By PETE WALTON
Neptune City remains interested in acquiring the former Knights of Columbus building on West Sylvania Avenue.
After resident Bruce Wescott asked for an update on the matter at this week’s Borough Council meeting, Mayor Andrew Wardell noted that there is an “under contract” sign at the property.
Wardell said he understands that the potential buyer wants to use the land for a purpose that is not currently permitted by the borough’s zoning ordinances.
The mayor said the uncertainty about permitted uses at the site may be responsible for holding up the completion of the sale.
In June, the borough applied for a state grant to buy the property, which is adjacent to the Holmes A. Adams Recreation Complex.
Wardell said that if the grant is approved, the borough would make an offer to purchase the site.
The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Urban Parks initiative allows qualifying communities to apply for grants of up to $500,000 to acquire land or convert it to community uses.
The borough applied for the full $500,000. The property was listed with Exit Realty for $550,000.
According to the mayor, the listing agent said the seller was flexible with the price and would prefer to sell to the borough.
Applying for the grant received bipartisan support, with Council President David Calhoun calling it “a no-brainer.” Councilwoman Pamela Renee noted that under the urban parks program, the borough would not have to provide matching funds in order to receive the grant.
The borough’s Department of Public Works is advertising for a full-time employee 18 years or older to perform routine work at borough property including cleaning and maintenance of buildings, mowing, weeding, ballfield maintenance, leaf and brush pickup, and snow removal. A valid New Jersey driver’s license is required. Visit neptunecitynj.com or contact the borough clerk’s office for application information.