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Erik J. Weber
Pine Beach Pioneer
  Scene Around Town: Future Home of the Krajewskis

The below photos were taken on Radnor Avenue between November 2014 and February 2015.


The following "kitchen sink" news report covers six mayor and council meetings - February 9th, 11th, 23rd and March 9th, 11th and 23rd. After we've recovered the use of our typing fingers (three on the right, two on the left, plus a thumb or two), a special Extra Egg Edition of the Pine Beach Pioneer will be published with photos of the Pine Beach Municipal Alliance Egg Hunt from last weekend and Pine Beach Elementary School Egg Hunt from Thursday.

 

Boro Marks 90th Anniversary; Seeks Volunteers

Pine Beach Station on the Pennsylvania Railroad, c.1920, from Pine Beach Yesterdays 1925-75, by Stanley Heatley.

 

This year being the 90th anniversary of the incorporation of Pine Beach as an independent borough, during the March 11th regular meeting of the mayor and council, a proclamation was read to mark the occasion.

 

"In 1925, members of the Pine Beach Lot Owners Association came to realize that Berkeley Township was not providing them with adequate return for their tax dollars, including no garbage pick-up or police and fire protection," it read. "Senator Thomas Mathis sponsored a bill through the state legislature and borough enabling act was passed on February 25th, 1925. A referendum was held on March 27th, 1925 and with a vote of 63 in favor, 16 against, the independent community of the Borough of Pine Beach became a reality."

 

Mayor Lawrence Cuneo, reading the proclamation into record, thanked "the foresight of these early residents [as] we are able to celebrate the 90th anniversary... Residents are encouraged to plant some flowers, help a neighbor or get involved with community projects to show their pride in this beautiful community."

 

Council President Barry Wieck spoke upon the volunteerism here, stating the coming spring season would also bring the start of committee meetings for developing the annual Independence Day parade, ceremony and games programming.

 

"I hope to have more volunteers this year to help us out with a few things," he said, to add to the spirit of the anniversary. "I'm looking forward to a very good event and several events to follow as we go into the spring."

 

Councilwoman Susan Coletti stated she was looking forward to the warmer seasons to plant flowers throughout the town.

 

Beach & Public Grounds Updates

New Jersey Avenue dock entrance, June 23rd, 2010.

 

Various projects and ideas for the riverfront and public lands around town discussed included:

 

Councilman Richard "Ritty" Polhemus inquired about the replenishment of beach sand at Avon Beach this year and noted that Chief Financial Officer Mary Jane Steib had earlier confirmed monies were in place to do it.

 

"I did bring it up at the last work meeting and she assured me that there was money for the sand because it looks terrible," agreed Mr. Wieck.

~

The governing body is looking to have fencing along Vista Park replaced, potentially with split rail fencing, as can be found along much of neighboring Beachwood Borough's riverfront bluff, beach and park areas.

 

"My main concern is to make sure that it's safe - we now have that new waterfront, we have the dock, people are going to be renting that and kids are going to be going back and forth," said Mr. Polhemus, adding his concern that kids could run "across the road around that bend where cars can't even see them."

 

He also wanted to know if it would be possible to get a roadway pedestrian yield sign on Riverside Drive for the areas between Vista Park and the newly renamed Admiral Farragut Point dock area. Mr. Wieck stated it was one of his top "priority projects."

~

Councilman Matthew Abatemarco asked about earlier discussions to change Riverside Drive into a one-way roadway to accommodate a walking and biking path but said it was his understanding that they couldn't because it was a county road.

 

"It is not a county road," replied Mr. Wieck.

 

Mr. Polhemus added that "my whole understanding is that if you want to put a stop sign or anything on a local road that goes into a county road, then it becomes a [New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)] issue" as Motor Road is a county road.

 

"If you look, some of that new section that's been put in [along the new bulkheading east of the Pine Beach Yacht Club], it's almost flat down toward the bottom and I had asked about flattening a few more inches and I was told that wouldn't work because of the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA)]," said Mr. Wieck. "That's one of the problems - in 1955 we could have done what we wanted. Today, not so much."

