The proposed new county public works facility on Fort Monmouth property brings with it potential traffic issues and a hulking communications tower, according to Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon at the Oct. 4 borough council meeting.
Mahon told the council that he had brought those concerns about the former Fort Monmouth motor pool site to the attention of the fort's redevelopers at their Sept. 19 meeting.
For the past several months, local officials have been working with the county and Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) to develop a plan that would allow parts of the property to be leased to the county. A plan that would have subleased the public works facility on the fort’s former motor pool property was delayed at FMERA’s Sept. 19 meeting because of ongoing negotiations between local and county officials.
The county is still expected to take over the site to operate a public works space, according to Mahon, who was part of an audit committee for the site. He said that the planned DPW entrance on Nicodemus Avenue would cause traffic problems and proposed redirecting traffic from Nicodemus Avenue to another location.
Another issue brought up was the communications tower, because its height is considered unappealing to residents. However, according to Mahon, the county is now planning to use the tower in the operation of emergency services, such as 9-1-1 calls.
“We’re all beneficiaries of the 9-1-1 service,” Mahon added. He added that the plans called for a minimum 40-foot reduction of the tower, which he said would help make it more visually appealing.
The September FMERA meeting was also its annual reorganization meeting. Mahon said that while he was not reappointed to the auditing committee, he would nevertheless remain involved with the real estate committee.
According to the minutes of FMERA’s meeting, the clinic located on the Oceanport section of Fort Monmouth is now planned to be reused as a medical center and offices, and the rest of the 16-acre parcel will include residential units, to possibly include low income housing.
Mahon said more information would be available at the council’s next meeting on Oct. 18.