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Thursday, August 11, 2005Past Issues - S | M | T | W | T | F | S
 
South Jersey

Tuesday, August 28, 2001
Work still halted at site of Big J center

Visit these related links:
  • Complete Courier-Post battleship coverage
  • Official USS New Jersey home page

  • By CAROL COMEGNO
    Courier-Post Staff
    CAMDEN

    A work stoppage continued at the site of the visitor center for the USS New Jersey museum Monday, pending review of a building permit application by the state and city.

    Meanwhile the Home Port Alliance, the organization overseeing the project, still hopes for a Labor Day move of the restored ship from South Camden to its new $11 million pier near downtown Camden.

    Alliance officials said they forwarded the visitor center's plan to the state Department of Community Affairs on Friday. A state spokesman said an update on the review would be released today.

    The alliance stopped work on the center after the Courier-Post reported last week that no permits had been obtained for the pier and the center.

    However, pier work continued because the alliance paid a $ 36,024 fee that had been in dispute.

    Liz Thomas, a spokeswoman for the alliance, said work on the visitor center will not resume until "all the necessary issues and paperwork are in place."

    Once the state approves the plan for the visitor center, the city will process the building permit application, officials said.

    Although the alliance began construction on both the pier and visitor center before permits were obtained, city and alliance trustees said there was confusion over whether permits were necessary for this unique project.

    Christine Jones, an aide to Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison, said the city will act as promptly as possible when it receives the permit application.

    "Everyone was proceeding in good faith to get the job done. There was a misunderstanding. I am not going to say they (the alliance) did anything wrong," Jones said.

    The alliance plans to open the ship, the most decorated Navy battleship, for public tours by the end of September. But no date has been decided.

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