BRICK WRESTLING CLUB REGISTRATION BEGINS OCTOBER 2

The Brick Wrestling Club is the newest youth sports program offered by the Brick Township Recreation Program. The BWC is open to Brick youth in grades K through 8. Registration for the first season of the BWC begins on October 2.

“Our community has a tradition of success on the wrestling mat. The Brick Wrestling Club will give the next generation of our high school wrestlers their start towards adding to that tradition. We are thrilled that this exciting program is now under the umbrella of our Recreation Department and are confident that it will be a success,” said Mayor John G. Ducey.

The head coach of the BWC will be Dan O’Cone. Coach O’Cone served as the Head Coach of the Brick Memorial High School Mustangs Wrestling Team from 2007-2013 and led them to a record of 147-32 in that time. His teams won 3 NJSIAA Group State Championships, 4 sectional championships and 2 Shore Conference Championships. Wrestlers on his teams won 32 district championships and 7 regional titles. He coached 11 NJSIAA individual state placewinners and 2 NJSIAA State Champions.

Coach O’Cone will be assisted by wrestling alumni from both Brick Memorial High School and Brick Township High School.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Coach O’Cone leading the Brick Wrestling Club. His accomplishments speak for themselves and to have a coach of his caliber is a great thing for our community,” said Mayor Ducey.

The BWC will have a travel team and a recreation team. The travel team will compete in the Jersey Shore League. Practices and home meets will be held at Veterans Memorial Middle School.

The season runs from November 7 (travel team) and November 27 (rec team) through February 2018.

Travel team fees are $130 per wrestler and include a BWC singlet to keep, sweatshirt and shorts. Recreation team fees are $110 per wrestler and include loaner singlet, sweatshirt and shorts.

Registration begins October 2. You can register in person at the Brick Township Recreation Office, Monday through Friday, 7:30am – 4pm or online at parksandrecreation.bricktownship.net. There will be a mandatory meeting for parents on Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30pm.

For more information call 732-262-1165.

TOWNSHIP UNVEILS BOATERS LOUNGE AT TRADERS COVE

Mayor John G. Ducey was joined by Township Council members, dignitaries, boaters and residents at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly constructed boaters lounge at Traders Cove Marina and Park. The building will provide a facility for transient boat slip customers with showers, restrooms, a lounge and laundry facilities.

“This facility will enhance the appeal of Traders Cove to boaters and will offer them conveniences such as showers and laundry,” said Mayor Ducey. “It is our expectation that these transient boat slips will be filled with boats all season long for years to come.”

The boaters lounge facility provides restrooms for the public as well as a lounge, laundry facilities, restrooms and showers for transient boaters. The transient boater facilities will be accessible with key-codes that are provided to transient boater customers.

The cost of the transient boaters lounge facility was $1,396,960 and was funded in the 2013 Capital budget. The township has received a National Boating Infrastructure Grant in the amount of $807,501 for the transient boating component of Traders Cove including the installation of a transient boating dock, gangway and the building.

The building was designed by Barlo Associates. The construction was done by Wallace Contracting. Both firms are based in Brick Township.

The construction of the building was required due to grants that the township has received for Traders Cove since it was acquired. Traders Cove was purchased by the Township of Brick in 2005 to stop the development of high-density condominiums. The Township renovated the site and created a marina and park that were officially opened in 2013.

For information on Traders Cove including availability of transient boating slips, please call 732-920-7373.

FIRST OF TWO POSTPONED SUMMERFEST CONCERTS TAKES PLACE ON AUGUST 23

The first of two rescheduled SummerFest 2017 Concerts will take place on Wednesday, August 23 and will feature Rubix Kube: The Galaxy’s Most Original 80’s Tribute.  The concert will begin approximately 7pm and will be followed by fireworks.

Their website states, “For over a decade, RUBIX KUBE has taken the universe by storm as the most original 80’s tribute band of all time! Its one-of-a-kind, ever-evolving and interactive “THE EIGHTIES STRIKE BACK Show” captivates public & private audiences of all ages…More than just a cover band, “THE EIGHTIES STRIKE BACK Show” is like the rad lovechild of a Rock concert and a Broadway musical…”

The Rubix Kube concert was originally scheduled for Thursday, July 6 but was postponed due to inclement weather.

The final concert will take place on Monday, August 28 and will feature The Amish Outlaws followed by fireworks.

Shuttle buses will be available for the two concerts.  Shuttle buses begin leaving from Midstreams Elementary School, Drum Point Elementary School and the Brick Township High School Parking lot at 5 p.m.  Return trips to the parking locations from Windward Beach begin at 9 p.m.  Any person under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

A food court and beer and wine garden for guests ages 21 and over will be available for each concert.