~

Due to the narrowing of beach sand along the borough's second and weekend guarded beach, Avon Beach, the governing body decided to shift the guarded swimming area east to the Hillside Avenue beachfront area in response to its growing popularity among beach patrons and the installation last year of new Admiral Farragut Point dock, pavilion and parking where the previous dilapidated boat docks stood. The change would at least be for the 2015 season to gauge response and interest from beachgoers.

 

"The detriment to it is there's no playground equipment there where the other beaches [Station and Avon beaches do]," said Mayor Cuneo.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Polhemus responded to potential criticism to moving the guarded beach towards the smaller parking area of Admiral Farragut Point and away from the much larger Avon Beach lot by pointing out that on a normal beach day, "if we have 10 cars, that's a lot," and the new dock parking lot could easily accommodate that number.

 

Mayor Cuneo added that beach patrons could also park at the Pine Beach Chapel parking lot two blocks away if it became very popular. Should the move to the new Hillside Avenue beachfront area be a success, he noted the town could look into having playground equipment installed, including the small stationary digger apparatus that children enjoy.

~

Mr. Wieck informed the governing body that a member of the Pine Beach Police Department requested a light installed within the new gazebo on Admiral Farragut Point, which Councilman Ray Newman said would "open a whole new can of worms" and Mayor Cuneo added "we didn't want to shine a light because of the river itself, what's going on there - that's why we didn't put a light out there" due to the aesthetic view at night. He added that it could be possible to put a solar light inside the gazebo as there is no power currently on the dock and Mr. Abatemarco asked what the point of it would be as it would not be bright enough to accommodate the request by the police department.

 

Mr. Polhemus offered that the governing body could see if any unwanted activity occurs on the dock over the summer before deciding whether a light is needed.

 

 

 

 

Mayor Cuneo agreed, stating that the idea was to keep the dock passive and quiet but that "if that changes and we have problems, and we have to light it up, then we'll light it up."

~

Ms. Coletti reported seeing a portion of wooden boards currently holding up the bluff area west of the cemented walls bearing the painted town name on New Jersey Avenue coming undone and causing dirt to spill out below.

 

"It's holding back a good bit of dirt and my concern is the... dirt is just washing out," she said.

 

Mr. Wieck later inspected the area and reported back that the wooden wall there "had been there since Charlene [Carney, the borough clerk] and I were toddlers - 60 plus years - and it's bowing out and going to fall apart - we're going to have a mess. It's not just a couple of boards, the whole thing is bowed out."

 

He added that he would call borough engineer, Jack Mallon, to check on it and that public works could likely resolve the issue upon his report. "It needs to be done," he added.

~

Mr. Abatemarco inquired whether there could be 'No Diving' signs installed at Admiral Farragut Point, adding that he knows "it sounds stupid - it's awfully inviting to jump but very deadly, it's very shallow there."

 

Mayor Cuneo replied that those signs were ordered and should be arriving soon for installation.

~

An ordinance to make it illegal for the public to access the river when frozen, as proposed by Police Chief John Sgro before his retirement before the new year, was brought up by Mr. Abatemarco in light of the incident in early March where a man accessed the ice from Toms River in his vehicle, which ultimately sank off Pine Beach, killing his dog in the process and causing a great deal of attention and work from emergency response personnel and the public.

 

"I seem to remember when I was a kid we used to go on it [and] I have a real problem with us just telling people they can't go on the ice," said Councilman Robert Budesa, adding that if the ice is checked prior to going on it, it was the individual's responsibility to be there and to have the proper safety gear to get off if an incident occurs. "I have a problem with rules and regulations that a town passes about everything under the sun - it drives me crazy."

 

Throughout each winter season, many sailors with iceboats also frequent the ice, but only after carefully checking safe areas thick enough to operate their crafts on and carrying safety equipment.

 

Mr. Abatemarco pointed out the response that many first responders make, that an emergency on the ice also calls them into duty to rescue that individual.

 

"I understand and times are changed and all that, but it really aggravates me," answered Mr. Budesa, adding that a Pine Beach ordinance couldn't have done anything to prevent the driver coming from Toms River onto the ice. "I have a philosophical difference [on the matter]."

~

Mr. Budesa reported that a number of plastic piling caps, which prevent water from damaging the expensive pilings and thus extend their use by many years, were missing along the riverfront.

