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Oceanport Borough Hall:

315 E. Main Street
Oceanport, NJ 07757

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mayor & council

Mayor

Jay Coffey

Honorable Jay Coffey
Mayor, Borough of Oceanport
315 E. Main Street
Oceanport, NJ 07757

Tel: 732.222.8221
Fax: 732.222.0904

mayor@oceanportboro.com

Mayor's Message

March / April 2018

Normally I try to keep this column on the light and breezy side because we've already got enough serious news to deal with in our everyday lives. This month's topic is the municipal budget and, for the life of me, I can't figure out a way to be "light and breezy" about such a boring and complicated subject that impacts upon all of us so profoundly. For most people, the approach of Spring brings thoughts of warmer weather, flowers in bloom, and baseball being played by kids in the parks. For the Borough Council, however, it is a time of knotted stomachs because Spring Time is Budget Time and Budget Time is the governmental equivalent of a root canal.

This year will be no different than any of the years past, except for the fact that we now have a written plan of attack for the fiscal challenges Oceanport faces over the next decade or so. Last year, for what I believe is the first time in our Borough's history, our Business Administrator, Raymond Poerio, and our C.F.O., Katie LaPorta, working in conjunction with the Borough's Finance Committee, Clerk, Police Chief, Fire Chief, administrative staff, municipal court staff, auditors and financial advisors, put together a budget analysis that provides an in-depth profile of where Oceanport is now financially and where it projects to be in three, five, and seven years. This analysis will be augmented and improved again this year as new information becomes available and our staff is able to drill down even deeper into the Borough's finances. I can state without fear of contradiction that the detail contained in this document is unprecedented in Oceanport's history and represents a major step forward in our ability to forecast, predict, and control the costs associated with our Borough's growth and development.

One of the cautionary notes taken from this analysis is that for too long Oceanport has neglected to spend money on basic items like the maintenance and repair of our streets and storm drains. Last year, we began the process of figuring out how to reverse that trend while, at the same time, keeping costs as low as possible. To that end, Oceanport has entered into a shared services arrangement with the Borough of Shrewsbury for the purchase of a Jet-Vac Truck and a Street Sweeper. The Jet-Vac will be used to clean out storm drains that have not been cleaned since Superstorm Sandy which, in turn, may help alleviate some of the flooding issues so prevalent in our Borough. As the storm drains are being cleaned, moreover, the Borough will be installing check valves at each of the outfalls in town to help prevent river water from backing up into the drains and onto the streets. The Borough will be bonding 1.3 million dollars over the next 4 years to cover the costs of the check valves, although we have applied for grant funding to offset those costs.

Over the past decade, the Borough has averaged about 6/10 of a mile in road repair/replacement each year. Our engineers have indicated that we should be averaging anywhere from 1.6 to 1.9 miles each year and this year's budget will permit us to fix the drainage problem on Myrtle Avenue, add sidewalks from Monmouth Boulevard to Port Au Peck on Myrtle Avenue and, in conjunction with Monmouth County, completely repave Myrtle Avenue and Monmouth Boulevard. In addition to that, the intersection at Oceanport Avenue and Main Street will be redesigned and re-aligned and a new signaling system will be installed. The majority of funding for this project will come from a DOT grant. A good number of secondary roads (including, but not limited to, Milton, Avon, and Allenhurst) are also scheduled for upgrade. Our three, five, and seven year plans will ultimately address how all the roads in Oceanport will be improved.

The members of the Borough Council aren't just elected officials; we're taxpayers too, and we're acutely aware we have an obligation to ensure that our tax dollars are spent wisely. We believe that while street repair and drain cleanout may not be sexiest way to spend our tax dollars, they represent the most prudent expenditure of capital and will prove to the best investment in our town's future. Our budget will be introduced to the public shortly and, as always, you are invited to review it and provide your comments and questions on it. And, as an added bonus, if you attend a Borough Council meeting, you can have Buddy Brocklebank autograph your copy of the budget.


Honorable Jay Coffey
Mayor, Oceanport Borough, NJ