OCEANPORT: More than 18 months since Hurricane Sandy, the impacts of the storm include additional homes in Oceanport are connecting to a water utility instead of maintaining a well.
Borough Council approved waivers to several residents who would ordinarily have to pay a permit fee to connect to the water main.
Mayor Michael J. Mahon said the connections come as a result of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, when homes that had private wells found the flooding of the storm caused severe damage. In addition, when power was lost during the storm, residents with wells lost access to their water source.
“The cost to repair, they found, was much more,” Mahon said. “The residents’ economic loss of getting their wells back was a big expense.”
NJ American Water Co. has agreed to install main extensions along portions of Shrewsbury Avenue, Iroquois Avenue and Tohicon Place. Last year the water company surveyed the map of possible extensions and connections and agreed to the project on those streets, said the mayor, after a resident requested help.
“We found that extensions to the water main lines were possible, and they could connect," Mahon said.
NJ American Water Co. agreed to do the work of extending the water line, at no cost to Oceanport.
“The water company agreed to do the work at no cost to us, leaving only the cost for opening up the street,” said Mahon.
That expense would normally be footed by the resident, but the council agreed to waive the permit fee associated with the work. Residents would normally pay to have a connection installed from the extension to their home, Mahon said, but Oceanport will waive those fees.
“This is something we’ve been doing since the storm, and in accordance with that we are asking to waive these permit fees,” he said.
Borough Engineer William White said some coordination would follow with the water company for possible street closures to get the water main extensions down the streets to residents’ property.
The connections or main extensions are in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, near where the water main dead ends. It hasn’t been the first time this work has happened since the storm, as the mayor noted similar projects happened outside the Maple Place school, nearby.