 

Mayor Cuneo stated that when the riverfront was largely rebuilt last year, new caps were ordered and that they should be installed this year.

 

 

 

 

Oktoberfest Update

 

Two updates occurred on the proposed Oktoberfest event, the first coming from Municipal Alliance Coordinator Thea Kratochvil, who had earlier appeared before the governing body with the idea of the alliance running the food, games and entertainment part of the festival in Vista Park while the Pine Beach Volunteer Fire Company served beer to those of legal age in a separate lot across Radnor Avenue.

 

"It was always an understanding that the alliance would have nothing to do with a beer truck but that would be solely the fire company's responsibility and any profit from that would go to the fire company as well," she said. "Due to an issue made on Facebook by an anonymous poster after the Pine Beach Pioneer article came out [criticizing the municipal alliance's involvement, whose mission is to educate and sway residents away from alcohol and drug use], the municipal alliance has decided to withdraw their help with the event so not to risk any grant funding they may receive from the state."

 

"It's a shame that rather than call borough hall or speak to someone about the event, an anonymous, derogatory post was made on the Pine Beach Borough's Facebook page," Ms. Kratochvil continued. "It was never the intention for this to be a municipal alliance event but a town event for all the residents and run with the fire company. It could have been a lot of fun for everyone, but given there's even a hint of impropriety and after speaking with the fire company president, we decided against having the event."

 

"My mistake was coming to mayor and council in the capacity of the alliance coordinator," she added. "The alliance never should have been mentioned as it was not going to be our event."

 

The Facebook post in question was made by the moniker of "Jag Ware" on February 20th and stated "the municipal alliance wants to co-sponsor an Oktoberfest beer truck/garden? Really? Sounds like a pretty bad conflict of purpose." The residence of the user is posted as being in Nashville, Tennessee, but the same user had posted several times about snow removal in the borough following winter storm events.

 

This month, Ms. Coletti reported to the governing body that despite the alliance having pulled out of the event due to questions raised by this anonymous Facebook account, work is being done to possibly link the Pine Beach Yacht Club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, to run the event, though whether this year or next was not clear.

 

Budget Strained, Outlook Shows

 

"I have preliminary figures and they're not good, not good," reported Ms. Steib this month. "Pension went up on both pension plans between $25,000 and $28,000 this year. We have a new debt service item in the budget for $20,000 - so now we're already at $48,000 - and the vehicle lease went up $9,000, so now we're at $57,000."

 

"We're going up drastically and my surplus is down," she continued. "You didn't really save that much money on the police line item [with the shared contract agreement between Pine Beach and Ocean Gate for Chief Fisher] because we've now got to put special [Class II police officers] on and stuff like that. The police line item is probably somewhere around $30,000 below what it was last year - that's all."

 

"Salaries are $428,000 plus the agreement with Ocean Gate [for Chief Fisher], which I think is $90,000," the chief financial officer noted. "I only had about $540,000 in last year's budget, somewhere around there, so we didn't save that much on police. We're getting killed with pensions - I saw the bills and had to look at them twice. We took a big hit this year for pension contributions and I've got to pay it. Insurances are up - everything's up."

 

"We're probably going to be cutting line items," she added. "I will max the budget out because if I don't max it out - which means a tax increase, I don't know what it's going to be yet - I'll try to make it as painless as possible."

 

 

 

 

And in other news of the mayor and council:

 

Mr. Newman reported that his son, Ryan, had volunteered to become a driver in the Beachwood Vol. First Aid Squad, which serves both boroughs primarily plus mutual aid calls to the surrounding area. "Now he's involved in the first aid squad and the fire department," he said.

~

Mayor Cuneo spoke at length to Department of Public Works Supervisor Steve Bortko about several missed dead-end streets during some winter storms this season, asking that he formulate a better method of communication between drivers to ensure they are not missed in the future, and praised him and his department for their "excellent" work this year, adding that he felt Pine Beach streets were in better condition following snowstorms than any neighboring towns.

~

Water Department Supervisor Mike Sedlak reported that the drilling of the new borough well had drained a shallow well of a private residence in a neighboring property inside Berkeley Township, which caused the department to temporarily supply water to the home. The homeowner's son, Neil Friese, an engineer from Monmouth County who grew up in the home, approached the governing body with the request that the borough install a permanent water connection to his parents house as the Berkeley Township water service provider would not. The governing body later approved the request after Mayor Cuneo spoke with Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato about the issue.

