By JOANNE PAPAIANNI and DON STINE
Neptune officials announced this week that they have decided not to end a reverter clause on the O’Brien-Major VFW Post 2639 property on Route 33.
The Harold Daley Post 1333 in Asbury Park, which recently sold its building on Lake Avenue in Asbury Park, has expressed an interest in purchasing the vacant Neptune building, at 1515 Corlies Ave.
There is a reverter clause on the deed that mandates the building must go to another veteran’s group or non-profit if it is sold, otherwise the township gets the property back. The township dedicated the property in 1943, with the reverter clause in the deed. The site includes several small lots.
A private, commercial developer has expressed an interest in purchasing the site and hired an attorney to discuss the reverter clause.
Mayor Nicholas Williams said there has been a lot of “back and forth” between lawyers on the matter but, in the end, the governing body decided not to get involved.
“We made a decision to leave it alone and not get involved in it. I think we are definitely doing the right thing, especially with the way the clause is written and having the Asbury Park VFW interested in renovating it,” he said.
The mayor said that if the renovation “is done the right way,” then the new VFW post will be a benefit to the community.
“If it is run like the Asbury Park VFW is, then it will be good,” he said.
Robert Jameson, commander of Harold Daly Post 1333 of Asbury Park, said “I want to commend the township for honoring the deed. That’s commendable on their part.”
Jameson said the issue will be discussed at a VFW meeting before any decision about purchasing the building will be made.
“So we have to bring it up at a meeting and see where we are, and move forward from there,” he said.
Jameson said he would like to hear from the township that the terms of an agreement with Post 1333 will be the same as those of the Neptune post.
“If we can secure the property the way it is…under the same terms as the Neptune post, now that would be ideal for us,” Jameson said.
Jameson also said Post 1333 has always been an asset in the city, supporting many of the town’s organizations including the Little League, schools, police and fire.
“We have teacher of the year, police and fire fighter of the year, we are a benefit to the town,” he said.
Jameson said the post has been recognized for its support.
“We have a good track record with the community, we get a lot of accolades,” he said. “We’re visible, we’re very transparent. Our mission statement is to help other veterans and other groups.”