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Residents, Agencies to Rally for Saving Deal Lake

  By DON STINE Deal Lake will experience increased flooding and fish will be prevented from spawning under a plan being pursued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local officials and environmentalists said this week. “The flume from the lake will be plugged up with sand and the only way to get water out of the lake will be by pumping it out- which is crazy,” said Joseph Pallotto president of the Asbury Park Fishing Club, the oldest such club in America. A protest will be held at 5 p.m. Fri., March 21 at the Eighth Avenue jetty in Asbury…

State Decision Grants Interlaken’s Request to End Ties with Asbury Park

  A recent state decision has ruled that Interlaken has satisfied required criteria and has granted the borough’s request to terminate its long-standing sending and receiving relations with the Asbury Park school district. Interlaken has been trying to severe its relationship with the Asbury Park school district for years. About two years ago the Interlaken Board of Education approved sending students to West Long Branch and Shore Regional on a per-pupil tuition cost. On March 7, the Office of Administrative Law issued a decision that the Interlaken Board of Education has satisfied required statutory criteria and granted the borough’s request…

Ocean Grove Architects Win Award for Asbury Park Building

  The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) has awarded Ocean Grove-based architectural design firm Shore Point Architecture with a Merit Award in the “Un-built” category of its annual Design Day Competition. The agency recognized the firm for its innovative design of Asbury Park J.A.M.S. community performing arts building in Asbury Park. “Asbury Park J.A.M.S. is a prime example of the type of dynamic project that will advance and elevate the state of architecture in New Jersey,” said Kurt Kalafsky, FAIA, president of AIA-NJ. “Shore Point Architecture demonstrated incredible vision in designing the building, and is…

Asbury Park Taxpayers Should Get Break on Municipal Taxes This Year

  Asbury Park taxpayers will get a break their municipal tax rate this year but the exact amount is hard to determine due to a recent citywide property revaluation. “Regarding the tax rate, you are not looking at apples to apples this year because of the revaluation,” acting Chief Financial Officer Richard Gartz said. The budget was introduced at the City Council’s March 5 meeting and a public hearing will be scheduled in the future with possible amendments to the budget. The total $39,242,859 budget is down from last year’s $41,372,555 amount. Gartz said this is due to $1.4 million…

Building a better Asbury Park through redesign

  By DON STINE So many people turned out in Asbury Park March 4 to hear more about Rebuild by Design, a federally-funded competition seeking to design permanent solutions to minimize damage caused by future severe storms, that another presentation was added. A standing-room-only crowd packed the first 7 p.m. session in the main viewing room at the Showroom on Cookman Avenue. Tuesday’s presentations were to garner public comment about the program. “Community feedback is a major criteria,” said Alexis Taylor, a project manager for the design competition. Ten teams, from Connecticut to New Jersey, are part of the Rebuild…

Wesley Lake Will Be Dredged; Retaining Wall Repaired

  By DON STINE If the water in Wesley Lake looks very low at the western end, it is all for a good reason – the lake will be dredged soon. “Everything is taken care of (for the project),” said Neptune Township Committeeman Michael Brantley, who also chairs the Wesley Lake Commission. Under the proposal, both Wesley Lake, between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, and Fletcher Lake, between Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach, will be dredged under a $1.4 million project. About 400 linear feet of retaining wall along the southerly side of Wesley Lake will be replaced and an…

Asbury Park Deputy Clerk Retires After 20 Years

  By DON STINE Asbury Park Deputy City Clerk Kiki Tomek (above; Facebook profile photo), who issued the first gay marriage license in the history of New Jersey, has retired from her job after 20 years. In what has been called “guerrilla clerkship,” on March 8, 2004, and for the next three days, Tomek processed applications for marriage licenses for same-sex couples in Asbury Park. Her action resulted in the first gay marriage in New Jersey. The action was short-lived, however, after the state Attorney General’s Office faxed a letter to city officials three hours later stating it would invalidate…

Tax Abatement Under Review in Asbury Park

  By DON STINE A controversial proposal to renew a five-year tax abatement plan in Asbury Park was tabled by the City Council at last week’s meeting but a vote is expected soon on the matter. First enacted about 10 years ago and renewed in 2008, the tax exemption ordinance allows city property owners to apply for tax abatements for improvements made to existing structures and new construction. The current ordinance expired at the end of last year. The tax abatement plan allows home improvements or new construction projects to receive a 30 percent reduction on property taxes over a…

City Official Outraged at $2 Million in Uncollected Funds

  By DON STINE At least $2 million in court fines, payments in place of taxes, and special event fees is owed to Asbury Park – money that should have been collected long ago, according to one city councilman. “The past administration did a terrible job collecting this money and every taxpayer suffers,” Councilman John Moor said at the Jan. 29 City Council meeting. Moor said the current council has “inherited major mistakes” regarding money owed to the city and, if it was collected last year, it could have been applied to the 2014 municipal budget. He estimates the money…

Well-Known Pastor Selected as Parade Grand Marshal

  The Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee has chosen Father Robert Kaeding, executive director of The Center in Asbury Park, as its first grand marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Asbury Park. Father Bob, as he is affectionately known, is pastor of Precious Blood Parish in Monmouth Beach. In accepting the honor he said, “The Center has participated in the Belmar’s great St. Patrick’s Parade, but we were always hopeful that Asbury Park might have one of their own. We are thrilled to participate in our hometown. I’m honored to lead the parade this first year.”…

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