A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Matawan's Damned Dam Repairs

The Independent provides some important clarifications and additional details to the story about the upcoming dam renovations in Matawan.

In my recent blog article, prompted by an APP article about plans to renovate Lake Matawan and Lake Lefferts dams, I asked about the huge line of credit set aside by the state for these repairs. It seems the state established a line of credit based on the Borough's original application, but the current estimated cost is considerably lower. The Borough Attorney says interest will only accrue on the amount actually borrowed.

The Independent makes reference to the need for replacement of the spill weight in the Ravine Drive bridge. I wonder if that is some variation of the term spillway? You can read more about the Ravine Drive bridge in 5 August 1927 edition of The Matawan Journal. The front page article is called Plans Are Ready for Bridge on Ravine Drive.

The APP article made no mention of calls by some residents to drain the lakes rather than fix the dams, something The Independent reported in some detail. This is only the latest in a series of short-sighted efforts by those weary of high property taxes in New Jersey to save a buck at untold cost to the public good. I'm as upset as the next guy at high property taxes and the state of the economy, but use some sense and think about something besides your pocket book for a change. Luckily, the destruction of these two wonderful community assets is not on the agenda, not only because it wouldn't actually save any money to drain the lakes, but it would hurt revenues from lakefront ratables. Oh, and they provide community values.

Those who are truly tired of high taxes should press for municipal consolidation, which would save oodles more money than Governor Christie's goal of whacking away at the salaries and pensions of state workers and teachers. At the very least, a merger with Aberdeen could result in shared coverage of the costs of Matawan's dam(ned) repairs. Of course you'd have to convince our councils to merge and one of the Parties to step down from municipal control. That's probably the true obstacle to consolidation and lowered taxes.

Well, in any event, I recommend reading up on the dams renovation project. Repairs look to begin in mid- to late 2012, after assorted preliminaries are completed.


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