A public hearing on Englishtown’s application for an Open Space grant was held last week. The Englishtown Council plan on , the lot adjacent to the . The governing body would like to turn this piece of land into a parking lot.
Since the parking lot would provide much needed spaces for Sanford Park and Lake Weamaconck patrons the acquisition of the property qualifies for the open space grant.
The application is a 50 percent match, meaning the county would put up half of the project’s amount and the Borough would be required to put up the other half. The Council has put in an offer to purchase 17 Main Street at $190,000, so the grant would be for $95,000, if accepted.
If Englishtown is denied the Open Space grant the Borough will not be able to afford purchasing 17 Main Street, Mayor Tom Reynolds said. The grant would only be alloted for the acquisition of the property, not the development of it, according to Englishtown Borough Engineer Tom Herits.
The public hearing process is required by the county prior to submitting the application, Herits explained. Englishtown resident Kathleen Bien questioned whether enough people use the two parks enough for additional parking to be necessary.
While the application will stipulate that the parking lot is needed for recreational purposes, the parking lot will be open for everyone to use.
“It will be used to enhance the public parking in downtown Englishtown, whether that be for businesses, recreation activities, court - anything that it is needed for,” Councilwoman Lori Cooke said. “[The land] is not just being purchased just to have parking for lake and park activities.”
Nevertheless, the property must benefit recreational use in order for it to be eligible for the Open Space grant, and this parking lot will do so, Borough Administrator Laurie Finger clarified.
Sanford Park visitors often park on Dey Street, Main Street, and even in the parking lot, according to the mayor. Therefore, the lot will be advantageous, he said.
“There is no downside to applying for the grant,” Mayor Reynolds declared.
Submission of the grant must be completed by Sept. 19. The Borough will be informed if they receive the funds by Monmouth County next spring. The money must be used within two years of its endowment.
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