By PETE WALTON
The Ocean Township Council has approved a developer’s agreement for conversion of the second story of the former Sears building at Seaview Square into an Amazon retail distribution center.
At its most recent meeting, the council allowed Seaview Acquisitions LLC and WS II Acquisition LLC to make changes to the building in preparation for the new use.
In February, the township Planning Board approved the site plan for an Amazon Fulfillment Center, the final destination for packages before they are delivered. Customers will also be able to come to the facility to pick up packages.
The changes include replacement of an existing canopy with a larger canopy, reconfiguration of the circulation and parking area near the building to include stacking and loading areas for delivery vans, reconfiguration of the parking lot, and reconfiguration of the access to the loading area at the northeast corner of the building.
At the time of the Planning Board approval, Mayor Christopher Siciliano called the space “a white elephant” since Sears moved out in 2018. The lower floor now houses a retail business called At Home.
“This is a win-win for our town,” Siciliano said earlier this year. “It will create hundreds of jobs, create a good, steady tax ratable, and fill a building that has been empty for several years.”
Also at the meeting, the council introduced an ordinance establishing salary ranges for various township employees.
The proposed ranges do not reflect the actual salaries for particular individuals. The ordinance establishes a range in which the salaries for the positions can be set.
A range of $100,692 to $229,662 would be established for the post of township manager. The next highest range is for the police chief, from $95,443 to $226,482.
The chief financial officer, director of public works, and director of human services would be paid between $85,752 and $203,482. The range for police captains would be $81,281 to $192,873. The director of community development would be paid between $73,027 and $177,793. The range for township clerks would be from $65,611 to $155,692.
Siciliano said a public hearing on the proposed salary ordinance will take place at the council meeting on July 8.
In response to a question from a member of the public, the mayor said he did not expect any action on controlling the local deer population this year.
He said the township would get the advice of former state senator Raymond Lesniak on possible state legislation to allow a non-lethal approach to deer control in New Jersey.
Currently, according to Siciliano, state law does not permit a non-lethal deer program.
The council accepted a grant of $73,368 from the state’s Body Worn Camera Assistance Grant Program.
The funds are administered by the state attorney general through the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office. The township was not required to contribute any matching funds for the cameras, which will be used by local police personnel.