The Englishtown Borough Council voted, 4-1, Aug. 24 to authorize the acquisition of 17 Main Street, clearing the way for the borough to make an offer on the property, which is located next door to the .
If the borough acquires the property, it could be turned into a parking lot or an impound lot, based on discussions at a previous .
The existing lot behind the Englishtown Municipal Building is already open to public parking for non-governmental purposes, such as shopping or dining in town. However, there is no signage indicating this. Englishtown resident Kathleen Bien recommended to the council that a sign be placed in front the municipal parking lot, advertising public parking, “at least until this business with the property next door is decided on one way or another.”
The council has taken it under consideration. Some time constraints and a prohibition of overnight parking will have to be written on the sign, however, Englishtown Mayor Thomas Reynolds said.
Reynolds reiterated what he has said at previous meetings regarding the acquisition of the propert: if the purchase occurs he would like guarantee that the money for the bond ordinance is within the budget so that the taxpayers see no increase.
Acquisition of the home a 17 Main St. would be contingent upon it's condition. An inspection would have to be conducted to determine any structural damage or the presence of asbestos.
“This [ordinance] is only to give us the ability to offer the contract and then all those things will have to be identified,” Reynolds said. “If that's proven that it’s going to be a cost, then the deal is off.”
Borough Attorney Joseph Youssouf said any contract of sale would specify the protections required under New Jersey law and would also be a public document, available for review at borough hall.
Englishtown resident Paula Kuchinski spoke in opposition to the proposed acquisition. “Being we are in a recession . . . I think that this is such a foolish mistake to make right now," she said. Citing the number of homes for sale in the borough, she said she did not think that those who favored the purchase were looking out for the taxpayer.
The ordinance was passed 4-1, with Councilwoman Jayne Carr casting the lone no vote. Councilman Rudolph Rucker was absent.
The next Englishtown Borough Council meeting will be held on Sept. 26, within the courtroom of the Englistown Municipal Building. The workshop meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., with a regular meeting to follow at 7:30 p.m.