Dealing with Ocean Grove’s constant parking problem will be the focus of a new advisory task force established this week by the Neptune Township Committee.
The governing body passed a resolution creating an ad hoc, 10-member task force, which will also have two non-voting advisors. The task force is to meet on or before Aug. 10 and is to report to the township during every third meeting. Members of the task force are expected to be announced at the next meeting.
Committeeman Randy Bishop also suggested that a survey question on parking be placed on the November ballot for more input.
“Property owners could weigh in and that would be the best survey you could get- at the ballot box,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Michal Brantley said he believes a survey may not come up with the best solutions to solve the parking problem. He said past committees looking into Ocean Grove’s parking problem have “had mixed results” and he wants a professional parking consultant hired to make recommendations to the task force.
“A task force without a parking consultant I would be against. I can’t go along without a professional involved in the process. It would give an independent assessment of Ocean Grove’s issues and how to solve them,” he said.
Several Ocean Grove residents also supported Brantley’s proposal to hire a professional parking consultant and Brantley abstained on the vote to create the task force.
Mayor Kevin McMillan said the task force is “a step in the right direction and will move the issue forward.”
The task force will be comprised of members of the Ocean Grove Homeowners’ Association, the local Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, and two Ocean Grove residents. Two non-voting advisory posts will be held by a township engineer and a police traffic officer.
In a related matter, the Township Committee also introduced an ordinance that will ban dumpsters and temporary storage units on public streets in Ocean Grove from 3 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Monday during the summer season (May 15- Sept. 15).
The public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Monday, July 11. It is intended to free up much-needed parking spaces during the summer months.