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HAMMONTON - The bike path project will not be abandoned with Hammonton Town Council approving to move forward on the final design and bidding process during its monthly meeting on Aug. 28.

Council had to make a decision about the project because the town was at risk of losing grant money provided by the state Department of Transportation. Council unanimously approved to continue the project rather than scrap the idea.

The option chosen was the final design from the town’s engineers and a bidding contract for $4,500.

“We have identified some money to go out to bid, not to exceed the quoted price,” Councilman Mickey Pullia said.

Council also decided to advance on three road projects, including redoing Second Road from 12th Street to Chew Road. The state DOT awarded the town an additional $222,000 for a total of $418,000 to use toward the project. Council approved $55,200 to begin the project after a 20-day appeal period.

“To go ahead with the bike path and Second Road they the (state) will be more apt to give you some additional funds,” town engineer Bob Vettese said.

Council also will apply for municipal aid for work on 14th Street and on Old Forks Road. Council had the option of just picking one of the projects, but it approved both applications for a total cost of $3,900 total, although the 14th Street project was given top priority.

Prior to regular business, council thanked the Kiwanis Club for creating a Safe Exchange Area, the first of its kind in Atlantic County in front of Town Hall. The area has two 15-minute parking spots and has 24-hour video surveillance. The area was created so parents with shared custody can drop off children. It can also be used by residents who buy and sell items on the Internet.

“I would like to thank Kiwanis very much and I would like to thank Hummel Electric. I appreciate everybody working together for this effort,” Mayor Steve DiDonato said. “It’s a shame those stations or transfer spots are needed in town, but they are. It’s much welcomed and much needed, and we thank you very much for your hard work and dedication, and volunteerism.”

DiDonato also asked for the council to vote in support of banning any removal of historical town statues, including the Christopher Columbus statue on South Egg Harbor Road.

The council unanimously voted to support the ban.

Council also agreed to appoint Frank Zuber to deputy clerk.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 25 at Town Hall.

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