Spotswood introduces ordinance assigning $2.5M grant for lake


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SPOTSWOOD – The Borough Council has introduced a capital ordinance to provide funding to finance the municipality’s Devoe Lake remediation and restoration project.

On June 5, 2019, the Borough Council approved a resolution authorizing officials to execute a $2.5 million grant contract with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the restoration of Devoe Lake.

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The improvements are authorized as general capital improvements, according to municipal officials.

“Through the years, silt and sediment have built up to a level that allows the water foliage to grow at such a rate of speed the lake is overrun within months. It also limits the amount of water that can be retained, which ultimately affects the flood plain both up and downstream,” Mayor Edward Seely had said during the Oct. 7, 2019, council meeting.

The council introduced an ordinance authorizing the usage of the $2.5 million grant to fund the project on April 6. A second and final reading is scheduled for April 20.

Devoe Lake was created in 1935 after the construction of the dam on the Manalapan Brook.

The shallow depth of the 38-acre lake, in addition to the accumulation of sediment, has resulted in flooding after storms, according to a statement provided by the New Jersey Legislative Democrats.

The grant will facilitate the borough’s ability to have the lake dredged, alleviating future flooding.

Additionally, the borough hopes to make aesthetic improvements to the landscaping and lighting around the lake and to open the area to public recreation, according to the statement.

Seely said officials plan to start at the lakeside section of the lake and work their way back.

He said, “$2.5 million doesn’t get you far, but it does get you pretty far when you think about distance. … So it turns out we are getting the money, we just have to turn in receipts like we do. While we were there they also set us up with Green Acres because Green Acres also has funding for the lake [and] there could be avenues to go through to get that money.”

Seely said hopefully within the next five or six years, the borough will see Devoe Lake newly restored.

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