UNION BEACH – A crane that sat idle for nearly a month at the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority facility here costing taxpayers money without ever being used, is now coming down.
Crews on Tuesday began to disassemble the towering crane, which was rented in anticipation of constructing a wind turbine.
The crane, about 270 feet high from base to tip and anchored by a stack of 9-ton counterweights, was one of two needed to construct the wind turbine.
JF Lomma Crane and Rigging of South Amboy should complete the removal by the end of this week.
An appellate court panel ruled Friday the borough Planning Board has to approve the BRSA’s site plan before the authority may install and operate a wind turbine.
“It is unlikely, given this delay, that the turbine will be delivered in the next two months. Therefore the continued rental of the crane is not justified,” said BRSA executive director Robert C. Fischer.
The crane cost $65,000 to rent a month but with other expenses factored in, it was costing $150,000. It was put up on July 18, the same day a Trenton appellate judge issued an injunction on transportation and erection of the turbine’s parts.
The authority serves customers in Aberdeen, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan and Union Beach.
The authority will be asking Union Beach this week to correct what Fischer called a mapping error. The borough’s zoning map places the BRSA property in a residential zone. The Board of Adjustment has to consider whether such zoning is correct. If the map is correct, a use variance is needed to install and operate a wind turbine.
Louis E. Granata, the authority’s Matawan-based attorney, also will be asking the appellate division for reconsideration of the findings with regards to the zoning map.
In April 2011, the Law Division of the Superior Court ruled that the BRSA and the adjacent property were in the same industrial zone and the zoning map was in error, Fischer said.
The next regular Planning Board meeting begins 7:30 p.m. Aug. 29.
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