County to Construct Five Salt Storage Sheds Throughout the County of Gloucester 'Regional approach saves taxpayer dollars and makes sense'
(Mantua Twp.) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholders Damminger and Wallace announced today that the county would build five salt storage facilities throughout the county as part of its Stormwater Management Program.
"Gloucester County is the only county in the state who has taken this innovative approach to regionalizing this program, and because of this approach we will receive a grant from the state to fund the construction of these salt storage sheds and other essential equipment," stated Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney.
"The five regional sheds are proposed for Mantua, Woolwich, West Deptford, Washington and Franklin Townships," said Freeholder Director Sweeney. "This regional approach will allow all of our municipalities to comply with the DEP's Stormwater Management requirements while sparing them the expense of each of them having to build their own facility," stated Sweeney. Sweeney also noted that front-end loaders will also be purchased for each shed.
"Taxpayers want to see their governments working together toward solutions to issues like this and they are right - sharing and regionalizing services like this is the way to go and I am optimistic that we can all keep working together to do more of this," stated Sweeney.
Freeholder Director Sweeney explained that the Gloucester County Improvement Authority (GCIA) recently finalized an escrow closing with the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) to obtain funds for construction of these facilities and equipment purchases on behalf of the county's Stormwater Management program and the municipalities. The county has authorized up to $11 million for this program through the NJEIT and will seek reimbursement for 50% of the cost in the form of a grant and 50% in the form of a low interest loan through that program.
"The County had the ability to put the funding formula and manpower together to get this project underway and we are grateful," said Mantua Mayor Tim Chell. "I feel confident that I can speak for many mayors by saying that this regional approach to complying with the Stormwater requirements will relieve a huge burden from our municipal budgets," Mayor Chell said.
Freeholder Warren Wallace said, "When the DEP requirements came down, we all realized that they were important to implement for the sake of our environment, but that they also would come with a hefty price tag to our local towns. It made no sense for each of our municipalities to build their own salt storage shed facilities or buy their own front end loaders when we could regionalize this effort." Wallace continued, "The County put together this program to help our towns control non-point source pollution while saving tax dollars."
Freeholder Bob Damminger, liaison to the County's Highway Department, said, "These sheds will be available for salt storage and loading salt trucks from the surrounding municipalities and the County's highway department on a cooperative basis. The county also proposes to construct two vehicle washing facilities, one at the Countys Public Works facility in Clayton and the other at our Mantua yard for use by all of the countys municipalities."
"When the snow and ice comes, we all work together to keep our roads clear and safe," said Damminger. "The county has had many agreements with our towns in the past to help clear roads, and with the new salt sheds facilities, I only see cooperation between the towns becoming even stronger," stated Damminger.
The Freeholders explained that the location for the salt sheds and vehicle wash facilities were evaluated using a number of criteria including the lack of an existing compliant salt storage facility, proximity to other towns in a similar situation, adequate staffing levels for loading neighboring municipal vehicles, availability of municipal land appropriate for this purpose and a location that will assist with county highway deicing during a storm.
It is proposed that the Mantua salt storage shed will be available to serve Pitman, Wenonah and all or a portion of Woodbury Heights, as well as portions of other municipalities that adjoin and wish to use this facility. The Woolwich salt storage shed would be available to serve South Harrison, Swedesboro and all or a portion of Harrison, as well as portions of other municipalities that adjoin and wish to use this facility. The West Deptford salt storage shed would be available to serve Woodbury, National Park, Westville and Paulsboro, as well as portions of other municipalities that adjoin and wish to use this facility. The salt storage shed in Washington Township would serve that municipality, as well as portions of other municipalities that adjoin and wish to use this facility. The salt storage shed in Franklin Township would also serve Newfield.
Each of these facilities will be available for service to the County Highway Department, as it deices roadways throughout the entire countywide region. The two vehicle wash facilities, located in Clayton and Mantua, will be available to wash municipal and county vehicles from all county municipalities.
The county does not intend to operate and maintain the salt storage facilities, once they are constructed. These arrangements will be made between the hosting municipality and the other municipalities using each shed, including the county highway department, if it is using the shed. While the County will act as a facilitator in helping to coordinate regional shed use and in drafting interlocal agreements, it will be up to the municipalities to finalize these arrangements and agreements and move forward.