~

Mr. Wieck reported that a leak had developed in a roof corner of the public works building and that he had asked a local roofer to assess and produce an estimate to repair it.

~

Water Department Assistant Supervisor Bruce Carney gave an update on the new borough well, stating that the contractor had "drilled down to 235 feet and they did their sampling so they can find out where to put the screens." He added the new depth was "a little deeper than our old well was" and there would be "a total 70 feet of screen, so we'll have a good yield on the water."

~

Mr. Wieck reported he was looking into having a new parking lot for borough personnel built on ground to be cleared behind borough hall on Merion Avenue, adjacent the borough wells.

~

Recently deceased residents Carol Gregoire, Shirley Bush, Richard Braks and Anthony Patricco were remembered during a moment of silence at the March 11th governing body meeting.

~

Mayor Cuneo reported that the position of code enforcement officer was recently advertised for the borough, which wanted someone who was or would become certified for the position within a year of taking it.

~

Mr. Newman stated he was looking forward to baseball season, with the Lakewood BlueClaws opening game on April 9th and his son, Rob, who was scheduled to sing the National Anthem at the April 11th game, which he offered to purchase tickets for any borough governing body members, employees and their immediate families to see.

~

Mayor Cuneo urged residents to go out and support the spring sports teams to see "true amateurs going out and giving it their best."

~

The ordinance setting the minimum and maximum salaries of borough officials and employees was adopted on second reading.

~

Two ordinances introduced on first reading in February then approved following public hearing in March included eliminating the "Trailer Camps and Campsites" section of the borough code as it was inconsistent and amending the borough code governing the police department to read "Except where State law provides otherwise, before becoming a permanent member of the Police Department, all newly hired full-time police officers shall successfully complete the basic course of training mandated by the Police Training Act and shall thereafter serve a probationary period of one year, during which (a) the officer shall be known as a probationary police officer and during which (b) the probationary police officer's overall fitness to perform the duties of a permanent police officer shall be evaluated and determined before the officer is considered for a permanent appointment to the Police Department. Time served as a part-time police officer before becoming a full-time probationary police officer shall not be counted or considered to be part of the probationary period. During the probationary period, the probationary police officer will receive training and guidance from the Police chief and/or a supervisor. Probationary police officers may be discharged at any time during the probationary period if the Chief of Police concludes that the probationary police officer is not progressing or performing satisfactorily. At the end of the probationary period, the Chief of Police will conduct an employee evaluation. No person shall be appointed as a permanent full-time member of the Police Department unless during the probationary period, that the person has, through his or her actual on-the-job performance, shown consistently appropriate demeanor and comportment, the ability to effectively interact with fellow officers, superiors, and members of the public, the ability to properly react and respond to real-life situations, shown qualities of honesty, candor, integrity, reliability, and has shown a positive attitude and an aptitude for permanent police employment. Under appropriate circumstances, the Chief of Police may extend the duration of the probationary period."

~

Accepted by resolution each month were the treasurer's and revenue reports by Ms. Steib, plus the bills resolutions that include disbursements for payroll, water, sewer, general, animal control, general capital, and water capital accounts plus the municipal alliance trust fund.

~

Resolutions approved by the governing body included a shared services agreement for a certified recycling coordinator through Long Beach Township on Long Beach Island; the annual recycling tonnage grant to receive funds that would continue and expand recycling in Pine Beach; authorization for selling five public works dumpsters no longer needed; supporting state assembly bill A4104 and senate bill S2704 to make it a third degree crime for anyone to make false statements representing oneself as a member of the U.S. Armed Forced for the purpose of obtaining money, property or another benefit; accepting the annual municipal alliance grant in the amount of $39,500 for fiscal year 2015-16; waiving zoning permit fees for Pine Beach Chapel in their drive to replace the cloth awning at the chapel entrance with a more permanent structure; allowing Chief Fisher to seek acquisition of the Humvee from the armed forces; increasing the rate to be charged for extra duty assignments of police officers as $80 per hour - $55 per hour for the officer and $25 per hour for a borough administrative fee - plus causing any contractor who does not show up for assigned work to be liable to pay four hours of the rate to the officer; and supporting the designation of Route 9 through Pine Beach as a "No Passing Zone" by the NJDOT.

