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Avon Church Demolished; Another One Scheduled to Close

  By PETE WALTON The former Taylor Memorial Baptist Church on Sylvania Avenue in Avon has been demolished by the borough. Mayor John B. Magrini said at this week’s meeting of the Board of Commissioners that he hoped the property could be ready for sale in September or soon thereafter. Borough Administrator Timothy M. Gallagher said that with the completion of the demolition, subdivision of the property can take place. The church was built in 1886 and initially called the First Baptist Church. After dwindling attendance in recent years, the church tried to find a buyer before conveying the property…

Merger for Three Catholic Parishes Will Be Discussed

  By PETE WALTON Town-hall style meetings will take place this week and next to discuss plans for three local Catholic parishes. The Diocese of Trenton has suggested that St. Rose in Belmar, St. Elizabeth’s in Avon and Ascension in Bradley Beach merge into one parish based in Belmar no later than July 2018, “pending a structural review and maintenance appraisal of the buildings,” according to the diocese. An “additional worship site” would be established at Ascension or St. Elizabeth’s and “evaluated every two years based on usage, finances, etc.,” the diocese said. The diocese established “cohorts” of parishes and…

In Avon: Government Continues Moving Forward with Property Auction

  By 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…

Avon Wants Auction of Government Property Postponed

  By PETE WALTON Avon officials want the federal government to delay an auction of oceanfront property which was previously used to house U.S. Coast Guard personnel. The building at the corner of Ocean and East End avenues is located in a single-family residential zone, though the Coast Guard was allowed to use it for multi-family housing. At this week’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Borough Attorney Barry A. Cooke said the multi-family use does not survive a transfer of ownership. The federal government’s advertising of the property describes it as a “three-family residential dwelling” and makes no reference to the…

Avon Church Scheduled for Demolition

  By PETE WALTON The former Taylor Memorial Baptist Church on Sylvania Avenue in Avon is scheduled to be demolished Mon., May 23. The church, which was built in 1886 and initially called the First Baptist Church, was renamed in 1927 in honor of a former minister. The building is made out of brick, though renovations in the 1940s left it covered in stucco. After the congregation dwindled, the church tried for more than a year to find a buyer before conveying the property to the borough. The Board of Commissioners voted in December to demolish the building after their…

Avon Plans No Increase for Tax Rate or Sewer, Water Fees

  By PETE WALTON There are no plans to increase the municipal tax rate, sewer and water fees or beach badges in Avon this year. Borough officials had hoped to introduce the new budget this week but state officials asked all communities which received aid after the Sandy superstorm to hold off. At a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners to discuss the budget, Borough Administrator Timothy M. Gallagher explained that the state has not yet decided if the funds will be treated as a grant or a loan. Avon received $1.2 million to help with municipal expenses due…

Avon to Hire 11 Special Police Officers

  By PETE WALTON Avon will add 11 special police officers to help keep the beachfront running smoothly this summer. The borough will establish a beachfront police command post at Sylvania Avenue to supervise the special officers and address law enforcement issues which may arise. Funding for the improved police presence will come from the borough’s beach utility, which saw a large increase in revenue last year after record-breaking attendance. Commissioner Frank Gorman said that the number of Class 1 special officers will be increased from 10 to 19, and there will be five Class 2 special officers this summer,…

Avon Swears in New Mayor

  By PETE WALTON John B. Magrini, the top vote getter in the November election, is the new mayor of Avon At the Board of Commissioners meeting this week Magrini was sworn into office along with incumbents Robert Mahon and Frank Gorman. Magrini’s wife Norah and children Emily and Brendan held the Bible as Borough Administrator Timothy M. Gallagher administered the oath of office. Later during the board’s reorganization meeting, Mahon, who had been serving as mayor, nominated Magrini to the post. By tradition, the highest vote getter in an election is chosen by the new board to serve as…

Avon Plans Litigation If Program Not Halted

  By PETE WALTON Officials in Avon are asking the state to order the suspension of a controversial property tax assessment program and if the state fails to do so, will instruct Borough Attorney Barry A. Cooke to begin litigation. “The taxpayers of the borough are victims of this program which has produced [an] unsubstantiated increase in taxes and created uncertainty as to future tax liabilities,” Avon’s Board of Commissioners said in a letter to Michael J. Bryan, director of the state Division of Taxation. If the Monmouth County Board of Taxation fails to suspend the Assessment Demonstration Program, Cooke…

Avon Wants to Extract Itself from Assessment Firm

  By PETE WALTON Avon officials will try to get out of a contract with a property assessment firm until allegations of possible impropriety can be investigated. Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley has asked county prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni to look into allegedly improper relationships between a former member of the county tax board and companies hired under a pilot program intended to make property tax assessments more equitable. Avon is in the second year of a five-year contract with Realty Appraisal Co. of West New York, N.J. Realty Appraisal is among the private companies which have been awarded a…

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