Cranbury officials adopt bond ordinance for Brainerd Lake dredging

The Cranbury Township Committee has adopted a bond ordinance that appropriates $4 million for the dredging of Brainerd Lake. Officials took the action on Feb. 10.

Mayor Matt Scott, Deputy Mayor Mike Ferrante, Committeewoman Barbara Rogers and Committeewoman Evelyn Spann voted โ€œyesโ€ on a motion to adopt the ordinance.

Committeeman James Taylor was absent.

According to the ordinance, officials will spend $1.6 million from a capital improvement fund and $200,000 from capital surplus, and authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $2.2 million to fund planned work at the lake.

Officials said the dredging of the lake is expected to move forward during the fall. The work is regulated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulations regarding when the level of the lake can be dropped.

Officials estimated the work will take about two months. Township Engineer Tom Decker has estimated there is about 60,000 tons of sediment and material at the bottom of the lake that needs to be removed.

The sediment, which is a combination of clay, silt and debris, will be removed to get the lake back to its full water capacity, according to Decker.

โ€œWhen you walk up to the edge of the lake you can see how shallow it is and how much vegetation there is. It is really choking off the lake,โ€ Scott said. โ€œWe do not want this lake to turn into a swampy wetland. Iโ€™m glad we will get to have the project done this year.โ€

Municipal officials said they are hoping to remove invasive species from the lake. The plan is to lower the water level, remove the sediment with excavators and truck the material to an off-site location.

โ€œThe bottom of the lake is not the most pleasant smelling feature. There will be about 2,000 truckloads of sediment (removed); that is about 50 trucks a day over an eight-week period,โ€ Decker said.

According to officials, residents will be informed when work is scheduled to begin.