Officials' Notes, Department Updates & Readers' Letters
 
Deadline Passed - Dog and cat licenses were due by January 31st. There is now a $10 late fee applied to all licenses.

Reminder - new for 2015, borough hall is now open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.municipal court office hours are Monday and Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm..

The Borough of Pine Beach will now be able to send important messages to residents through their phone or email using the Nixle alert system. Register your phone or email address here to be able to start receiving messages. This will be a vital tool with snow removal, change in garbage schedules and more. Nixle is a community information service dedicated to helping residents stay connected to the information that matters most, depending on physical location. The service is built on the most secure, reliable, and high-speed distribution platform, ensuring that trusted and immediate, geographically relevant information. Information is immediately available over your cell phone by text message, by email, and over the web. Accounts can be customized to receive the information that matters most to each individual.

The 2015 borough recycling calendar can be found here and includes other information pertinent to borough residents.   
 
Police, Fire & First Aid Reports

 New Patrolmen Hired & More Police News
New Pine Beach Ptl. Anthony W. Pruchnik is given the oath of service by Mayor Lawrence Cuneo as the patrolman's mother holds the bible during the February 11th, 2015 mayor and council meeting.

The mayor and council unanimously passed a resolution hiring Ptl. Anthony W. Pruchnik, formerly with the Seaside Heights Police Department, as a part-time special police officer position at a rate of $12 per hour. "It's a special town," noted Mayor Lawrence Cuneo following his receiving the oath of service in February with his parents by his side and Chief Reece J. Fisher looking on.


This month, the borough passed a resolution hiring Ptl. Russell Okinsky as a part-time special police officer at the same rate. [A photograph of his taking the oath of service is not available with apologies as we were unaware of the hiring at the time and missed this particular meeting to catch an Ocean Gate meeting at the same time.]

~

Councilman Matthew Abatemarco supplied the police operations report for January 2015. Totals for the month reflected response calls and reports including 194 motor vehicle stops, 121 administrative calls, 20 alarms sounded, 12 for general weakness, 9 disturbances, 8 domestic issues, 4 erratic drivers, 4 prisoner transports, 4 medi-alerts, 3 prisoners, 2 odor investigations, 2 noise complaints, 2 suspicious person reports, 2 keep the peace calls, 2 hang ups, 2 reports walked into the station, 2 calls for wires down, 2 missing persons calls, 2 calls for CPR in progress, 2 well being checks, 2 special responses, 2 breaking and entering reports, 2 fire alarms, 10 suspicious vehicle calls, and 2 lift assists. Medical-specific responses included 6 overdoses, 5 first aid squad calls, 4 fall victims, 1 stabbing (a laceration to a thumb), 2 bleeding/lacerations, 2 unconscious, 2 respiratory and 2 cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) - strokes.

~

A professional standards summary report form submitted by the police department for all of 2014 reflected zero complaints filed against the department and its personnel.

~

Chief Fisher was commended by Mr. Abatemarco for acquiring a $7,560 grant through the New Jersey Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund (DDEF). Via state statute, police departments are "entitled to $95 of the $100 surcharge resulting from a drunk driving conviction in their community," with at least half the grant used "for overtime patrols, checkpoints or court proceedings related to drunk driving enforcement."

 

As a result of the grant received by Chief Fisher, body cameras would be purchased for all borough police officers.

~

Chief Fisher reported that field training time for Class II special police officers, two of which were hired by the borough this year, were being increased from two weeks to four to six weeks as he felt the earlier training period to be "insufficient" for them to "get used to the boundaries, the map, the streets and the work ethic."


"Two weeks is where they get a map and a set of keys and are told to drive around," he said. "Those days are over - from a liability perspective we can't do that. We have to turn out a better trained Pine Beach officer. Not a better trained police officer - a better trained Pine Beach officer, and that takes a little more time to do."

~

Chief Fisher also updated the governing body on department operations since his entrance in January.

 

"Operationally, everybody's getting along downstairs - from my expeditions around town off shift, they have been more in town, less on the highway, which is what I like to see and which was my request coming in," he reported. "I think more in town, less on highway is going to deter something, as we get to the summer months, where that's going to be a factor."

