Abandoned Homes In Brick To Be Demolished

108 Bay View Dr. will be demolished. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – The next three homes to be demolished under the township’s abandoned properties ordinance were named during the September 12 council meeting.

The governing body authorized the receipt of bids to demolish 108 Bay View Drive, 533 Central Avenue, and 73 Tall Timber.

“These properties have been through our Property Maintenance Board for multiple violations, with no response or action taken by the responsible party,” said Council President Art Halloran.

Officials discuss demolishing abandoned homes. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

The township is proceeding with the demolitions, the cost of which will be recovered through liens, he added.

“The township has been awarded funds from the NJ Department of Community Affairs to assist with the cost associated with these demolitions,” Halloran said.

In 2016 the township council applied for and received a no-interest, 10-year loan in the amount of $300,000 to fund the demolition of unsafe, abandoned and dilapidated homes as directed by the township’s Property Maintenance Board.

The number of properties on the Abandoned Properties list fluctuates all the time, said Construction Official Dan Newman in an email after the meeting.

“In June it was 259,” he wrote. “We, however have over 600 homes on the list of vacant properties, most pending foreclosure, that are constantly being reevaluated for the list.”

73 Tall Timber will be demolished. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

Some are not being maintained, he said, so if they become a nuisance, as defined by the law, they go back on the list.

“We have found an increase in sales of these properties, or banks becoming more responsive to correcting violations at properties that are pending foreclosure,” Newman wrote. “However, we still have a large number of vacant homes that will continue to deteriorate and become dilapidated unless the owner or bank begins to make repairs.”

After a structure meets the guidelines to be placed on the abandoned properties list, the property owners are notified and the property is scheduled for code enforcement compliance. A failure to comply results in fines.

When the abandoned properties list was published, Mayor John G. Ducey said it was the administration’s goal to remove as many of the properties as possible from the registry, whether by rehabilitation, property sale, or by a new occupancy.

After a home is demolished, a lien is placed on the property, so when the property is sold the demolition price would be in the lien, and the township would be paid back first, and that money would replenish the ongoing demolition process, Ducey said.

New Equipment for DPW, Parks Department

533 Central Avenue will be demolished. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

In other news, the township is going out to bid for a single axle cab and chassis tow truck, a brush and limb loader with a grapple arm.

The equipment was approved in the 2017 capital budget, said Councilman Jim Fozman. The tow truck would be used by the vehicle maintenance department, and it replaces a 1994 tow truck.

The loader will be used by the Parks Department for brush pick up.

“It’s going to have a grappling hook on the side so it can just pick [brush material] right up and put it in there,” he said. “We’re saving on manpower and people getting hurt.”

Councilmembers also awarded a contract for a purchase and delivery of a Ford F-550 dump truck with a snowplow through NJPA (National Joint Powers Alliance) Cooperative for cost savings. The purchase of the truck was approved in the 2017 capital budget. The total cost was $118,617.44.

“This vehicle will be used in our Department of Public Works, it’s a Ford super-duty dump truck with a snowplow that also has a salt spreader – a liquid calcium speed control – on it, so it has all the bells and whistles, and that’s what we need for our public works,” Fozman said.

The next council meeting will be on Tuesday September 26 at 7 p.m.