By WILLIAM CLARK
Ocean Township Mayor John Napolitani said this week the deal to purchase six acres of the former Kepwel property on Cold Indian Springs Road has been finalized.
The property will become a park with a handicap accessible playground. The playground will be donated by the Mya Lin Terry Foundation in cooperation with the Where Angels Play Foundation.
“It will be an extremely welcome addition to the Wayside section of town,” Napolitani said.
The township paid $2 million for the property which came out of the Open Space Trust Fund so no additional money from taxpayers was needed.
There is also a lake on the property which will be limited to only township run events or programs.
“There will be no ice skating and there’s no individual use allowed,” Napolitani said. “You can’t just pop a kayak in and take a paddle around. It’s only for strictly township-run events.”
Groundbreaking for the playground is planned for the spring. The house on the land will not be accessible until sometime in July as the township waits for the current owners to vacate under the agreement. Plans for the building are still being discussed, Napolitani said.
The development of the land itself is covered under the township’s Open Space Trust Fund, the mayor said.
Councilwoman Kelly Terry, who was recently sworn in to fill the seat vacated by former Mayor Chris Siciliano, runs the Mya Lin Terry Foundation. Napolitani said that she will recuse herself from any decisions on the project. Siciliano left his position to take a job at the county level.
“To say I’m excited about this is an understatement because it’s a huge feather in our caps,” Napolitani wrote in a post on Facebook. “Thank you to [Township Manager] David Brown and [Township Attorney] Marty Arbus for guidance throughout this process.”