 

"The highway will become more of a special enforcement detail for us rather than a routine sitting post," the chief continued, adding that prior incidents involving officers and vehicles injured and damaged by highway stops were not worth the risk. "I think it's more important for residents to see patrol cars riding around town than a quarter mile strip of highway, and so far the officers have been very responsive. The sergeants are working well together and it's real good - all good so far."

~

The Pine Beach Police Department is now the owner of a U.S. Army Humvee, the common name for military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), acquired from nearby Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst by Chief Fisher. Its main purpose in Pine Beach will be to allow improved response in winter storms through its four-wheel drive system when snow becomes too prohibitive for normal roadway vehicles.

~

Mayor Cuneo reported attending a ceremony at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9503 in Berkeley Township this month where Pine Beach Ptl. Robert King was "selected as an outstanding law enforcement officer... for his actions on Route 9 this summer."

 

"It was a nice ceremony they had," he said, pointing out that members annually join the borough for Memorial Day services. "It's a good group of people there."

 


 

New Pine Beach OEM Organized; Newman Seeks Larger Budget


The Pine Beach Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was organized for 2015, including Kevin D. Simon, coordinator; Keith Brown, deputy coordinator; Lawrence W. Cuneo, mayor; Barry Wieck, council liaison; Stephen Bortko, public works; Robert Wenteler, fire chief; Mary Jane Steib, CFO/business owner; Joseph Hipple, first aid squad representative; Thea Kratochvil, alliance coordinator; Lynn Hargrove, public information officer; Michael Sedlak, water department superintendent. Meeting dates will be April 13th and September 14th at 6:30 pm in borough hall. The purpose of the office is to coordinate emergency response to any borough-wide disaster or hazardous material incident.

 

During the February 23rd work session meeting, Mr. Newman asked for help from the governing body with understanding the initially budgeted figure for the department, which until this year was under the leadership of now-retired Chief Sgro and the police department, but was now "basically starting all over" as a "separate entity." Chief Financial Officer Mary Jane Steib was not present at the meeting.

 

"Last month, [Ms. Steib] said that our OEM budget was only $400," reported the councilman, noting that Mr. Simon had produced a report for the new department, listing needed items to get started and continue through 2015. "I have copies of just the food bill done under OEM last year that exceeded $556, I think it was - so my question was why did we already undercut the budget already?"

 

Borough Clerk Charlene Carney replied that part of the OEM budget was covered by a grant not included as part of the budgeted funds but are reimbursed to the borough.

 

Mr. Newman stated that many of the requested items for this year included a lot of "one-time costs" of equipment and office supplies necessary to operate on a basic level but that the police department, when it was in charge, already had.

 

"We need to discuss increasing the budget," he said. "I just think $400 is unreasonable."


Councilman Richard "Ritty" Polhemus agreed, and Mr. Newman added that "even if we gave [Mr. Simon] half this, it's a hell of a lot more than $400."

 

"Most of it seems to be really uniform related and foul weather related, which I can see where Kevin has nothing right now, so some of those items he would definitely need," said Mr. Polhemus.

 

"This right here was submitted," continued Mr. Newman, showing a request for paper supplies in late December. "It's now the end of February and we don't have simple paper supplies for OEM, so my question is, who's running the town? This is a problem - it goes right back to last year when I got elected, in the December meeting before I took office in January, I asked for safety gear for our public workers [and] we didn't get the stuff until December of this past year. Why did it take a year to get safety gear? Who's holding up the money or who's holding up the paperwork?"

 

"Whoever it is should be accountable for it," he said. "This is bullcrap! I don't know why it takes so long to get pens and paper. I've been here over a year [and] some of the things I've seen go on - stuff gets dragged on, gets dragged on, gets dragged on. Some of this stuff is viable, I can understand some of [it] because it's not important, but some of it is important."

 

"It's just like, I have no idea how this town didn't get caught for as many years that the town's been operating chainsaws and stuff like that from public works that they didn't have safety gear," the councilman continued. "This town is so lucky it didn't get hammered with [Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)] violations! So what else are we doing wrong or what else is being held up that we can be liable for all because somebody doesn't want to pay a bill? I would expect answers in the next meeting why we can't get some of this stuff paid for or provided for."

