facebook Live with Mayor Ducey session will take place on Tuesday, November 21 at 11am. You do not have to be a Facebook user to watch however, if you would like to ask a question, you do have to be a registered Facebook user. Visit Brick Township’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BrickTwpNJGovernment to learn more or to view past sessions.

MAYOR DUCEY HONORS AWARD WINNING EMPLOYEES

Mayor John G. Ducey honored Municipal Engineer Elissa Commins and Engineering Division employee Russell Harris for their recently being named recipients of awards from the New Jersey Association of Floodplain Managers. Mayor Ducey honored them at the November 13, 2017 Council Meeting and proclaimed a day in each of their honor.

Elissa Commins received the organization’s 2017 Floodplain Management Leadership Award and Russell Harris was named recipient of their 2017 Outstanding Local Floodplain Management Official Award.

Elissa Commins (center) receives her proclamation from Mayor Ducey (r) and is joined by Council President Art Halloran.

“We are very fortunate to have Elissa and Russell on the township staff. They are hard-working, dedicated and knowledgeable employees and they are an asset to our community,” said Mayor Ducey. “They put in countless hours to help Brick Township get in the Community Rating System and we are thrilled that they were recognized for their efforts.”

Elissa and Russell were both instrumental in the township’s acceptance into the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. The National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System was implemented in 1990 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities exceeding the minimizing NFIP standards. Under the CRS, flood insurance premiums rates are discounted to required community actions that reduce flood damage to insurable properties, strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP and encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

Russell Harris (center) with his Mayoral Proclamation.

As part the township’s efforts to get accepted into the CRS, the Engineer Department staff – led by Elissa and Russell – contacted the owners of 665 non-compliant structures in Brick Township, hosted workshops to provide assistance on mitigation of non-compliant structures, and conducted field inspections to encourage compliance as required in order for the Township to be eligible for the Program.

Acceptance into the CRS means that residents who have to pay flood insurance will see discounts on their premiums. The cumulative savings is $657,914 with an average of $200 per policy.

In honor of their awards and in recognition of their dedication and exemplary work, Mayor Ducey proclaimed November 14, 2017 as Elissa Commins Day and November 15, 2017 as Russell Harris Day in the Township of Brick.