By PETE WALTON
The mayors of Neptune City, Bradley Beach, and Avon met recently to discuss mutual interests and possible expansion of cooperation.
Mayors Andrew Wardell of Neptune City, Larry Fox of Bradley Beach, and Ed Bonanno of Avon gathered together in person for the first time at Neptune City Borough Hall.
“We’re all pretty new in our jobs,” Wardell said. “It’s the first time all three of us have actually had a chance to meet face to face.”
“Our borough all border each other,” Wardell noted. “We have similar challenges in our municipalities as far as budgets and our concerns, so I thought it would be great if we got to know each other and tried to work together.’
Wardell said the meeting was “very well received” and that his colleagues agreed to meet again.
“I’m hoping to make it a quarterly thing,” Wardell told the Borough Council said at its meeting earlier this week.
Also at the meeting, the council unanimously approved its 2021 budget. No members of the public spoke when a public hearing on the budget was held.
In another unanimous vote, the council introduced an ordinance allowing the retail sale of cannabis in certain zones of the borough.
The ordinance includes a section entitled “Establishment of Cannabis Transfer and User Tax” in the borough.
A public hearing on the cannabis ordinance is scheduled for the council’s next meeting on June 28 at 6 p.m.
This week’s meeting was held in the Neptune City Community Center on Third Avenue. Wardell said he was hopeful that future meetings would take place at the traditional borough hall location.
The borough is applying to the state Department of Community Affairs for a $500,000 grant from the Urban Parks Initiative of the department’s Green Acres Program. The funds would be used for land acquisition, according to Borough Administrator Kevin Kane.
The council has proclaimed June as LGBTQ Pride Month to “celebrate the great diversity of our residents and on June 1 at 6 p.m. direct the inclusive Pride Flag to be flown” at the community center.