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$12 Million Wesley Lake Restoration Project Underway

  The first phase of a proposed $12 million restoration project to Wesley Lake is underway and more funding is being sought to complete the project. “This is just the beginning and we have a lot more planned,” said Neptune Mayor Michael Brantley, who also chairs the Wesley Lake Commission. The Wesley Lake Commission held a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony on March 19 to celebrate the beginning of the project. “We are aggressively seeking more money,” Brantley said. Under the current $1.4 million project, both Wesley Lake, between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, and Fletcher Lake, between Ocean Grove…

Shark River Dredging Hits Dead End

  By DON STINE Plans to dredge the Shark River hit a dead end last week after state officials said a proposed dewatering site for dredge project was not a viable economic option. In a March 6 letter, state Sen. Jennifer Beck and Monmouth County Freeholder Thomas Arnone advised the Monmouth County Park System that the state Department of Transportation (DOT) said it will not fund placing dredge spoils on a 16-acre tract on the river’s edge at the county’s Shark River Park, off Old Corlies Avenue. The letter said that the DOT ruled that the use of the park…

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…

Move and Improve Neptune Has $50,000 Grant, Seeks Volunteers

  By DENISE HERSCHEL They can be found out and about working at the seasonal farmer’s market in the township or helping to identify and measure walking routes in the town. One of their most well-attended projects was assisting Neptune High School and Neptune Middle School students with picking up cigarette butts in the township’s parks in an effort to make Neptune a healthier place. They are all members of Move and Improve Neptune. The group’s commitment is to have residents “make the healthy choice the easy choice,” acccording to Dawn Thompson, who is Neptune Township Recreation Director. Thompson and…

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…

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…

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…

Police Investigating 30 Burglaries in Ocean Grove

  More than 30 break-ins and burglaries have been reported in Ocean Grove in the last three and a-half months and while police are actively looking for the perpetrators, they urge residents to use due diligence in protecting their properties. “Everybody is working on this. It is not something where we are just sitting back and taking reports on break-ins. We are on this,” said Neptune’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Bascom, who is also the township’s acting-police director. Bascom also said residents should be mindful not to provide criminals with opportunities to commit crimes. “These are crimes of opportunity with…

Neptune Seeks $80,000 Grant to Fight Marijuana Use by Teens

  By DON STINE Marijuana is the most common illegal drug being used by Neptune teenagers today and the township’s Municipal Alliance to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Abuse is seeking an $80,000 grant to help combat the problem. Alliance coordinator Dawn Thompson told the Township Committee Monday night that the alliance hopes to fight the problem and has applied for an $80,000 grant from the Governor’s Council On Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, which is funded through fines imposed when people are arrested for impaired driving. “We put together a pretty intense package that is pretty comprehensive, it outlines some of…

Ocean Grove Wins Boardwalk Appeal

  By DON STINE Ocean Grove officials announced this week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has overturned a previous ruling and has now determined that the historic district is eligible for federal funding to repair its boardwalk, which was damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. “We are delighted and grateful to have just recently learned that FEMA has determined that the (Ocean Grove) Camp Meeting Association is eligible for assistance in funding of the boardwalk restoration. Although this eligibility determination does not guarantee us full funding from FEMA, it does allow us to proceed further in the process,” said…

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