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In Bradley Beach: Rehabilitation Facility May Move to Long Branch

 

coaster-news-200-newBy PETE WALTON

A controversial rehabilitation facility on the Bradley Beach oceanfront may move to Long Branch.

Borough Attorney Michael R. DuPont told the Bradley Beach Borough Council this week that the operators of the upscale Tranquil & Quest facility at 811 Ocean Ave. intend to move their operations out of town.

DuPont and representatives of the facility will meet again on July 7 with retired Ocean County Assignment Judge Eugene Serpentelli, who was asked to serve as a mediator between the sides when another judge ordered the borough to give a group rental license and use permit to Tranquil and Quest.

“We have gotten the court’s attention,” DuPont said. “Every complaint and contact received from the community has been communicated to the judge.”

The attorney said he will learn more about the rehab operator’s future plans at the July 7 meeting.

Bradley Beach has battled Tranquil & Quest since the company first announced plans to lease the beachfront condos as housing for clients dealing with substance abuse problems.

The borough opposed the lease of the four upscale townhouse units to the rehab’s parent company but in January 2015, state Superior Court Judge Katie A. Gummer decided that the use was permitted under borough ordinances.

“There are some legal protections that these facilities have,” DuPont said. “There is some precedent for these uses.”

Rehab clients are transported from the beachfront site to other locations outside of Bradley Beach for treatment, the company says.

According to DuPont, Tranquil & Quest told the judge recently that the Ocean Avenue townhouses have been operating at 50 percent capacity, but neighbors told the council that buses continue to load and unload passengers there throughout the day.

In other business the borough is considering putting its meetings on the Internet and cable TV.

Mayor Gary Engelstad credited Councilman Randy Bonnell with an effort to improve communications between the council and residents. The mayor asked Business Administrator Kelly Barrett to look into ways for the council to televise its meetings.

Barrett said a simple camera and microphone system can be purchased for less than $2,000. The idea would be to record the meetings and make them available online the following day. The borough’s web hosting company said that approximately six months worth of meetings could be kept online under current arrangements.

Engelstad said that Verizon and Cablevision want communities to provide enough programming to fill a dedicated channel around the clock.

Bonnell noted that the borough’s zoning and planning board meetings, which have been known to run on the long side, could provide a good amount of content for a permanent cable channel.

The mayor and other councilmen praised the borough’s public works department for the cleanup following the Lobster Fest event over the weekend. Engelstad said that the borough was being compensated on a “cost-plus” basis by the organizers and that the amount paid to the town would be reported to the public at a future meeting.

Councilman Harold Cotler said the Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce will also release the total it received through its sponsorship of the event.

 
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