Skip to main content

Press Releases

7/1/2024 - Financing Completed for Fortescue and Gandy’s Beach Sewer Project

Downe Township, New Jersey

Press Release: June 28, 2024

For Additional Information Contact: Mayor Mike Rothman -

Cumberland County Commissioner Director, Joseph Sileo


Financing Completed for Fortescue and Gandy’s Beach Sewer Project

Construction to Start in July

Township of Downe, County of Cumberland and State of New Jersey – After more than a decade of planning, the Downe Township Sewer Project is now a reality.  The financing through the New Jersey Infrastructure Trust was completed earlier this week, the last step before construction can commence.

“The US Department of Agriculture, our Federal Legislators, the State, and the Cumberland County Board of County Commissioners have been tremendous partners on this project” stated Mayor Mike Rothman.  “This project has been planned for years and most people thought it would never happen.”  “I am grateful for the efforts of all involved including the members of successive Downe Township Committees, Township Administration and Township professionals as this project could not be brought to fruition without their dedication.”

Since Superstorm Sandy a concerted effort by Federal, State, County and local officials has made this project a reality.  The sewer treatment plant will enhance the quality of Downe Township’s waterways, protects the health of its oyster beds and aquatic life, and allows for the redevelopment and revitalization of Fortescue and Gandy’s Beach.

In addition to the $13.7 million in grants and $3.8 million in loans provided from USDA, the project financing includes $5.5 million in grants and $6.6 million in loans from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank.  Congressional Directed Spending of $4 million was provided as a result of the efforts of U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Congressman Jeff Van Drew and with the support of Senator Michael Testa.  An additional $2 million in grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and a $150,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs was also secured.  Rutala Associates, a local planning firm, worked with local officials to secure all the funding for this project.

“The Bayshore area is a beautiful, environmentally sensitive area and this system will allow homeowners to abandon old septic systems for a modern sewer system,” noted Mayor Rothman. 

Downe Township was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy on October 29, 2012, and five other coastal storms over a two-year period.  Homes and businesses were destroyed, bulkheads breached, and beaches were washed away. Sandy struck at a time when Downe Township was already suffering from a prolonged economic decline.  The slide started with the near collapse of the region’s historically successful oyster industry in the 1950s and a more recent decrease in recreational fishing that has been crippling the charter fleet, marinas and small businesses that serve as the backbone of Downe Township.

Despite these setbacks, Downe Township is better placed now than ever before in its history to capitalize on its natural assets and rejuvenate the Township’s economic base.

Since the Township could not afford to fund this sewer system independently, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the State, County and Township demonstrating a true partnership and commitment to build this plant in a timely manner. 

Cumberland County Commissioner Director Joseph Sileo stated, “The County is proud to be a partner in this project which will both develop new ratables and address a long-standing environmental concerns.” The total project cost is $35.8 million, and development is planned in two phases.  Phase 1 is the Fortescue System including the treatment plan and Phase 2 will serve Gandy’s Beach.  Construction will commence next month with completion expected by the Summer of 2026.


Download Our App.

164 W. Broad St., Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Phone: (856) 453-2125