 

Ms. Carney answered that Mr. Simon "can also come up here, we have how many things in our closet" for office supplies.

 

"My point is he submitted it, it's done - he did what he's supposed to do," replied Mr. Newman.

 

"I know personally I've asked [Ms. Steib] for many, many things," added Councilman Barry Wieck, noting a part of a public works truck borrowed from Toms River that had not been paid back in three months.

 

"Three months is not acceptable," he said.

 

Mr. Newman agreed, adding that two months for OEM supplies was "long enough."

 

At the late March work meeting, Mr. Newman stated that Ms. Steib had a lengthy discussion with him about the ordering process in the time since this meeting and that she "really educated me - we must have spoke a half hour. She told me what's going on."


Fire Company Funds Debated


At the March 23rd work session meeting, Mr. Newman asked that the governing body consider a increase from $1,000 to $2,500 in contributions to the volunteer fire company in order to cover the deductible in the event of damage to equipment, including the fire trucks.

 

Mayor Cuneo and several council members present questioned the increase, stating that they had recently funded a new vehicle for the chief and are likely still paying off the last fire truck purchased for the company.

 

"I only bring this up because last year I got information from the company that runs our fundraiser [that is] mailed to every house" that reported $16,000 collected from 288 homes reflected less than half the residents in town supporting the volunteer emergency organization, Mr. Newman said. "That's pretty poor - we all know costs keep going up and up and the fire department's monetary funds are lower and lower."


The councilman, who is a member of the fire company, stated that the money was needed to maintain services, including the two fire trucks and chief's vehicle.

 

"It is a vital part of our community, to provide safety and well-being of the entire community," he continued, adding he did not want to see the department become "another shared services agreement with Beachwood," as is currently done with the Beachwood First Aid Squad. "If we give a little more to help out and at the same time figure out ways to get the word out to the community, to get more houses to donate - if ever we had to go to a fire district [which requires taxation for its funding], Beachwood and Pine Beach or Beachwood, Ocean Gate and Pine Beach - our taxes would skyrocket."

 

"I don't think it's a big stretch," the councilman concluded, referring to the increase to cover the insurance deductible.

 

"I give the fire department all the credit in the world for doing what they do, and I would love to sit here and fund everything - absolutely," replied Mayor Cuneo. "But there is a separation between the fire company and the borough, and there always has been, and there always will be because of the way the two charters are set up - you have to remember that. It's two separate organizations that work together. If they're looking for more money, I understand that times are tough."

 

Mr. Newman stated he was proposing the increase because of damage received by one of the fire trucks the previous year that required repair.

 

"We provide funding for the trucks, and they're their trucks - not our trucks," said Mayor Cuneo.

 

Mr. Newman asked whether he was certain they were not registered to the borough, and Councilman Robert Budesa stated he didn't think they were.

 

Mr. Polhemus stated that "everybody realizes emergency services - fire, first aid and police - are vitally important for every town. The question is how to find the money to allocate - other towns have different budgets and things of that nature."

 

Mr. Newman agreed as to the vital service of the fire company, adding, "I think it's money well spent."

 

Mr. Budesa stated that the fire company was selling some of its property with plans to construct a new building, but that the funds were "not sufficient to do what [they] want to do... which doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling from the perspective of being on council. I don't know what the answer is, it's not like we don't give them a lot of money."

 

He added that if an assessment could be made in taxes on private properties, he would support it, but that legally they could not do that with how the borough and fire company were currently organized.

 

Councilman Matthew Abatemarco said he didn't feel a $1,500 increase for what was being asked was "a ton of money."

 

"To put everything else in perspective, since 2001 we've given them - not including the gas or the [insurance] or anything else - about $515,000," said Ms. Steib.

 

Mr. Newman requested a printout of those contributions to bring back to the fire company.

 

"I don't begrudge the fire company anything, but we've got to look at the number," said Mayor Cuneo. "If we put the money in, let's see where the budget comes out."

 

"Surplus is down - that's what I use to offset expense - and I just got from Charlene a request for $2,600 worth of equipment for beaches, and it doesn't include lifeguards," said Ms. Steib. "Fifteen hundred doesn't sound like a lot, but put enough together... I'll put $1,500 in and come in with the budget and then we'll have to see who's cut."

