Burlington County looking to send $2.3M for stormwater infrastructure
By Kristina Scala, Staff writer
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
MOUNT HOLLY — Millions of dollars of stormwater infrastructure improvements are planned for next year in Burlington County.
The Burlington County Board of Freeholders is looking to borrow an additional $2.3 million to get through its planned projects for the next fiscal year.
It's a part of the county's infrastructure that typically goes unnoticed by residents when its in proper working order, but still remains crucial to the public's wellbeing.
County engineer Joseph Brickley said maintaining the county's storm water infrastructure is "a fundamental contributor to public safety." And because of that, the county is constantly updating, expanding, and improving it, he said.
"These improvement projects will ensure that our system continues to operate efficiently," he said via email. "In addition, as these improvements are 'trench-less' they significantly reduce the impact to residents and the traveling public and are a less expensive form of rehabilitation."
Officials said the county will undertake $1.52 million to rehab deteriorated storm sewer lines in Evesham, Hainesport, Mount Laurel, North Hanover and Springfield.
The county also plans to spend $324,000 on two portable water sedimentation treatment truck systems, and $297,000 on a storm sewer video camera truck.
A public hearing on the bond ordinance to pay for the project and equipment is scheduled for the freeholders' meeting next Wednesday, which will be held at 11 a.m. Afterward, the freeholders are expected to vote on approving the $2.3 million in bonds.
The freeholders opted to participate in the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust to get a shot at a lower interest rate on borrowed funding for improving stormwater quality through infrastructure projects, according to county spokesman Eric Arpert.
In 2014, the freeholders passed a resolution to submit a letter to the state proposing projects and equipment purchases for 2016. The letter also included a cost analysis.
The county spent $3.46 million on projects last year. About $2.27 million was spent on storm sewer pipeline replacement in a dozen towns. The remainder funded the purchase of a street sweeper and a truck-mounted sewer cleaner.
The vote next week is the first step in project funding, Arpert said. Three separate contracts will be awarded after the freeholders approve going out for the bond.
Burlington County has borrowed $89.5 million for "clean water" projects from 1987 to 2013, saving $27.7 million through the loan program, according to state figures.
The borrowed amount, including individual communities and municipal utilities authorities, totals $386.8 million over the course of those 26 years.
Gina Berg, Burlington County's water resources coordinator, was not immediately available for comment.
The freeholders meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in the county administration building, 49 Rancocas Road, Mount Holly.