LAKEHURST – There is an old saying that ‘strong fences build good neighbors’ and that saying would seem to apply to a problem the borough is having at a mobile home property.
During a recent Borough Council meeting the subject of trash debris and parking problems at Barkers Village Trailer Park at 111 Brown Avenue in the borough was brought up. Resident Bruce Morrison told members of council that roads near the facility “were not made for heavy trucks. If you take a ride and really look you’ll see flooding of water on both sides of the road.”
Morrison added that there is parking issues, especially when people have to park on the street. “When there are two cars parked on both sides of the road there is no way you can get a lynched vehicle up that hill.”
Councilman James Davis said that this was precisely why the borough wouldn’t be doing any garbage pick-up there. “That is the decision we came to. We recognized all that because of those factors.”
“That brings me to the fence. There is still no fence around that garbage. Today there were 10 buckets tipped over. If you look over to the property there is all kinds of trash there that have been blown there. It crosses onto state property, that’s not Barkers, and it is loaded with trash that has gotten blown from that site because it keeps getting tipped over,” Morrison said.
Morrison said that when a fence was present the garbage was confined and it also prevented residents outside of the mobile park community from dropping off their trash. “When there was a fence, we didn’t have that problem. When the wind comes it didn’t get tipped over.”
“I know I’m beating this to death but it continues and they won’t put back up a fence,” Morrison added.
Negotiations between the mobile home park owners and the borough have been going on regarding code enforcement issues according to Borough Clerk Maryann Capasso.
Council President Steven Oglesby asked Borough Attorney Ian Goldman if there had been any movement on Barkers Village. Goldman said he’d been in touch with the attorney for Barkers Village on January 15 and that there had been several proposals sent to the borough.
“One of the proposals that he sent us was to have, what he indicated they have done on other properties that they own, a storage location on the south end of Geneva Road. It would be in the middle of the development,” Goldman said.
“We have two issues with this, first of all it is my understanding that road can’t handle trucks,” Goldman said.
“That is correct,” Oglesby said.
Goldman added, “the second issue is that even if it could, I need to see what the residents facing it on the south side think. I need to see what they (management) has in mind. I asked him to come up with a full proposal for us with some pictures and sketches so we could actually visibly see what he is talking about.”
“He came up with a non-impressive sketch for us of which I need to speak with council about just to see what the most appropriate game plan was in moving forward. The owners believe outsiders are dropping off trash there,” Goldman said.
“That is where we stand. I imagine council will tell them to come up with another proposal,” Goldman added. The attorney said the idea of putting a storage area in what would be in the middle of the mobile park area would be an added distance for residents. “People on the west side of the apartments would be dragging their garbage all the way to the east.”
“Historically, we don’t pick up trash for commercial businesses. The consensus of the table is if the trucks won’t fit on the road and we shouldn’t be making an exception for them and we’ve been picking up garbage that have made it to the curb but that is going to end also,” Oglesby said.
“As a borough we do not pay to dispose of commercial enterprise waste,” Oglesby said.
“I’d like to get a resolution that works for everybody. Right now it is not working. That’s for sure. I don’t see why we can’t figure out something that works. Perhaps we could talk to our land use attorney and see what he has in mind,” Goldman added.
“They are not securing the bins properly,” Oglesby said repeating Morrison’s complaints to Goldman who attended via a conference call.
“Years ago, they had a Dumpster in the park. One for cardboard and one for trash. They made some kind of deal with the town many years ago to have that platform or whatever you want to call it which was fenced in. The trash barrels were there and there were no problems in having certain people there dropping their trash off,” Morrison said.
“It was working fine until the fence was taken down. Once the fence was taken down there was a problem. People on the east end of the park had to bring their garbage to the front where the mailbox is now. I don’t know what they are trying to do but putting the fence up would solve the problem of having things blowing up all over the place,” Morrison said.
Morrison stressed, “I think the only solution is to fence that all in.”
Councilman Robert McCarthy asked, “why did they take the fence down?”
“It was rotting. They didn’t take care of the fence and they took the whole thing down and didn’t replace it,” Morrison said. “There is a tenant who lives right behind all that trash that every time that trash gets blown that way it goes right into his yard,” Morrison added.
Morrison said, “of course when you have all that trash blown on to the road, you get rodents. There are fox and coyotes in the area. I did see code enforcement down there the other day.”
Councilman Davis said that with due process, “once code enforcement is there. The system has to be allowed to work its way through.”
“I want you to know that both the attorney and code enforcement are working on this and we are trying to come up with a solution to this,” Oglesby said.
Morrison added one other item. “I hate to be the town crier but the Sunoco gas station (in town) is a disaster. You can’t get into the thing. People are parking all over the place. It’s a fire hazard. It’s just ludicrous what he’s done since the garage has been open. That needs to be looked into also.”