The SandPaper - VillageSoup Photo by: Pat Johnson

Mystic Island Residents Must Decide on Special Tax for Dredging

New Jersey - Little Egg Harbor Township ( Ocean County, New Jersey) held a special meeting March 15 with Mystic Island residents who live on the waterfront east of Radio Road. The township has seen the success of dredging Osborn Island lagoons through use of a special assessment levied on those waterfront dwellers and is now extending the question to the 526 property owners on 12 lagoons that lead to Rose Creek.

Committeeman Ray Gormley took the lead in explaining how a special assessment would work for these properties. Existing depths in Rose Creek and at the mouths of most lagoons is 2 feet of water or less. The plan is to dredge 34,500 cubic yards of mud from these low areas to 4½ feet below mean low water. The width of  Rose Creek channel would be dredged to 20 or 30 feet ; the width of the lagoon dredging would be 40 to 50 feet with sloping up to the docks or bulkheads.

At an estimate of $100 per cubic yard to be dredged and disposed of, the cost would be close to $4 million. To pay for this, each property would be assessed $9,500, to be paid out over 10 years of bonding. Residents could pay it upfront the first year or pay $950 a year for 10 years.

The benefits would be improved boating during low tides and a subsequent increase in home values.

The township, with its AA rating, would get a bonding rate of 3.35 percent.

Gormley said dredging is permitted only between July 1 and Dec. 31 unless the town could get an extension. If residents of Mystic Island included in Phase 1 (those living east of Radio Road) decide by majority that they support the dredging, it could begin as early as August of this year.

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