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Vote Next Week on Shark River Dredging Plan

  By DON STINE The future of the Shark River will probably be determined on Mon., March 10 by the Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners, which will vote on moving approvals forward on a controversial 16-acre dewatering site for the proposed river dredging project. Proponents and opponents of the project attended the recreation commissioner’s meeting on Feb. 24 at Thompson Park in Lincroft. Another meeting, also at the park, will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 10 when a vote will be taken on moving the recommendation to use a dewatering site in Neptune on to the…

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…

In Neptune: New Electronic Message Board OK’d

  By DON STINE A new electronic message board will be installed in front of the Neptune municipal building using money from the township’s recreation fund. A previous plan, presented late last year, called for spending $200,000 from the township’s recreation committee fund to install about six electronic message boards throughout the township, at sites like the Jumping Brook Little League fields, the Shark River Hills fire house, and the Midtown Commons Park. Instead, just one new sign costing $30,560 will be placed in front of the municipal building, 25 Neptune Boulevard, and the remaining money in the fund will…

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…

Neptune Neighbors Oppose 312 Rental Units

  By DON STINE A proposal to build 312 residential rental units in Neptune near Jumping Brook Road and Route 66 in Neptune is expected to receive opposition at an upcoming Board of Adjustment meeting. Hovsons Inc., based in Tinton Falls, is seeking a use variance and site plan approval to build Victoria Gardens, which consists of 312 residential units ranging from one to three bedrooms. The project also includes 10,000 square-feet of commercial space. The project, to be built on just over 40 acres, is located west of the current AIG building. The development fronts on Hovchild Boulevard, formerly…

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…

Allenhurst/Loch Arbour Merger Proposal Derailed After Vote Reversal

  By DON STINE A proposal to consolidate neighboring Loch Arbour and Allenhurst was derailed Tuesday night after a member of the Allenhurst Board of Commissioners changed his vote. The proposal as it stands now will not be officially submitted to state officials for review and possible approval. Allenhurst Commissioner Christoper McLoughlin said at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting he was reversing his previous vote after contacting state Department of Community Affairs (DCA) officials and getting no concrete answers to questions he posed about the possible merger, especially on issues about creating a special tax district in Loch Arbour and…

Asbury Park Downtown District, Church Nominated for Historic Registers

  By DON STINE Asbury Park’s downtown business district has been nominated to be placed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, as has the Trinity Church on Grand Avenue. The Asbury Park Commercial Historic District and Trinity Church, at 503 Grand Ave., will be considered by the New Jersey State Review Board for Historic Sites for nomination to the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places and a public meeting will be held in Asbury Park on Friday, Feb. 14 to discuss the downtown district’s application. A community meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m.…

Alleged “Ocean Grove” burglar caught

  By Don Stine Neptune police arrested an alleged burglar Thursday night that they believe has been a major source in a rash of recent break-ins in Ocean Grove. Police report that Neptune resident Thomas Lockhart, 54, was arrested around 8 p.m. Thursday night after leading police on a foot chase to apprehend him. In addition to suspicion of burglary, Lockhart was also arrested on other active warrants and is now also charged with resisting arrest and receiving stolen property. Property found by police in Lockhart’s possession has been traced to a recent burglary in Ocean Grove. He has been…

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