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  • Writer's pictureJoseph F. Berenato

PWTC discusses well testing

courtesy photo

On June 22 at the

PWTC meeting

Public Works Manager Robert Vettese discussed the testing of drinking wells for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the Lakeview Gardens section of Hammonton at the June 22 meeting of the Public Works and Transportation Committee.

Vettese said that those wells that tested above acceptable limits for a second time would be reported to the NJ Spill Compensation Fund Claims Program (Spill Fund).

“The people who hit a second time, I sent them a letter of the copy of the results. I sent them the contact person—they have to contact the DEP [New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection]—and I’m also sending those results to the DEP,” Vettese said.

In related business, Town Engineer Mark Herrmann—of Adams, Rehmann and Heggan Associates (ARH)—said that a proposal was prepared for geographic information system (GIS) mapping of the lead service water lines in Hammonton.

“This one is to develop the plan as needed to have all the replacement of the lead service lines in place by 2031,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann said that the cost of the proposal is not to exceed $9,600.

“It includes generating the project and mapping everything,” Herrmann said.

Councilman Steven Furgione commented further.

“Lead service-wise, ARH has plotted the first round of answers. We have pulled out any home that’s newer construction, and there’s a mailing list of about 2,000 that need to go out as a second mailer—and then we’ll have a good handle on where we are with lead lines,” Furgione said.

Councilman Edward Wuillermin inquired as to how the project would be implemented.

“Who’s responsible?” Wuillermin said.

Furgione said that the federal government said that they would be financially responsible.

“How it filters down to us, I don’t know,” Furgione said.

Wuillermin continued.

“How do you, logistically, get this stuff done? You’re on private property, plus public right-of-ways,” he said.

Furgione replied.

“We’re going to need to know what we’re dealing with. Is it ten homes, 50 homes or 100 homes, number one. Number two, we’re starting to check any service lines, too, and make sure we don’t have any [lead] service lines. Once we establish what we have and don’t have, then we can sit down and come up with a plan of how we’re going to attack this. With 20 homes, it’s easy; 200 homes, it’s going to be a bear of a project,” Furgione said.

Wuillermin said that the project would require the consent of the homeowners.

“You might have to replace the whole service line,” Wuillermin said.

Municipal Utilities Superintendent Anthony DeCicco concurred

“That also has to be done by a certified plumber, because you’re going into the homes,” DeCicco said.

Councilman Sam Rodio commented.

“Let’s do this as best we can here … in Brigantine, what they did was, they assessed a 22 percent increase on water because of these lines. Until the government decides to give them money, the homeowner is paying 100 percent—so let’s not go that route,” Rodio said.

Furgione said that he hoped to have a clearer picture of the matter by the end of the year.

“Then, we’re going to grab the homeowners who are impacted, and bring them in. We’ll start with a conversation and see where we are with our service lines,” Furgione said.

Under his report, Herrmann spoke about progress on the parking lot at the former site of K&K Line Supply at 224 Vine St.

“I’m having some trouble getting this parking lot graded. It’s a bear with the car port and the building. I’ve got the building, Vine Street, the Michelini property and Lopez Lane to make this thing work, and I’m having some slope issues,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann said that the project may require a retaining wall.

“I’ve got to make up some grades. It wasn’t looking pretty; it’s all coming from the building down from the property, and I’m only at a four percent grade coming in—then I’ve got to tie in Vine Street then into Lopez Lane and the car port,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann said that an extra parking row may not be viable.

“If it becomes too much fill, material, walls, it may become a burden on cost,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann also discussed the site of the former Mazza Muffler building at 104 S. Egg Harbor Rd.

“You can see the building’s down,” Herrmann said.

During his report, Vettese also discussed repairs to the Historical Society of Hammonton museum.

“We sent out price quote request to complete the front steps and the railing on the front steps,” Vettese said.

Vettese said that the town received four quotes for the project, and one to repair the railing on the back of the property. Vettese said that the town opted to bid the projects separately, because when they bid them together the quotes came in at approximately $40,000.

“For the repair work—they’re going to take the bricks off and redo those bricks; re-grout them—it ran between $4,400 and $4,800. The one we got for the railing was about $6,500 to $7,200. The total will be between $11,000 to a little over $12,000,” Vettese said.

Mayor Stephen DiDonato, who attended the meeting via Zoom teleconferencing software—as did Public Works Department Head Scott Rivera—commented further.

“The reason we did it this way, gang, was because we’re going to do that building in three phases. If we can get all the concrete work and the front rail done this year, we can do the back rail next year—and then paint in ’25,” DiDonato said.

DiDonato said that the front rail on the building is in dire need of repair.

“I can go over there right now with my pinky—it’s so rotten—and push it off, and have no railing. It’s a very dangerous situation, so the immediate thing needs to be the front step and the railing there,” DiDonato said.


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