Asbury Park Considering Other Firehouse Locations

By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI

The public hearing on the purchase of an Asbury Avenue parcel in Asbury Park to construct a new firehouse was tabled at the recent City Council while the city looks at other possible locations.

City Manager Michael Capabianco also said the owner of the property is considering other offers.

Property owner Chris Georges, who owns a lot at 919 Third Ave., told The Coaster he is interested in selling the city his property.  The location formerly housed Coastal Habitat’s Restore, located just off Memorial Drive, and has two adjacent lots that could be part of the sale.

Georges said he met with Capabianco and Fire Chief Kevin Keddy this week to discuss his propoal but was told that his property was not large enough and did not have enough turn around room for fire trucks.

“There was nothing definitive,” Georges said. “I was hoping to clarify what they are looking for.”

During the public portion of the council meeting last week Kathleen Murphy of Deal Lake Drive asked about the north end boardwalk saying she frequently walks in that area and has found hypodermic syringes under the boardwalk and along the fence that is there.

She said she wears gloves and picks up the needles.

“It’s becoming a hazardous area,” she said.

Mayor John Moor said he is very disappointed in iStar, the developers of the boardwalk, due to what he called lack of cooperation. He referred to the ripping up of the north end portion of the boardwalk earlier this year by iStar.

He made his comments as council approved a professional services agreement with engineers, T&M Associates, to prepare documents for reconstruction of the boardwalk so it can now go out to bid.

Moor said iStar would be able to finish the boardwalk much quicker than the city due to the lengthy bidding process required for governments.

Moor then said if progress isn’t made soon he is going on record as saying the boardwalk will not be built by 2020 as he promised at a prior meeting.

In other business, Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn thanked police and first responders who she said prevented the July 4 shooting on the boardwalk from becoming more of a tragedy.

She also praised employees of the Crepe Shop who rushed in to help the shooting victim who was hospitalized with a non life threatening injury.

“We will honor them,” she said.

She also made clear that accounts of other shootings that were posted on social media are just rumors.

“The rumors of other shootings are not true,” she said.

Moor also praised three lifeguards who saved the life of a woman on the beach who was having a seizure.

“They will be honored,” he said.

Louise Murray, a city resident., said she made several calls to police about fireworks and noise coming from a house in her neighborhood over the holiday weekend.

“It broke my heart I had to call at 4 a.m.,” she said.

Mayor John Moor and Quinn said they were also aware of several complaints in the area.

Quinn said there were many firecracker complaints and added, “It’s a conversation we have to have.”

Moor said he had many complaints about garbage and said at one location the garbage pile was taller than him.

Resident Felicia Simmons asked about the preservation of the Casino building saying it is getting smaller and smaller as pieces of the century old building fall off.

The remaining structure, which is on the National Historic Registry, is what remains after much of the attached building which was built over the beach was demolished due to disrepair several years ago.

“I’m scared of the state that it’s in.”

Simmons reminded council that developers said the remaining structure would be maintained.

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