By DON STINE
The fate of the old Wardell-Welsh dairy house on Old Corlies Avenue in Neptune is still up in the air but things do not look too bright for the future of the old building.
Once again, the fate of the more than 100-year-old house was discussed at the Township Committee’s workshop this week, but this time more financial estimates were available that will probably determine the building’s future.
Previous suggestions to use the building, at 703 Old Corlies Ave., for a museum or a recreation center have been discussed but rehabilitating the house would probably be too costly, especially since there is asbestos there.
“It will cost more than $1 million to rehabilitate the building and it still would not be handicapped accessible,” Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said.
He said a recent analysis shows that it will cost about $55,800 to demolish the building but that price goes up to about $81,145 once asbestos removal is included.
“We have to make a value decision (regarding the house),” he said.
“To bring it up to code will be too costly,” Committeeman Robert Lane Jr. said.
Township officials said it is uncertain right now if another building will be constructed at the site if the house is razed or if it will remain open recreational space. The eastern section of the 6.46-acre site has already been developed with an award-winning veteran’s memorial park.
Gadaleta said the governing body will discuss the matter further but that some determination will be made in the near future.
Neptune purchased the 6.46-acre Welsh dairy tract, with the house, years ago with the intent of making it a passive, open-space park with the veteran’s memorial park. It was zoned for light-industrial use.
The tract was originally the Wardell dairy- the oldest-operating dairy in Monmouth County- until it closed after merging with Welsh Farms in 1975. It is the largest undeveloped tract on Old Corlies Avenue and has been vacant for years. The property was never a farm, always a dairy.
The present house, which replaced an older house, was built between May, 1910 and January, 1913.