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Council Mulls Joining Flood Commission

Cost to township, member representation discussed.

The Bridgewater Township Council is currently mulling over whether or not to join the Raritan-Millstone Flood Control Commission, according to the council’s discussion at its Feb. 2 meeting.

The commission met on Feb. 1, and was attended by township engineering manager Tom Forsythe, who was a preliminary appointee to the commission on behalf of Bridgewater when the township discussed joining last year.

If it chooses to participate, the township will have to pay $250 for two seats on the commission, and would be able to withdraw its membership within 90 days without having to provide additional financing to the committee.

“At this point, they’re still establishing the budget and what they’re going to spend the money on,” said council president Allen Kurdyla. “The county has put forth all the seat money.”

Councilman Matthew Moench seemed in favor of taking a look at being involved with the commission, as long as doing so did not affect the township financially.

“For the moment, for $250, it’s worth pursuing to see what benefits there are to the residents of Bridgewater,” he said. “I just don’t want to pay $250 and have them say, ‘great, we have a budget of $50,000, here’s your portion of the bill.’”

While no decision was made on the township’s participation in the commission, Moench suggested that at least one of the township’s two possible representatives be somehow involved in the council if it chooses to participate.

“I would offer that either a council member or council pick should be one of the two designees,” he said.

And at the Feb. 6 meeting, the council unanimously approved the introduction of an ordinance concerning the township's participation in the commission.

As part of the commission, Bridgewater will have two representatives, one appointed by the council and one appointed by the mayor.

According to the ordinance, the commission will be analyzing data on flooding, keep informed about grants, encourage the acquisition of land within the floodway and make data available to the Army Corps of Engineers and others.

Public hearing for the ordinance will be held Feb. 16.

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