Brigantine officials again tabled the city’s $4 million bond ordinance amid concerns that it was not detailed enough.
The issue was on Wednesday’s City Council agenda, but was delayed due to the absence of the city’s bond attorney and one of three council members who originally voted down the measure last month. Now, it won’t come up for another vote until Sept. 18.
If passed, the city would add $4 million to its debt service to cover about $1.2 million divided about evenly between road and sewer improvements; $1.2 million for fire equipment; $443,000 for bulkheads; and nearly $500,000 for recreational fields and public buildings. The measure initially failed to gain the necessary two-thirds majority vote as three councilmen sought more information about the expenditures.
“I think residents and council members deserve an explanation of how we intend to use any funds we’re going to borrow,” Mayor Phil Guenther, a Republican, said Friday, adding that he also wants to know how much of the bonded improvements may be reimbursed by insurance.
Councilman Rick DeLucry, a Democrat, said there was nothing flawed about the original measure, as it was similar to bonds routinely approved over the last 20 years, when Republicans were in power.
“Now, I think it suits (Guenther’s) political purposes to delay it,” he said.
Regardless, Sept. 18 may be the last meeting City Council argues the bond ordinance, as one of the three who voted against it — Democrat Frank Kern, who was absent Wednesday — said he’s satisfied with a revised version submitted by City Manager Jennifer Blumenthal.
“They now have sufficient detail to meet my criteria and yet not be so detailed that they hamper us in case of emergencies,” he said.
Kern said he believes the delay in approving the bond was positive, since it shed more light on the expenditures, adding that he was informed that none of them were time sensitive.
Meanwhile, City Council awarded a $33,000 contract to the Absecon-based Mase Enterprises LLC to make repairs to the clubhouse roof at The Links at Brigantine Beach golf course.
Brigantine also approved grant applications for state Department of Transportation programs to improve bikeways and street safety. If awarded, the grants would not require matching funds.
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