Councilwoman Addresses Seniors Concerns at Meeting

By ED SALVAS

Asbury Park City Councilwoman Eileen Chapman met with residents of Asbury Tower on Tuesday to address their concerns on a number of topics, from rebuilding the boardwalk to the future of their own building.

The 75 or so residents of the Ocean Avenue high rise gathered in their Community Room for an hour-long meeting with Chapman, and the boardwalk was clearly on everyone’s mind.

“What’s happening with the boardwalk” was the first question.

Chapman said the boardwalk will be put back in the same manor, with an additional access point and more benches. The beach and boardwalk are literally the Tower’s front yard and have been torn up for more than a year.

“It will be back by Memorial Day 2020,” Chapman said.

From the Tower, the boardwalk will be a “meandering” walkway to the border with Loch Arbour. In addition, the parking area, known as the fisherman’s lot, will be paved and striped and parking will be free. Answering a related question about the planned private swim club at Seventh Avenue, Chapman said the plans are still being reviewed by the Planning Board.

Asbury Tower residents also said they would like to see the food trucks back next summer. The trucks were located just north of the building in 2018 but did not return this year. Chapman said their future is uncertain, bur the issue “is not necessarily off the able.” She urged the residents to make their feelings known to boardwalk manager Madison Marquette

Two other issues that came up during the meeting were odors from the nearby sewer plant and the rumors that Asbury Tower could lose its designation as a residence for  seniors and its status as Affordable Housing. Chapman said the tower is “Deed Restricted” as Senior Housing until the year 2032 when the owner can decide what to do. She said nether the city nor developer iStar can change that. The building is now owned by Springpoint Senior Living of Wall Township.

Chapman said the city has replaced the filters at the Sewer Plant next to the tower on Ocean Ave. but the complaints of a foul odor continue. She said Ocean Township declined to take over the plant operation and there are no plans for changes in the foreseeable future.

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