SummerFest 2017 is made possible by the generous support of corporate sponsors including presenting sponsor Pine Belt Motors.  Additional sponsors include Saker Shop Rites, Imac Insurance, Comcast, First Energy, JCP&L, MRC, CME Associates and more.

MOODY’S AFFIRMS TOWNSHIP’S RATINGS

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce that Moody’s Investors Services, Inc. has assigned a MIG 1 rating to the township’s $16.8 million Bond Anticipation Notes and an Aa2 rating to the township’s $24.8 million General Improvement Bonds, Series 2017. Moody’s has also affirmed the Aa2 rating on the township’s outstanding general obligation and guaranteed bonds.

“This is great news for the township and the taxpayers of Brick,” said Mayor Ducey. “It is an affirmation that the township’s fiscal health is strong and that our efforts to create a more fiscally responsible government are working.”

The MIG (Municipal Investment Grade) is used to rate US municipal bond anticipation notes of up to three years maturity.  MIG1 is the highest rating for short-term debt.  The designation “denotes superior credit quality.”  Moody’s Aa2 rating is assigned to obligors who are “judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.”  It is their third highest rating on long-term debt.

Moody’s cited the township’s strong financial position, conservative budgeting and “ample liquidity and reserves” as factors in their rating assignments.

One of Mayor Ducey’s priorities has been to rebuild the township’s surplus. “Think of the surplus as your home’s savings account. You want a healthy saving to help in the event of unforeseen costs and to add financial stability to your home. We are operating under the same principle. We want the township to have a healthy savings account.”

Over the past three years, the township has used an average of 54.06% of available surplus, leaving an average surplus balance of $8,871,136. This year’s balance is $10,955,597.

Mayor Ducey cites the 2011 referendum as an example of what can happen when the township’s savings account is depleted. “In the three years prior to the 2011 referendum, the township used an average of 99.3% of available surplus to fund the budgets. There were no savings left to help stabilize the township.”

The strong ratings from Moody’s will help increase market access when issuing bonds and notes and will lead to lowered borrowing costs.

“These ratings help determine our borrowing costs when we issue bonds and notes for projects and operations. The better the rating, the lower the borrowing costs, which in the end means savings for our taxpayers,” said Mayor Ducey.

BUY IN BRICK PROGRAM WELCOMES NEW BUSINESSES

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce the addition of three more businesses to the Buy In Brick Property Tax Rewards Card Program. The new businesses are Angelo’s Market, Patagonia’s BBQ and Custom Request. The addition of these businesses brings the total number of businesses currently participating in the program to 48.

“Buy In Brick is a win-win for the community. It gives residents the chance to lower the amount they pay in property taxes and encourages people to shop locally, which helps the small businesses in town,” said Mayor Ducey. “Adding businesses to the program gives residents even more opportunities to earn rebates and more incentive to support our local businesses.”

Angelo’s Market is located at 515 Brick Boulevard (in the location of the former Top Tomato). They are offering cardholders a rebate of 3% and will be accepting cards in the coming weeks.

Patagonia’s BBQ is family-owned and operated business located in the same plaza as Angelo’s Market. They specialize in Argentinian steaks and cuisine and offer a variety of meats, chicken and seafood as well as empanadas and other food. They are offering a rebate of 10% to cardholders.

Custom Request is a website-design firm located at 270 Drum Point Road. They specialize in social media, pay per call leads, search engine optimization and computer needs. They are offering a rebate of 20% on purchases over $100.

These businesses join recent additions Playa Bowls, Philly’s Cuts and Light Concept Nails.

The Buy In Brick Property Tax Rewards Program is an initiative started in 2014 by Mayor Ducey and the Township Council to provide residents with the opportunity to earn property tax credits by shopping and dining at local businesses. Residents can obtain a free Buy In Brick card that can be presented at participating businesses. When the card is used, a rebate is automatically applied to that person’s property taxes. The cumulative rebates earned throughout the year will be applied to the cardholder’s third quarter property taxes.

As of this spring, rebates have been applied to more than $1,600,000 in transactions with Buy In Brick cardholders resulting in more than $116,000 in property tax rebates.

For more information on Buy In Brick, including how to get a card, please call 732-451-4007 or visit the township website at www.bricktownship.net. If you are a Brick Township business owner and would like information on how to join the program and benefits of the program including advertising and promotion, please call 732-451-4007 or email dsirota@bricktownship.net.

AGREEMENT REACHED ON FUTURE OF FOODTOWN PROPERTY

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce that the Township of Brick has reached an agreement on the future of the Foodtown Property.  The agreement divides the property into two parcels, with one slated to be  the future home of a privately developed and operated indoor recreation center and the other being for retail development.  This agreement ensures that no residential units will be built on the site.

