$550,000 Bond Ordinance OK’d to Electrify Deal Lake Sluice Gate

By DON STINE

A $550,000 project to electrify the sluice gate at the eastern end of Deal Lake was funded by the Ocean Township Council at last week’s meeting. A $550,000 bond ordinance was adopted by the council since the Deal Lake Commission does not have the capacity to issue bonds.

“Ocean Township has the most shoreline (40 percent) and we have been onboard with funding for a while and have become their bonding agency,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said previously.

The mayor is quick to point out that the bond will probably cost taxpayers nothing since it is normally reimbursed by the state Department of Environmental Protection agency. If that does not happen then all of the other six municipalities around the lake have an agreement to share the cost. Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Deal, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, and Neptune are also represented on the commission.

The project will pay for the construction of upgrades to the sluice gates located at the eastern outfall pipe of Deal Lake. The gates help control the amount of water that flows from the lake into the Atlantic Ocean, and visa versa, and are an essential component in controlling the lake’s water level in storms.

Deal Lake Commission Chairman Don Brockel called the funding “wonderful.”

“Ocean Township promised their support and we got it,” he said.

Brockel said that requests for proposals for the project are being sent out and that he hopes the project will be completed by the end of this year, maybe even by September.

“We are moving along,” he said.

The sluice gates used to be cranked open and shut by hand but the process was later modified so that a commercial electric drill could help open the gates more quickly. The new electrified gate project also will have lights, cameras, and allow the gates to opened or lowered remotely.

“If the electricity ever goes out then we can go back to the old methods of dealing with the gates. We are not installing a generator due to the harsh environment down there. We will keep this as high tech as possible but still keep it simple to open if we need to do it manually,” Brockel said.

Deal Lake originally opened to the sea until the early 1890?s when a flume was built, according to the Deal Lake Commission web site. A flume is a man-made channel for water to travel through. The Deal Lake channel begins at the easternmost portion of the lake, runs under the flume house, and travels east under Ocean Avenue and out through the jetty that separates Asbury Park’s Eighth Avenue beach from Loch Arbor. Water is constantly in exchange between the two bodies of water.

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