More fort development means more inspections needed

By Neil Schulman

Oceanport — There’s a lot of new construction going on in Oceanport, especially in the former Fort Monmouth Army base. And that means a lost more demand on borough building inspectors.

At the Dec. 5 Borough Council workshop, Mayor Jay Coffey suggested Oceanport should look at an expedited inspection, where developers can pay into an escrow the borough can use to help speed up their inspections.

Oceanport only has one full time staff member, and a lot of times the inspections will come in a large clump, Coffey said.

“Nothing would happen for six months and all of a sudden you need 20 days of inspections since 80 units are ready,” he said.

“Right now, we don’t want to pay overtime,” Coffey said. Expedited inspections would let developers set up an escrow which could cover the cost of overtime or bringing in part-time inspectors to speed up the work.

In addition to projects at Fort Monmouth, developers in Monmouth Corporate Park have sometimes expressed an interest in getting the work done faster, the mayor said.


Municipal Complex update

Some details of the plans for the municipal complex have had to be changed as the work continues, Borough Administrator Donna Phelps said.

Sometimes, the condition of the building makes it impossible to follow the original architect’s proposal. That’s been the case with some of the bathrooms in the future borough hall offices. Officials had thought plumbing fixtures would be reusable, but they’ll need to be replaced. And the plans called for only replacing broken tiles, but the original tile pattern can’t be matched, so all will need replacing.

The borough also needs to pay an additional $30,000 “to demolish a hidden concrete vault in the building and fix the floor there. And the fire suppression systems will need to be completely replaced due to concerns about the age of the sprinkler heads.

“We don’t know how long the system’s been there,” said Phelps. “We could go in and it will be fine… we could go in and it will go off.”

Meanwhile, by the future police headquarters, a utility pole in the driveway needed to be removed. It was originally slated to have radio equipment on it, but engineers felt the location would leave half the building with poor reception.


Title 39 Request

Normally, Oceanport police only enforce traffic regulations on public roads. But RPM, which has developed housing on the fort, has asked the borough to patrol and enforce the traffic laws on private roads in the area.

The borough will need to pass a “Title 39” ordinance to do this. They will also need to get approval from the Oceanport Police Department before introducing such an ordinance.