By DON STINE
Neptune officials approved the purchase of a 2.65-acre tract on S. Riverside Drive in the Shark River Hills section to preserve the property as open space. The township would like to acquire about 18 flood-prone properties along the Shark River under the state’s Blue Acres program.
Township Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said this is the biggest tract on the site that is scheduled to become a park across from the Shark River. The property purchased by a $1.25 million bond ordinance at this week’s Township Committee meeting was zoned for nine single-family homes.
The purchase price was offset by the state Department of Environmental Protection grant and the Monmouth County Conservation Fund.
“The property acquired will be preserved as open space and become a park,” Gadaleta said.
All properties are near the Shark River and between S. Riverside Drive and Valley Road in the Shark River Hills area. The properties can only be acquired if the owner is a willing seller and eminent domain does not come into play.
Gadaleta said some of the properties on the site are wetlands and cannot be developed anyway.