Tuckerton Accepts County’s Proposal to Preserve Tuckerton Creek Site

Oct 04, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson Tuckerton Councilman John Schwartz holds up a map of Tuckerton Creek with the area to be preserved in yellow. The area is on the west side of the creek, off South Green Street.

Tuckerton Borough Council approved a resolution Oct. 2 that allows the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust to resume negotiation in purchasing approximately 17 acres of private property along the east side of Tuckerton Creek for preservation.

Councilman John Schwartz said he and Mayor Sue Marshall had met with Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Advisory Committee members David McKeon and Mark Dillingham since the prior council meeting and had come to the understanding that the tax ratables the borough would lose if the county preserved the land “would not be that much.” At the previous meeting, Borough Administrator Jenny Gleghorn said the owners were paying abound $5,000 in annual taxes because of the wetlands. Schwartz said Tuckerton borough was only receiving 27 cents on the dollar.

The county will do the assessment as they move forward with its bid to purchase the property, which could also serve as public access to Tuckerton Creek.

The property, Block 35, Lot 52, has 500 feet of bulkhead and two boat slips plus pilings to support a large home, and is zoned marine commercial. At present, it is on the market for $1.5 million but that figure could change depending on the interest generated in the land.

During the public portion of the meeting, former councilwoman Nancy Speck said she was, “sick of the (county) freeholders buying everything in Tuckerton.” In recent years, four properties abutting Stanley ‘Tip’ Seaman County Park, and one property on North Green Street, were bought by the county and taken off the tax rolls.

“I think the county has enough,” she remarked.

In other news, Marshall announced October as “Domestic Violence Month,” and read a proclamation that asserted one in every four women in America has been a victim of domestic violence in their lifetimes; and one in 12 women and one in 45 men have been victims of stalking at one time in their lives.

Zonta International, a professional woman’s organization, has supported the Day of Unity, held the first Monday of every month since it was started in1981.

Flags in Tuckerton will fly at half-staff until Oct. 6 to commemorate the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Councilman Keith Vreeland announced that members of the Beach Haven Historical Society would attend the next Tuckerton Landmarks Commission meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. to talk about the process of establishing a certified historic district.

A project to replace the bulkhead, and build a fishing pier and new playground at the South Green Street Park is ahead of schedule, said Councilwoman Doris Mathisen. The borough complex addition is also on track.

Council President Sam Colangelo said the borough received $1,944 from Ocean County, the town’s share of recycling sales over the first six months of 2017. “That’s about 304 tons of recyclables, about 150 pounds per person, or a half-pound of recycling a day. I think we are doing our part, and we’ve got the money to prove it,” he said.

Leaf collection will begin as soon as more leaves are on the ground, said Colangelo. Leaf collection will follow the same neighborhood schedule as trash collection and recycling. Also noted, the public works yard will be closed on Oct. 9 to observe Columbus Day.

The last residential paper shredding day in the area will be held in Eagleswood Township on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot at Municipal Hall, 146 Division St.

The Tuckerton Police Department made 324 service calls in September resulting in 55 arrests, including 23 for controlled dangerous substances, said Councilman Ron Peterson. The police stopped 330 motor vehicles and issued 165 summonses. There were 15 accidents and 21 first aid calls. Police answered six domestic dispute calls, and investigated 51 reports of suspicious persons.

During the public portion of the meeting, a number of residents of Western Avenue, led by Kirk Olsen, complained about speeding cars on their one-way street. Olsen has been before the borough a number of times to complain about the issue, which he says endangers children and pets. The speed limit is 25 in the residential zone but Olsen said that is regularly ignored.

New Tuckerton resident Deborah Schmidt said she had heard people call her street “the cut through street,” as it connects Route 9 and Great Bay Boulevard before the traffic light. She suggested that a stop sign on the triangle that changes two-way Maple Avenue to one-way Western Avenue might help, as drivers might not have enough time to accelerate before Great Bay Boulevard. New Police Chief Brian Olsen was given the task of talking to the county about making the change.

Gary White from Mountainside, New Jersey was at the Tuckerton meeting to ask for a resolution to adopt April 23 as “Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressive” (FOP) Day, concerning a rare genetic disorder that causes a person’s tissues to turn to bone spontaneously or if injured. Rare diseases are ones that affect fewer than 200,000 in the U.S., and they struggle for research dollars. Adopting a resolution is one way to raise awareness of the disease to help support research.

White said he started advocating FOP awareness when his friend’s daughter was diagnosed with the condition. He has written to all 566 municipalities in the state and traveled to most of them; he said 523 have adopted his resolution.

Marshall said the borough has been supportive of raising awareness and support to combat rare diseases, and she and the council will consider it.

— Pat Johnson


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