Barnegat Police Substation Site Sells for $65,000
A proposed site for a police department substation in Barnegat Township has been sold to Galaxy Rental Properties, according to an ordinance introduced by the Barnegat Township Committee on Sept. 5. Purchase price was $65,000 and was negotiated through Coldwell Banker – Home Connection Realty.
Last year, township officials purchased the building, located on Lexington Boulevard in the Settlers Landing development, for $60,000 with plans on converting it to a satellite office for the police department.
When announcing the proposed facility last summer, then-Mayor Susan McCabe said the once-vibrant neighborhood had been plagued by crime problems, necessitating a greater police presence. McCabe, who is now a committeewoman, maintained her stance and voted against the ordinance.
“We can’t ignore the problem of crime in that area,” she said. “It is of paramount importance.”
Mayor John Novak said he first supported the idea for the facility, believing it was “an excellent opportunity to enhance police presence.” But earlier this year, he and a majority of committee members noted that health insurance costs for township employees have gone up 11 percent, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency still owes the township approximately $600,000.
“Due to our economic situation, we had to look at other options, and we have come up with a plan for roving patrols,” said Novak.
Committeeman Frank Caputo, liaison to the police department, said keeping the substation is “not feasible."
“We needed to sell the property and use the money for other areas,” he said. “In place of a substation in one area, it may be better to use a mobile police task force unit to serve in a better manner. Crime sprees move from one location to another, and this mobile unit can move into those areas and deal with the problem first-hand.”
A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. —E.E.