Neptune is hoping to acquire a vacant 2.86-acre tract along S. Riverside Drive in the Shark River Hills section of the township across from the Shark River, using a state Green Acres grant.
This week the Township Committee approved submitting an application to the state to help fund purchasing the $1.280 million tract.
The property, bordered by Riverview Court and Beverly Way, is zoned for nine single-family homes but the property is flood-prone and township officials said maintaining the site as open space is a good way to go. The site was flooded during Superstorm Sandy and any dwellings there were subsequently razed. The site is close to other Green Acres property along S. Riverside Drive and it is the last large tract of undeveloped land along the riverfront in this area of the township.
The $1,280,000 price for the property will be covered by a 75 percent Green Acres grant and a 25 percent low-interest loan (40 years at two percent interest). However, township officials said that the Monmouth County Conservation Foundation is also applying for funding to help offset the loan portion of the acquisition.
“We may end up getting 100 percent funding. There is a good possibility that no local funds will be used to obtain the property,” Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said.
James Chenitz, a township resident, said he believes the township would benefit more if the property were developed with the nine homes, which would generate tax money for the township.
“This only duplicates other parks in the area and we will lose tax dollars. I don’t understand the rationale behind this. This money could be better spent,” he said.
The township currently has 212 acres of Green Acres Open Space property.