Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: NJAW

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].

Question:

Dear Mayor Coles,

Thank you so much for providing this platform to express our questions and concerns.

I read with some dismay a recent article on The Lakewood Scoop about NJAW’s upcoming upgrade project on the south side of the lake. I don’t live in that area but the water company has recently made these upgrades in my area and I can attest that much of what they wrote on the flyer are empty promises. Trash was not picked up, mail was not delivered, roads were not driveable leading to damaged cars, etc. In addition, some of the areas slated to be repaired in the coming months already have terrible traffic during peak hours.

But my biggest concern is the lack of accountability here. Every time NJAW rips up a road, they leave it in terrible condition and it takes at least a year until it is repaved-with no obvious reason for the delay. During that time, countless cars are damaged and need costly repairs from the deep potholes, bumps and uneven road. They even wrote on the flyer that they are not planning on restoring the roads until spring of 2019.

As someone who was personally affected by this, I respectfully ask the Mayor and Township to stand up for the residents’ quality of life. I know that the rate hikes and much of the project plans are out of your control. I also know that if there’s anything you CAN do to help the townspeople you would do it in a heartbeat.

Thank you again for constantly working to make this town a better place for everyone.

Response from Mayor Coles:

We have been working with engineering to ensure that anytime a street is opened the responsible party will make sure that the street is restored. The main issue with the type of utility work you reference here is that full restoration can not be done immediately. Once the new pipes are placed, the trenches are filled and paved. We cannot do a final paving at that time, because there will be settling of the fill as well as the pavement. It normally takes 6-8 months for this area to fully settle, which is when we have the utility company come in and do a final paving. This was a pet peeve of mine, because I was aware of areas in town where it did not seem that the companies came back and did the proper restoration. I have worked with the engineering department to make sure they took a proactive approach to making sure these roads get restored properly in as short a time period as possible. I know it is inconvenient to have the street in your neighborhood torn up. The township will do it’s best to minimize these inconveniences as was make sure that garbage and mail delivery are not affected and that even though the roads aren’t top coated that they do not pose a hazard to drivers or pedestrians.

Thanks

Ray

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