Lacey Town Council Debates Over New Municipal Complex, Local Soccer Club Support, and Government Structure

The Lacey Town Council is grappling with a range of issues, including concerns over the proposed municipal complex, financial support for the Lacey Soccer Club, and a potential change in government structure. The council, during its recent meeting, also broached the topics of leaf pickup concerns, a special use permit for boho Love Boutique, filing for the New Jersey Fire Grant, and the proposed development of a new Municipal complex.

At the heart of the meeting was the contentious debate over the proposed municipal complex. Council member Steven Kennis was vocal about his concerns, questioning the estimated tax increase of 2.5% annually for 30 years and the lack of transparency surrounding the exact costs of the project. Kennis also raised valid questions about the chosen partner, Johnson Controls, and their history of legal issues. Mayor Timothy McDonald and other council members defended their choices, assuring that they were adhering to law requirements and promised to provide information when available. Despite the heated deliberation, the council agreed on the necessity of transparency and public input on the project before any further decisions were made.

In addition to the municipal complex, concerns about the Lacey Soccer Club reached a boiling point. A representative from the club emphasized the financial strain they faced due to decreased participation and increased costs. They criticized the lack of support from the recreation and public works departments, specifically highlighting problems related to field lighting, field maintenance, and equipment storage. The council agreed to arrange a meeting with the club’s president and committee members to discuss these concerns further.

Another topic that sparked debate was the change in government structure. A resident suggested a shift to include wards with elected delegates. They argued this would provide a more direct connection between the community and the council, fostering better decision-making.

The meeting also saw Deputy Mayor Peggy Sue Juliano expressing appreciation for the Community Options’ building renovation along Route 9 towards Fork River Beach. However, Mark Dykoff voiced concerns about the governor’s decision to have all vehicles sold in New Jersey be electric by 2035, emphasizing the potential impacts on residents.

The council also addressed a resident’s concerns about the deteriorating condition of a retaining wall that was supposed to protect their property from rising water levels. They mentioned meeting with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to discuss potential solutions, such as dredging and pumping sand to stabilize the shoreline.

Lastly, the council passed a motion to approve a special use permit for the Boho Love Boutique to hold a sidewalk sale on November 24th-26th. They also filed an application for the New Jersey Fire Grant and supported the creation of a dangerous cable and utility poll hotline.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Timothy McDonald
City Council Officials:
Steven Kennis, Peter Curatolo, Mark Dykoff, Peggy Sue Juliano

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