Abandoned Properties Will Cost Owners

An abandoned nightclub which once featured such entertainment as singer Bruce Springsteen in the early 1970s, is seen on the parcel of Rova Farm property that the township is purchasing for preservation purposes. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)
An abandoned nightclub which once featured such entertainment as singer Bruce Springsteen in the early 1970s, is seen on the parcel of Rova Farm property that the township is purchasing for preservation purposes. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  JACKSON – Township officials and residents would like to see property owners keep up the look of their homes.

  With that idea in mind, Council members voted unanimously to charge an initial registration fee and a renewal fee for vacant properties in the township.

  This ordinance establishes an initial registration fee of $500 for a vacant property and a $1,000 renewal fee for a vacant property. The original fee had been $250 but some felt this figure fell short of the incentive needed to get owners to maintain those properties.

  The idea behind the ordinance is to improve the look of neighborhoods that have vacant properties in them and to tighten up restrictions with a higher fee to prevent residences from having a rundown appearance.

  Money collected from the fees will be used by the governing body to maintain the upkeep of properties should property owners refuse to take proper action themselves. This would also prevent having to use taxpayer money for such improvements.

  A number of resolutions were approved during the session. They included the adoption of housing rehabilitation guidelines for the township’s rehabilitation program for local affordable housing purposes.

  Also approved was a resolution authorizing an amendment to the township’s agreement with Rehaboco, Inc. as Jackson’s administrator of its’ housing rehabilitation program and authorizing the utilization of $60,000 from the township’s affordable housing trust fund to allow for an additional 20 rehabilitation units at $3,000 per unit.

Ordinance And Resolutions

  During a recent council meeting the Township Council authorized the township to lease property from the Jackson Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 for the purposes of constructing and installing telecommunication equipment.

  Resolutions passed at that meeting included the unanimous approval for the support of the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee acquisition of property in the township and its donation of property to Ocean County.

  Jackson officials also unanimously authorized payment in the amount of $11,100 to Back to the Movies Drive Ins for a drive-in movie event at Johnson Memorial Park.

  Another resolution authorized the execution of a purchase order between Jackson and Phoenix Distributors for the purchase of new firearms and related accessories for the Township Police Department.

  This agreement includes the trade-in of firearms and related accessories currently being utilized by the police department resulting in a total purchase price in the amount of $3,500.

Economic Development

  Councilman Stephen Chisholm discussed the need to reinvigorate the township’s business community. “The whole COVID-19 situation that we have been dealing with for months in addition to it being devasting to our health has also been devastating to businesses.”

  The councilman added, “we’d like to see some action here in Jackson to help our businesses get going. We are invigorating our Economic Development Committee. I will be chairing that this year.”

  “Councilman (Martin) Flemming and I will be meeting with that committee probably in the first week of August. There are a couple of open seats so if anybody would like to join us you can send me an e-mail at councilmanschisholm@jacksontwp.net,” Chisholm said.

Private Pools And Updated Websites

  Resident Eleanor Hannum reported to the governing body a situation of tarps around a township home’s pool fence and a sign showing pool rules indicating that this might be a situation of a homeowner renting out their home pool for private use.

  Council members said that if this is the case that would be in violation of township code and that it would be investigated.

  Hannum also spoke during the public comment period about the township’s updated website which Council President Alex Sauickie said “incorporates functionality and includes things like OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requests and online payments. Things that required residents to come into town hall before and obviously given with what we are dealing with this pandemic there is no better time to have these kinds of functions online.”

  Business Administrator Terence Wall said that site is “ADA (American Disability Act) compliant and is using modern tech and a modern design” and that each of the township’s departments were reviewing content to make sure “their sections are all current.”

Road Weight And Repairs

  Hannum also asked the governing body about potential future truck traffic on township roads and whether there were any weight limits established and listed for those roads.

  She feared that township taxpayers would have to pick up the tab for the repair of township roads that would be damaged by increased truck travel on them.

  Township Attorney Gregory McGuckin at first responded “no comment” to the question but later added “we are aware of that.”

  “Taxpayers won’t be happy to fit that bill because it will increase their taxes,” she said.