More Land Near School Property Could Be Open Space

The Township Council approved the first reading of a purchase of 21 acres for open space. (Screenshot by Chris Lundy)

  TOMS RIVER – On the heels of the township buying 16.6 acres near Silver Bay Elementary, a private school’s land was also offered to the town to buy as open space.

  Mayor Maurice Hill said that St. Joseph’s reached out to the township asking if they would want to buy approximately 21 acres next to Donovan Catholic’s athletic fields on West Whitty Road. The church gave the town first right of refusal before it went out to potential developers.

  Hill said that the land could support a neighborhood of 17 homes.

  At a recent Township Council meeting, the council approved the first reading of two ordinances. One authorized the land’s acquisition, the other borrowed the money to buy it. Ordinances have to be given a second reading before they are made law. That usually comes at the next council meeting, which in this case would be May 24 at 6 p.m. at town hall downtown.

  The town put $3.8 million toward the purchase and the soft costs such as legal and engineering. They will pay the down payment and soft costs now, and then the remaining $3,610,000 loan will be paid off over a number of years with the township’s open space fund. This is supported by a 1.5 cent tax on all property.

  The land is located at Block 393.03, lot 3.

Bayshore Drive Crackdown

  In other news, police have been responding to Bayshore Drive to prevent people from being nuisances at the areas overlooking the water. Residents have complained recently about people parking for long periods of time, playing music loudly or possibly engaging in illegal activity. One resident even mentioned a car playing “Africa” by Toto on repeat for several hours.

  Police have since blocked the area with a chain at night. A new ordinance will outlaw overnight parking.

New Senior Committee

  The Township Council also passed, on first reading, the creation of a Mayor’s Advisory Committee On The Toms River Senior Center.

  This would be a group of unpaid volunteers who would keep the governing body informed of what’s happening at the senior center on Garfield Avenue.