“This is an exciting and momentous occasion.  The future of this property has been uncertain since the Township purchased it fourteen years ago,” said Mayor Ducey.  “By reaching this agreement, we are finally moving towards the ultimate goal of having this commercial property developed privately and generating tax revenues for the township.”

This agreement is the result of good-faith negotiations with M&M at Route 70, LLC, the firm that was chosen by the previous Council to redevelop the property.  Mayor Ducey terminated M&M’s agreement in late 2014.  M&M later sued the Township.  Following a court hearing, the sides entered negotiations and ultimately reached an agreement that was satisfactory to both sides.

The Township will receive $5 million for the sale of the property with the two developers paying $2.5 million each.  All of the costs for developing the site and constructing all improvements will be paid by the redevelopers and not by the township.  Mayor Ducey said that putting the property back on the tax rolls was a top priority for his administration.

The agreement divides the property into two parcels.  M&M will be designated as the redeveloper for the front parcel.  That will include three retail pads.  The second parcel will be developed as a privately-built and operated indoor recreation center by HFZ Brick, LLC.

“An indoor recreation center has been on this community’s wish list for a long time.  There have been close calls and broken promises on that front,” said Mayor Ducey.  “This agreement puts the town on course to finally have a recreation center.”

The recreation center will include indoor fields for soccer, lacrosse, flag football and other sports.  It will also include basketball courts as well as various rooms for birthday parties, dance and yoga studios and other activities based on residential input.

Having the property privately developed was a priority for Mayor Ducey.  “The Township should not be the in the real estate business and the property should never have been purchased.  It was not pristine land; it was a developed site.  The potential costs for the township to develop this site or create a park would create a substantial burden for taxpayers and that is not something I would do.”

The agreement also brings to halt the legal procedures that could have stalled movement on the site for years to come.  “It was important to reach an agreement and take the future of the property out of the hands of the courts,” said Mayor Ducey.  “Not only could this have taken years, it could have resulted in the courts approving something we did not want on the site, namely residential units.  As such I want to thank and commend everyone who worked to come to this agreement.”

Mayor Ducey sites the more than $20 million it cost to acquire and redevelop the Traders Cove property as an example of the high cost of redevelopment.  “For that amount of money, the Township could have created a recreation and community center on the Foodtown site years ago,” said Mayor Ducey.  “That was not the choice that was made.”

The Township Council will vote on the resolution authorizing the agreement at their May 23 meeting.  Upon its authorization, the agreement will take effect immediately.

The Foodtown property was purchased by the Township in 2003 to stop the construction of a home improvement store.

GROUND BROKEN ON PARK RENOVATION

Mayor John Ducey was joined by Council members, township officials and residents to help break ground on the renovation of the Hank Waltonowski Park on Ashwood Drive in the Birchwood Park residential development today. This will be the fifth park renovated since Mayor Ducey took office in 2014.

“The residents of Birchwood Park have been waiting for a long time for their park to be renovated.  The Council and I are proud to officially get the start of the renovation underway,” said Mayor Ducey.  “We are greatly looking forward to cutting the ribbon on the new, safe, modern Hank Waltonoski Park this fall.”

The renovation of the park will include the installation of two playgrounds – one for ages 2-5 and one for ages 5-12, two basketball courts, a softball/baseball field, a walking trail, a picnic area with ADA compliant tables, bicycle rack, fencing and landscaping.

The cost of the renovation is $1,228,513.  The winning bid was submitted by Precise Construction of Freehold.  Precise Construction previously completed the Herberstville and Angela Hibbard Park renovations.  CME Associates designed the park and are serving as the consulting engineers on the project.  The Township has applied for Green Acres funding to offset the cost of this and other park projects.

The renovated park is expected to be open this fall.

The park was named in memory of Hank Waltonowski, a Brick Township Public Works employee who was killed in a work accident in 1996.

Later this year, the Township will break ground on the Bernard J. Cooke Park Renovation project with an expected completion time of spring 2018.  The Township plans on renovating Bayside Park on the Barrier Island in 2018.

Previous renovation projects include the Windward Beach playgrounds, Herbertsville Park (formerly Colorado Park), Lake Riviera Park and Angela Hibbard Park.

FARMERS’ MARKET RETURNS MAY 20; HOURS EXTENDED FOR 2017

Mayor John G. Ducey is pleased to announce that the Brick Farmers’ Market is officially returning on Saturday, May 20th from 9am-2pm. Due to popular demand the market’s hours will be extended two hours this year.

 “After last season, we listened to what residents were saying about the Farmers’ Market and how we could make it better,” explained Mayor Ducey. “The most popular answer was unequivocally to have longer hours, so the council and I made sure we gave that to the residents.”

