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Proposed Incentive Plan in Ocean Would Decrease Property Taxes

  By DON STINE Ocean Township residents may get a little property tax relief by shopping at local businesses under an innovative plan being put together by township officials. Called “Own Ocean,” the program calls for participating residents to get a rebate on their property taxes if they shop at a township-based business. “It is a property tax rewards program that tries to put money back in the taxpayer’s pocket,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said. Siciliano said the program is still being organized and is expected to be launched sometime later this year. “It may take about nine months but it…

Garofalo Named Deputy Mayor in Ocean

  By DON STINE Ocean Township’s new Deputy Mayor William Garofalo said last week that taxpayers can expect no increase in the municipal budget this year. “We have weathered the (budget) storm and cost-saving measures we put in place are paying off. I am confident we will have a flat tax this year,” he said. “I think the tides have turned and I am happy and confident that we are going forward,” he said. Mayor Christopher Siciliano has previously stated that a flat tax rate is one of the main goals under his administration. Ocean Township’s current municipal tax rate…

Lesgislators to Present Plan for River Dredging

  By DON STINE Three local legislators said last week that they will announce plans later this year that will result in the environmentally-beleaguered Shark River getting dredged. In a joint Jan. 15 press release, state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop said that funding for the project and a means to dewater dredge materials have apparently been resolved with state officials. “2015 will prove to be the year we see movement on the Shark River dredging project,” Beck said in the statement, which did not elaborate on the plan.facts. “I have…

Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten Will Have European Flair

  By DON STINE The new Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten restaurant is having a soft-opening for a few days this week in anticipation of its grand opening, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7. “We are having an invitation-only, soft opening for three days. We will then regroup and see what needs to be improved and fixed,” co-owner Jennifer Lampert said. She said the restaurant will then have another soft opening, inviting only local residents and workers before its Feb. 7 grand opening. “We will have a ribbon-cutting, music and should be in full swing by then,” she said. Restaurateur Andy Ivanov,…

Asbury Park City Clerk to Retire After 34 Years

  By DON STINE After 34 years on the job, Asbury Park City Clerk Stephen M. Kay is calling it quits at the end of this month. “I guess it’s about time,” Kay said earlier this week. He also said that a recent knee replacement operation and the slow pace of his physical recovery is also a factor in his decision to retire. Kay, who is 63, has been the city clerk since 1980 and he has seen more than his fair share of ups and downs in the city, including surviving through a number of political scandals on the…

Ocean Parents File Lawsuit Over Student Survey

  By DON STINE Several Ocean Township parents have filed a lawsuit against the local school district for what they say is illegally administering a survey to sixth, ninth and twelfth-grade students that ask detailed questions about their sexual behavior and attitudes, mental and psychological problems, and other personal questions without parental consent. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with state Commissioner of Education David Hespe against the Ocean Township Board of Education. Petitioners in the law suit include Michelle Green, Jack Green IV, Danielle Sintic, Lexa Skowrenski and Christana Kmecz – all with children in the school…

Jubilant Audience Welcomes New City Mayor, Council

  Above – Coaster Photo – Asbury Park Mayor John Moor kisses his wife, Vera, following his swearing in on Jan. 1. By DON STINE Asbury Park’s new City Council, led by Mayor John Moor, came in as a unified team sworn in on New Year’s Day as the jubilant overflow crowd answered with a standing ovation. The Jan. 1 swearing-in ceremony for the Asbury Together ticket, which swept the November election, was in sharp contrast to the last swearing in which took place in July 2013 and featured 11th hour deals prompting some residents to storm out of the…

No Action on Loch Arbour’s Merger Proposal

  By DON STINE Interlaken and Loch Abour residents will have to wait until after the first of the year to see if the Interlaken Borough Council will proceed to study a proposal to merge to two small communities together. The council last week split three-to-three on approving a request for proposals to be issued to hire an independent company to further study the merger issue after a larger, joint meeting was held on the matter earlier this month. Mayor Michael Nohilly, who could have broken the tie, abstained from voting so the matter. It will be carried on to…

In Allenhurst: Beachfront Restaurant Being Rebuilt

  By DON STINE The building which has housed a restaurant at the Allenhurst beachfront for many years is expected to be rebuilt by April and hopefully open for business by Memorial Day weekend. The building last housed Mister C’s Beach Bistro which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. But the restaurant may be back in business at the site. The Allenhurst Board of Commissioners is expected to award a five-year contract to operate the restaurant on Monday, Dec. 29 and Mister C’s, one of two bids submitted, scored highest in four required categories in the proposal submitted, Borough Administrator Lori…

10 Neptune Students Get $200 Shopping Spree

  By DON STINE Two hundreds dollars is a lot of money for a kid to spend on presents for Christmas but that’s the amount given to 10 lucky Neptune students for their own personal shopping spree at the Target store in Seaview Square, Ocean Township. The Neptune police department and the township’s school district, in conjunction with Target, gave $200 gift cards to each of the 10 students Dec. 11 to help brighten their holiday season. “Our group was able to identify 10 children of need in the Neptune school system during the Christmas season and allow them to…

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