Growing Pains: Mo Hill Urges Additional Lighting to Accommodate Orthodox Jewish Walking Community in Toms River

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TOMS RIVER-Toms River Councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill said this week in an Asbury Park Press feature that Toms River needs to conduct streetlight inventory in the North Dover section of Toms River which has seen rapid growth over the past five years.

“Because we have more people walking in the northern sections, we need to increase the lighting out there,” Hill said.

One option for Toms River could be a program similar to Lakewood which invests $700,000 to $800,000 per year on streetlight improvements in the city. Lakewood also invested $2,000,000 in sidewalks in 2018.   Similar concerns have been raised over the years in neighboring Jackson where Orthodox Jewish “schtickle pioneers” from communities across America settled along Jackson’s long dark roads where sidewalks and streetlights are scarce.

Last week Hill, when commenting about the overdevelopment of North Dover, once dominated by chicken farms and horse farms, now blanketed with apartment buildings and townhouses, with several more high-density development projects in the works said of the situation in his town, “I would argue that is not overdevelopment.”

Hill was referring to the Asbury Park Press feature claiming Toms River had more building permits in 2018 than Lakewood.  In July, Hill sounded the alarm on illegal construction at a North Dover home.

Hill came under fire during his election campaign for the generous political campaign donations he received from the Orthodox Jewish community during the primary.   Many of the new residents in the North Dover section of town not only endorsed Hill’s campaign nominating position, but the community also donated thousands of dollars to Hill’s campaign.

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