MANCHESTER – Road construction updates, land sales, land donations and news on an access road for Renaissance were discussed during the last Township Council meeting but not before first honoring local Girl Scouts.
Members of Troop 176 received recognition through a proclamation read by Mayor Kenneth Palmer during the Feb. 24 meeting honoring the Junior Girl Scout Bronze Award recipients. The scouts and their leader joined the mayor and later members of the council for a group photo.
The mayor noted that the scouts had raised funds for Ronald McDonald House that supports families with children who are undergoing medical treatment.
The Council also approved the acceptance and authorization of a letter of agreement concerning conditional approval for use of a secondary access road for the Manchester Renaissance Development. One resident questioned the long wait.
“The unfortunate thing is that we’ve been waiting for over 10 years for that road to be open. It seems like the only way for it to move forward is if the HOA (Renaissance Home Owners Association) initiated a lawsuit and they said okay we have to finish this road. Why couldn’t the township do something in the prior years? They are the ones that demanded that road be put in, why did we have to wait until the HOA initiated a lawsuit and they had their money and everything,” resident Hank Glen asked the council.
Council President Sam Fusaro said 20 years ago a requirement called for a safe crossing over the railroad that would require “gates or lights but during recent years that line went dead and it wasn’t used anymore and there could be possible injuries happening if we took away from that requirement and there was no way to put that gate back in unless the homeowners put it in.”
“The road is now complete aside from this safety gate issue which we are resolving,” Palmer said. “That project did move forward because we did threaten a lawsuit. As a collective unit we have applied pressure. I don’t know the particulars of why your HOA filed that lawsuit because we were working along, although it was slow. I’ll be the first to say it wasn’t quick but the council and I have been applying pressure on them to move forward.”
“A builder/developer comes in to do a project and you set certain conditions down that they have to abide by to get the project complete and then the project does get complete but the conditions aren’t met and to get these conditions met you have to wait 10 years,” Glen said.
Palmer said that some of the leverage that would have been able to be applied had been removed which prevented further action to force the developer to complete the road.
The president of the Board at Renaissance came forward to thank the mayor and council’s efforts in getting the road complete.
In other news, there were three ordinances on second reading that were approved though two had to first be voted down and amended.
The governing body voted to accept a land donation at 1501 Amsterdam Avenue in the first ordinance while the second ordinance involved renovations to the Manchester First Aid Building connected to the third which bonded for the renovations at that facility.
Township Clerk Sabina Martin advised Council President Sam Fusaro to make a motion to defeat the ordinances following a public comment period. No one from the public spoke on the issue before they were both brought up on the floor.
Each of the council members voted against the motion with the exception of Councilman Craig Wallis who was absent and then the motion was reintroduced with an amended figure.
“This was first introduced on Feb. 14, which amended that amount to $400,000 and I will now read the amended ordinance #19-012,” Martin said.
Fusaro explained the need for the change saying, “when our building department went into the building, they found some additional (state) requirements had to be done and that was the cause of changing the $240,000 to $400,000.” The revised ordinance was then unanimously approved.
The council then introduced an ordinance authorizing the land sale of property on 2909 Wilbur Avenue. “That is on the south side of Route 70 near where the old little league games were and backed up to the Ocean County landfill. Wilbur goes across 70, this goes on the south side of the township. We will have a second reading at our meeting on March 9,” Fusaro said.
Other items included a planning board determination as to whether an area within the township was in need of rehabilitation. Martin said this was property is on 2156 Route 37.