 Mayor John Ducey, along with the Township Council, first introduced the Brick Farmers’ Market in May of 2015. Since then the market has grown to over 30 vendors and has become one of the most popular summer events that the township hosts.

 “The best thing about the market is that it brings people together and promotes the local economy,” said Mayor Ducey. “This is only our third year, but it’s grown incredibly in both size and popularity in that time.”

 

TOWNSHIP CREATES SAFE EXCHANGE ZONE AT MUNICIPAL BUILDING

The Township of Brick and the Brick Township Police Department have created a Safe Exchange Zone at the Municipal Building to provide residents with a place to complete online transactions and custody exchange. The Safe Exchange Zone is located in the rear of the Brick Township Municipal Building to the west of the entrance to the Police Department. The Zone will be under surveillance 24 hours a day.

“We are excited to provide this invaluable service to the resident of Brick Township. There has been a sharp increase in people using social media and the internet to sell and buy goods. The Safe Exchange Zone was created to provide anyone who is tentative or concerned about buying or selling goods with a safe place to complete their transactions,” said Mayor Ducey. “We certainly encourage anyone who has concerns to err on the side of caution and safety and use the Safe Exchange Zone.”

The Safe Exchange Zone consists of two clearly marked parking spots. The area is well-lit and under 24-hour a day surveillance. The Zone is free for anyone to use.

The Brick Township Police Department offers the following tips for anyone planning on using the Safe Exchange Zone:

  • Let a friend or family member know about the exchange meeting
  • Know who you are dealing with: Look into the seller’s background, either through a consumer protection agency such as the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, or through online feedback if you are shopping on a website like Ebay or Amazon. Get a phone number and physical mailing address.
  • Try to complete all transactions during daylight hours (if possible)
  • Never invite strangers to your home or agree to meet at their home
  • Do not agree to a transaction if the other party refuses to complete the exchange in the designated “Safe Exchange Zone
  • Police Department or Township employees will not act as a witness or be part of these transactions.
  • Remember to bring a cell phone in case of an emergency.

“The Safe Exchange Zone is another example of Chief Riccio and our Police Department keeping their fingers on the pulse of the community. As more people sell things on the internet, there will be more opportunities for people looking to take advantage. This Zone will reduce that risk,” said Mayor Ducey.

BRICK TOWNSHIP BEACH REPLENISHMENT TO START IN DECEMBER; MAYOR DISAPPOINTED WITH SCHEDULE

The Army Corps of Engineers have announced the construction schedule for long-awaited Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet Beachfill project that includes Brick Township’s oceanfront. At a pre-construction meeting held on March 17, representatives from the Army Corps, the NJDEP and the contractor, Weeks Marine, provided an overview of the construction project and the schedule. In Brick Township, construction is scheduled to start in December 2017 and go through March 2018.  While this means there will be no disruption to Brick Township’s beaches this summer, Mayor John G. Ducey is disappointed with the scheduling of the project.

“We are nearly five years removed from Sandy and the residents of Brick have been waiting for this project.  We have many people that voluntarily signed easements and have fully cooperated with the NJDEP and Army Corps,” said Mayor Ducey.  “It does not sit well that there are holdouts that will be replenished before the vulnerable beaches in Brick. Every storm the steel wall is exposed and takes more of a beating and ultimately will not last as long as predicted by the State.” The replenishment project will begin in Mantoloking in July, with Seaside Heights (September – October) and Seaside Park (October – December) to follow.

The winter start means that the Township will have no choice but to create and maintain safe beach access points throughout the summer season.  “Our staff has done a great job in providing residents with safe access to the ocean the past several years and we are confident that they will do a great job again this summer,” said Mayor Ducey.

The schedule for the replenishment is largely driven by where the sand is coming from.  There are four (4) approved borrow sites for the project and the distance from the beaches to the borrow sites determines what equipment is needed.  Brick Township’s section requires a hopper dredge and will be the second area done with this equipment.

While Mayor Ducey appreciates the logistical requirements of the project, he is disappointed that Brick Township will remain vulnerable until December.  “From a technical perspective, we understand the equipment needs and proximity to borrow sites, but to have communities on either side receiving sand and we are not receiving it until after the 2017 hurricane season makes no sense.”

Brick Township’s project will require 1.6 million cubic yards of sand.  When underway, the contractor will complete approximately 100 to 200 linear feet a day.  A buffer of 1,000 feet to the north and south will be closed to the public while the project is being done.

As part of the contract, crossovers will be constructed within two weeks of the placement of sand.

Mayor Ducey is looking forward to the completion of the project.  “Again, it has been almost five years since Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore.  This will be the fifth summer and the fifth hurricane season our residents will have endured without a fully replenished beach.  It is comforting to know it will be their last,” said the Mayor.