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Matawan to allow wind turbine components to travel through borough

The Matawan Borough Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Paul Buccellato to sign an agreement with Conti Enterprises to approve the transportation of wind turbine components through the borough.

Conti Enterprises is the company contracted by the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority to build a wind turbine in Union Beach.

According to an official email received by the borough in Oct. 2011 from Eric Millard, the project manager at Conti Enterprises, it will take an estimated ten minutes for the seven separate components of the turbine, carried on tractor trailors, to pass through Matawan.

A map provided with the email to borough officials indicates that the seven components of the turbine will travel along Freneau Avenue to Main Street, at which point they will cross Route 34. From there, they will continue along Main Street to Lower Main Street, across the train tracks and toward Route 35. The rest of the route was not included.

The agreement details several stipulations designed to help ensure that if the borough’s infrastructure is damaged, that it will be repaired properly by Conti.

According to the agreement, as spelled out in Resolution 12-03-26, Conti must digitally record the entire proposed delivery route, including the condition of the above-ground infrastructure like the curbs, sidewalks and pavements and the condition of the below-ground infrastructure like the storm drains and sanitary sewer pipes. Conti and a borough representative would then review the footage of the inspection and note the conditions of the infrastructure. The same process will be followed after the transportation in order to determine whether or not there is damage.

Conti must also provide a performance bond of $250,000 to cover all costs for the replacement of any infrastructure that has the potential to be damaged, and a maintenance bond for $250,000 will remain in place for a period of two years.

Additionally, according to the agreement, Conti must place fees in an escrow account to cover the cost of the time expended by all police, public works and borough representatives and employees during the process. The initial amount posted is set at $10,000 and Conti is required to replenish the escrow if additional funds are needed.

The agreement also states that Conti must provide a detailed schedule of the delivery dates, times and duration at least thirty days in advance and the delivery cannot be done on holidays, Fridays or weekends. The schedule must also provided to those who live along the route and it must be approved by the borough council. Temporary parking restrictions must be coordinated with and approved by the police department.

The council previously passed a resolution opposing the construction of the turbine, stating that the borough, “shares the concerns expressed by the residents and governing body particularly in light of what appears to be at best a limited effort by BRSA to reach out to residents of the Bayshore and a lack of transparency in this matter.”

Since the components will travel on state and county roads, Matawan cannot deny Conti transportation permits.

Robert Keady, the borough engineer, said the turbine components will likely travel through Matawan in May, although a definite date has not yet been determined.