JACKSON-Many in government have objected to criticism of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholder’s $1,000,000 purchase of a home in Toms River, but that criticism is deeply rooted in the past history of homeownership when it comes to the Freeholder board.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders has become delinquent neighbors in one Jackson community. Back in 2008, the county approved a project to widen Bennett’s Mills Road in Jackson. This widening affected several homes whose sloped yards had to be fitted with new retaining walls. All of the homes lost frontage along the road, but one home, owned by an influential Jackson Township employee met a much different fate.
The county purchased the home from Linda Nardo, a long-time employee of Jackson Township. Now it sits vacant, dilapidated and crumbling. Grass and weeds are growing out of the gutters, nearly the entire front of the home is covered in overgrowth and on many occasions, windows and doors have been broken into at the home.
We tried to gain some clarity on this home and called the Board of Chosen Freeholders. A receptionist at the office on Monday said it be looked at, but have yet to receive a followup from the county.
Now, if this was my house or your house, we would have township code enforcement officers issuing citations for the many code violations at the property, but since it’s owned by the county, it’s not likely.
Mayor Michael Reina this week said he was unfamiliar with the home, but also said he would look into it.
Residents online expressed their concerns.
“I’ve always wondered why it’s been empty and gone to crap all these years. I never knew the county bought it till now,” said one neighbor. “It’s an eyesore and a shame that it has been just left to rot.”
We’d like to know why the county purchased this home, which at the time, was also far above the appraised value and what their plan is for this home.