Brick's township council unanimously authorized bonds to support its $8,798,100 capital program Tuesday night.
The capital program will fund a in town, the paving of several roads, the rehabilitation of the police firing range, among other items, officials have said.
But the ground may have been laid at Tuesday night's township council meeting for future debate on the specifics as to how the money should be spent.
"The capital budget is a cooperative effort," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, warning that he could decline to sign contracts to spend the funding on projects favored by the Democrat-controlled council – just as the council could decline to authorize contracts on projects favored by the Republican mayor.
"We've got to work together and come up with projects we both agree on," he said.
Though a relatively small expenditure as a percentage of the entire capital program, a $60,000 project prompted the most public comments from an otherwise quiet audience.
The project is a storage building at the Brick Little League facility. Township officials originally told Brick Patch the building would be a press box, but confirmed Tuesday the building would be used for storage purposes.
"Quite often, I hear about money being spent by the town on things we should not be spending money on," said township resident Dominick Rappoccio.
Kathy Erickson, another resident, agreed.
"We may own the land, but it is a private organization," she said, of the Little League.
Acropolis said he supported the Little League project, but Council President John Ducey said he did not, even though he voted in favor of the overall capital program.
Authorizing the capital program does not obligate the township to actually borrow the money or undertake the planned projects.
In addition to $3.7 million to fund the township's conversion to automated recycling, the capital program includes $2,216,000 for , including paving and drainage improvements. Areas slated for improvements include Hendrickson Avenue, Lakewood Gardens, Bay Harbor Estates and Riviera Estates. After a resident asked if Tunes Brook Drive could be paved, Acropolis said there may be money left over for it, as it is the next street on the township's list of roads in need of improvement.
Another $650,000 is included in the budget to fund on Ridge Road.
Also, the budget includes $300,000 for the design of the Colorado Park improvement project, and $652,000 for the replacement of Bayside Park bulkheading, which Ducey said Tuesday is in very bad shape, creating a safety issue.
"It's basically washing away into the water," he said, of the bulkhead.
Councilman Domenick Brando said the budget will ensure people will continue to want to move to Brick.
"They look at your parks, they look at your schools, they look at your roadways," he said. "There are certain things we have to do in town. Something I feel strongly about is the parks."