WEEKEND EDITION

Toms River Mayor Optimistic That Dune Building Project Will Proceed

| April 30, 2014 12:31 PMvideo

NJTV’s Lauren Wanko takes us to Toms River, New Jersey, where a debate over a beach replenishment dune building project has been ongoing since Hurricane Sandy devastated the seaside town.

It’s the signature Toms River Mayor Tom Kelaher has been waiting for. “It’s a happy day. This is a culmination of a year’s effort,” he said.

This afternoon, beach development owner John McDonough finally signed the easement required for the Army Corps Beach Replenishment Project. It’s significant because McDonough owns a lot of land.

McDonough owns three beach developments in Toms River. About 1,700 homeowners lease the beach from him.

“Really my primary concern was that we were gonna turn back over to the government, they were gonna build a dune and disappear,” said McDonough. “Who was gonna take care of our beaches?”

About six months ago, McDonough, township officials and the Department of Environmental Protection began meeting to work out a compromise. McDonough says he wanted his own properties to continue maintaining and cleaning their beaches.

“Those were all things we weren’t gonna be able to do, but with the compromise with the DEP they’ll now permit us to do those things,” McDonough said.

One other property owner within the beach community also signed an easement today. Now the township needs only five more signed easements and the mayor’s optimistic he’ll get those signatures.

Read the full story here.

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