Lakewood Briefs

Toms River to Improve Roads for Walkers in North Dover

The Asbury Park Press profiled an effort to make Toms River’s North Dover neighborhood safer for pedestrians. The move comes as a direct result of a steady influx of Orthodox Jews to the area, who have significantly increased foot traffic on roads on Shabbosos and Yamim Tovim.

The North Dover area was once a rural and sparsely populated part of the town and roads are mostly narrow and unlit.

Recently, members of the Toms River Jewish Community Council have worked together with town officials to increase the number of sidewalks and streetlights in the area.

According to the report, neighboring Lakewood Township spends between $700,000 and $800,000 per year on lighting improvements and $2 million in 2018 on new sidewalks.

Town administrator, Don Gaurdian and Town Council member and mayoral candidate Mo Hill both acknowledged to need to make the area safer for walkers.

Burglaries on 14th Street

Three Lakewood homes in the 14th street neighborhood were burglarized this past Shabbos.

According to the LPD the incidents took place in the middle of the night. Officers were called to one of the homes, but due to a delay in reporting, the culprits had left before police arrived. Police also said that the burglars had entered homes through unlocked first floor windows.

No arrests have been made.

Toms River to Bus More Students to Lakewood Schools

Toms River has will be providing bussing to 380 private school students this coming year according to a report by the Asbury Park Press.

As more Orthodox families who send to private schools in neighboring Lakewood have moved to the town, the local district initially covered transportation costs by giving parents stipends, which many will still be receiving.

At the same time, in keeping with a plan announced by town officials in previous years, as more children who attend the same schools move to town, the district is beginning to directly provide bussing to more of them.

State law mandates that districts provide transportation to all students regardless of what school they attend.

Lakewood to Receive $1.2 Mil in HUD Grants

Lakewood will be receiving over $1.2 million in federal grants to build affordable housing and to support institutions aimed at strengthening the local economy.

The grants were announced by Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker as part of $18,750,973 that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) will be giving to towns across New Jersey.

“Revitalizing New Jersey’s struggling communities takes a comprehensive approach that recognizes the importance of safe, affordable housing, economic opportunity and the services individuals and families need to overcome obstacles and secure their future,” said Senato Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development.

The funding comes from three grants aimed at revitalizing struggling neighborhoods and expanding access to affordable housing, The Community Development Block (CDBG) Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME).

Other towns in Ocean County that will receive grants are Toms River which will get $373,151, and Brick Township which is slated for $299,207.

Freeholders Appeal to Keep Flood Insurance Rates Down

The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders are advocating for congress to take steps to keep flood insurance rates lower.

Congress is presently debating bills to extend the National Flood Insurance Program which will expire at the end of September. Various re-authorization bills have been introduced, but many fear some plans will lead to significant increases in insurance rates.

“Flood insurance and mitigation funding from the National Flood Insurance Program was critical to rebuilding Ocean County and other areas of the state affected by Superstorm Sandy which unleashed unprecedented devastation when the storm hit in October of 2012,” said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs. “And while we know the importance of flood insurance, we also know that it has to be affordable for our homeowners.

George Kasimo, an advocate with Stop FEMA Now, claims that present proposals could lead to increases of 18 to 25 percent in premiums. He noted there are 53,000 flood insurance policies issued to Ocean County property owners insuring $19 billion in property.