 

Are you an official with a local police department, fire company/bureau/department or first aid squad and want to get the word out about news, calls for action, programs and events and more? E-mail them to publisher@riversidesignal.com - anytime!
Pine Beach 1935

Our Riverside Life 100 Years Ago is temporarily replaced in the next several editions by Ocean Gate 1935, an 80-year retrospective, due to the 1915 source materials being removed from the library system for internal work. Following their return, both Riverside Life 100 Years Ago and each town's 80-year retrospectives will be included in each edition.

Life
Mr. and Mrs. Slobohm and family opened their Riverside Drive cottage over the weekend... Mr. and Mrs. Martin Poinsett moved from the Kipp cottage to the Sprague bungalow on Prospect Avenue... Mr. and Mrs. Harry Kurtz, Mrs. L.K. Schauer and Mrs. Russell Whitman drove to Washington, D.C. to see the cherry blossoms... the regular meeting of the Pine Beach Vol. Fire Company was held Thursday evening at the firehouse... the Pine Beach Board of Education was scheduled to meet Friday, April 5th at the firehouse...

Sports
The Farragut track team announced a six-meet schedule for the season, including the Penn Relays plus competitions against Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Bordentown, and New York Military Academy and an inter-company meet...

Schools
The Toms River Sea Scouts were given a whale boat donated by Admiral Samuel S. Robison of Admiral Farragut Academy, allowing them to train and carry on boat activities. During the weekly Wednesday meeting, Skipper Clark "told of some famous Ocean County craft and suggested the ship be named from one of them."... invitations for the Spring Formal Hop at Admiral Farragut Academy on April 13th were sent out...

Arts
A musicale was held in the main reception room at Admiral Farragut Academy - the former Pine Beach Inn - on March 30th, featuring Millicent Jeffrey Gruler as soloist and a quartette performing various numbers... a band concert held at the academy the previous Saturday was reportedly well attended...

Word from Our Sponsor: Main Street Foot & Ankle
Old Ankle Sprains Increase Risk for Newly Active Baby Boomers

TOMS RIVER - The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons has a valuable lesson for Baby Boomers now getting back into fitness and sports: Get your ankles checked for chronic instability caused by sprains and other injuries that might not have healed properly years ago.

Many people who have suffered ankle sprains in the past could be at risk for more serious damage as they age and try to stay in good physical condition. It is estimated that one in four sports injuries involves the foot or ankle, and a majority of them occur from incomplete rehabilitation of earlier injuries.

"Many older adult athletes who have had a previous injury that wasn't fully rehabilitated may experience swelling and pain as they increase their physical activity," says Robert Duggan, DPM, FACFAS, an Orlando-based foot and ankle surgeon. "But pain isn't normal in the ankle area, even if you're starting to get back in shape."

Duggan adds that both serious athletes and weekend sports participants often misunderstand how serious a sprain can be, and they rush back into action without taking time to rehabilitate the injury properly.

"A sprain that happened years ago can leave residual weakness that isn't noticed in normal daily activity, but subjecting the ankle to rigorous physical activity can further damage improperly healed ligaments, and cause persistent pain and swelling," says Duggan. "For anyone hoping to regain past athletic fitness, it's recommended that you have that old ankle injury checked out by a foot and ankle surgeon before becoming active again."

Some sprains are severe enough to strain or tear the tendons on the outside of the ankle, called the peroneal tendons. Persistent pain and tenderness after a sprain, especially if the individual felt a 'pop' on the outside of the ankle and couldn't stand tiptoe, might be a warning sign that the tendon is torn or split. The injury is best diagnosed with an MRI exam.

Research has shown that more than 85 percent of athletes who had surgery to repair a torn peroneal tendon were able to return to full sporting activity within three months after the procedure.

"Peroneal tendon tears are an overlooked cause of lateral ankle pain," says Duggan. "Although surgery for athletically active patients shouldn't be taken lightly, surgical repair of the peroneal tendons is proving to be very successful in helping athletes with serious ankle problems return to full activity."

Mention this article when making an appointment at Main Street Foot and Ankle Care and receive a free Biofreeze.