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Eatontown Officials Question Possible Location of County DPW on Fort Property

County officials will attend next Eatontown Council meeting

Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo and other members of the Eatontown Council have some questions for county officials who are planning to build a satellite Monmouth County DPW facility at a Fort Monmouth property in Eatontown.

The board of the moved last week to , with a six-month extension option, for the motor pool property of former Fort Monmouth from the Army, with the intent that it will then lease the property to the county for a new home for its highway division.

"My concern is that it is a change to FMERA's original plan," Tarantolo said at this week's Eatontown Council meeting.

Tarantolo said the move is a change from the which called for the property to be turned into open space and should require an amendment to the plan.

FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman has said that amendments are only required with a change of title such as in the case of

Eatontown Council President Anthony Talerico disagreed and called the project a "deviation from the plan without the amendment."

"Their non-binding discussions four years ago do not rid FMERA, who was not in existence four years ago, of its obligations to the Plan Amendment process," Talerico said. "I think we are going down a very slippery slope."

Tarantolo said county officials have been invited to the council's next workshop meeting on Sept. 5 to discuss the plan and that he has several questions for them.

"One of my concerns is what is in the general neighborhood (around the proposed DPW facility)," Tarantolo said. "The property is immediately adjacent to one of our residential areas."

The motor pool property is located close to Rose Court and other borough streets. Tarantolo said he was assured that the facility would be "heavily buffered" from the residential areas, but he still has some questions.

Freeholder Lillian Burry has said the site will mainly be used to store salt and road materials and that it will not see heavy traffic. She also said that Eatontown will benefit from the regional location by use of the truck wash (something Eatontown doesn't have), and will be able to forgo it's annual order of salt and can instead use the salt the county purchases, paying for only what Eatontown uses.

The freeholder said the borough could also benefit from "some priority consideration" when it comes to snow removal.

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