Business asks to test flood-protection shield on former Tuckerton police station
By Pat Johnson
Since Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) money won’t go far enough to pay for demolition of the former police office on South Green Street that was damaged beyond repair by 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, the Tuckerton [N.J.] Borough Council entertained a presentation by a company that wants to use it as a training ground for its product and, in the end, pay to demolish it.
At the Feb. 2  Tuckerton municipal meeting, Richard McManus, Brian Preski, and Heath Dumack unveiled a small demo-model of their Flood Relief on Guard (FROG) system. It is a plastic track system that holds a geomembrane that unrolls, much like a shade would, except it pulls from the ground up and would surround a building. In the event of a flood, the homeowner or caretaker would unroll the membrane and attach it to the building on already-installed hangers; the geomembrane would form a protective barrier, keeping water out.
This is the working idea of FROG’s “Lily Pad System,” but the company, based in Bristol, Pa., hasn’t tested it on a real building yet.
Company representatives proposed to the mayor and council that they be allowed to use it on the defunct police station. They would clean out the building, install the [geomembrane] Lily Pad, construct a temporary moat of concrete, fill it with water, and see how the FROG works. Afterward, they promise to demolish the building as payment to the town.
Preski said the cost of building a model in a traditional test would cost more than demolishing the town’s building. He said the company would be ready to start the process [soon].
Borough Attorney Kevin Quinlan said he had worked with the company in finding a building, and he would suggest running it by the borough engineer and then have the conflict attorney handle any legal business.
Preski said the project would not hinder the function of the public works yard located behind the former police station.
The SandPaper (Surf City, N.J.)
Feb. 6, 2015
Reprinted with permission