In Avon: Government Continues Moving Forward with Property Auction


coaster-news-200-newBy PETE WALTON

The federal government is moving ahead with the auction of prime beachfront property formerly used to house Coast Guard personnel in Avon.

The General Services Administration lists the land and building as multifamily housing but the borough attorney of Avon has put Washington on notice that the property is located in a single-family zone, and that future owners will have to comply with that zoning.

As of Tues., June 28 the high bid for the property at the corner of Ocean and East End Avenues was $635,000. Four parties had submitted bids at that point.

Borough Administrator Timothy M. Gallagher said the GSA auction is open-ended, allowing the federal government to wait until it gets the price it wants.

The land was sold in 1885 to the U.S. Lifesaving Service as the location for a boathouse. The lifesaving service later became the Coast Guard and in 1967, a three-family residential building was constructed for the use of personnel assigned to the nearby Coast Guard station. Gallagher said the town had no say over the use of the land because it was owned by the federal government.

The lot is just shy of the size required in order to be subdivided. A future owner could apply to the borough Planning Board to split the property in two.

At this week’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Gallagher announced that beach receipts were $122,000 ahead of last year’s figure for a comparable period. Last year’s beach attendance broke records but most of the increase started after the second week in July.

“I have never seen such detailed, pro-active police work,” said Commissioner Frank Gorman of the upgraded law enforcement presence at the beach following last summer’s record crowds.

Gorman said that on the first Monday of beach operation this season, he encountered Police Chief Terry Mahon directing traffic on Ocean Avenue. Mahon explained that he was relieving the special officer who had been directing traffic so he could join a team conducting a beach sweep, advising sunbathers and swimmers that badges would be required from that point forward until Labor Day.

The commissioners awarded a contract for $38,875 to Lynx Waste and Recycling Solutions Inc. of Spring Lake for the demolition of the former Taylor Memorial Baptist Church on Sylvania Avenue.

Gallagher said the borough had planned to demolish the church itself before deciding to put it out to bid. Two other bidders submitted prices of $48,000 or more.

Before conveying the property to the borough, the church tried unsuccessfully for more than a year to find a buyer. The borough’s efforts to sell it also did not succeed. The demolition will allow the property to be divided into two standard sized lots, one containing an existing home and another where a new building could be constructed.

The two properties would be added to the borough’s tax base once they are sold.

The borough has contracted with Realty Appraisal Co. to evaluate new construction for 2016 assessments. There were two bidders for the work.

Mayor John B. Magrini announced that the Avon Historical Society will conduct its annual Patriotic Celebration on Sun., July 3 at 6 p.m. in front of the municipal building on Main Street. There will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence and music by The Ragtimers.

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