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Toms River Officials: 'We Want Our Residents Back In'

Lavallette residents to be allowed in this weekend

They've watched residents of other towns gain better - or even complete - access to their homes and belongings in Hurricane Sandy-ravaged areas.

Now some are asking: When can Toms River have the same rights?

This is a big concern that township officials say they have, and they plan to address as they petition Governor Christie to allow re-population of Ortley Beach and the Northern Beaches on the Barrier Island.

Mayor Tom Kelaher noted that neighboring Lavallette homeowners will be allowed back in their homes this weekend.

“This storm has been a devastating ordeal for everyone. It’s fortunate that Lavallette, for the most part, was spared the problems that Ortley has," he said on the wrbiste. "Asking why we can’t return as soon as they can is an unfair comparison. We have 6,500 homes on the island, while Lavallette has only 2,300.”

He and the township also said:

  • Over 300,000 cubic yards of debris have been collected curbside since the hurricane. In comparison, neighboring Lavallette has collected 65,000 cubic yards.
  • Toms River's infrastructure damage is 20 times that of Lavallette.
  • The township has lost entire roadways and was plagued with approximately 100 sinkholes. Lavallette was spared those problems, officials said.

The “Northern Beaches” are located north of Lavallette and south of Brick Township, such as Ocean Beach, Chadwick, Monterey and Normandy, according to Toms River's website.

Kelaher said there are four things that need to be completed before "we can begin to discuss re-population of our beach towns with the governor."

"In the Northern Beaches, three of those projects are almost complete, which are that the gas, electric and sewer have been restored to the homes that are intact," he said on the website. "We are now waiting to have potable water established."

Water usage is currently restored at less than half the amount of normal water pressure and it is not potable, officials say, "so you cannot drink it or bathe with it, but the water is there in case of a fire emergency."

Toms River officials are monitoring the progress of the utility companies several times a day, officials said on the website.

In the Northern Beaches, all utilities are anticipated to be complete by early January. In Ortley Beach, the re-population will be much further down the road, officials say.

  • Gas: The gas is currently restored to the Route 35 main only and not yet on the side streets. Work is on-going every day.
  • Electric: The electric company, Jersey Central Power and Light, is re-setting meters house by house, at a rate of about 100 homes per day, based on the on-going inspections by Toms River, the state and NJDCA electrical inspectors, officials said on the website.
  • Water: The township is awaiting the supply of potable drinking water from NJ American Water. There are plans to conduct water quality tests within the next week. For information on turning off your water valve, click here.http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AMERPR/2222267729x0x620842/c356e797-a806-46c9-b04f-b6ad40275ce9/FINAL_Water_Turn_Off_Barrier_Isles_2_.pdf
  • Sewer: The Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority has advised that the sewer system is operational in the North Beach section but not yet in Ortley Beach.
Martin December 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Misleading headline! Mayor didn't say that. He just made excuses why TR people aren't back in. "Asking why we can’t return as soon as (Lavalette) can is an unfair comparison."
they can do that December 15, 2012 at 01:13 AM
What a joke. Excuse after excuse. If you live in lavalette you have to drive through ortley beach by way of route 35. So much for the sinkholes. Toms river officials don't have a plan. They do not seem to be in a rush to let people back in. Maybe they will lift the state of emergency by the 4th of july
Irina December 15, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Read between the lines "We want out taxpayers back"
charlotte December 15, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Is there a public advocacy attorney out there????
Chief Wahoo December 15, 2012 at 01:51 AM
1Q taxes must be coming due soon !!!
PJ Ortley December 15, 2012 at 02:17 AM
If Toms River had fortified the beach properly in the first place, then we wouldn't have the infrastructure damage the Mayor refers to. The data is there: Ortley Beach was extremely vulnerable - much more than areas to the north and south - because the beach was allowed to erode without proper rebuilding. Studies back to 2007 show that.
CCGG December 15, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Instead of trying to put them in harms way in time for tax season , why not help them with their current needs as homeless people. Oh, that's right you can't tell them apart from renters now. You cracked under the pressure from the homeowners here in Toms River who were not effected by the Hurricane and were angry because their kids were not able to go to school, and almost kept them from making their Lexus payment. They didn't care if any of those people were homeowners they just wanted you to make them go away. As far as they were concerned we were an inconvenience and your goons along with FEMA , the Red Cross, and Social Services did your job of shipping us out to places all over the state leaving us to fend for ourselves in the middle of nowhere., in some cases with no support system at all. I'll pose the question again, since when was the Arena part of the school system? And people should be asking how did you clean the homeless problem up so quickly? Where did we all go? From now on you're not going to be able to tell the difference . PS, Chris Cristie, pack your bags , your political career is over.
Wanda December 15, 2012 at 03:05 AM
All this communicating all of a sudden! Must be a new Director of communications! Hope so. The other one didn't know the meaning of the word!
anthony serrao December 15, 2012 at 05:11 AM
We should be allowed in every day 24/7 to rebuild. This phoney system of altetnate dates is causing traffic grid lock and there is no reason why ortley resident cannot come and go as they please once the gas lines are secure. WE ALL PAY TAXES LET ME IN TO FIX MY HOME I DONT NEED GOVERNMENT IN MY WAY.
notasellout December 15, 2012 at 10:06 AM
There is a VERY large ground swell of public support from the owners and residents of the Toms River sections of the beach areas to form their own township. Since Toms River is clearly not equipped to help the people in their time of need, it's the best idea for all involved. The time for seccession is now. Being the cash cow for lumbering giant townships whose only interest is to farm large tax dollar receipts is over. The Mayor and mostly silent Council have buckets full of excuses as to why they can't provide answers and help for their citizens. Comparing a township of less than 1 square mile to one of almost 43 square miles is unfortunate. If you can't provide for your citizens, then maybe you should not be in charge of providing for your citizens. The best advice for the governing body in Toms River is...quit now. All of you. And shame on all of you for yet more excuses.
charlotte December 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM
There is a Director of Communications? You have got to be kidding - there has been misinformation and little to no communication.
Thomas December 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM
FEMA and other officials are hindering efforts to save homes. The hours that we are permitted to work here are based on the police force 8-5 work day. Homes are being lost to mold because we cannot fill our generators at 8pm to keep fans and dehumidifiers running. There are so many homes that need to be disinfected but not enough hrs in the time frame to make any progress. Something need to be done to extend the 4 o clock deadline on the barrier island!
charlotte December 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM
<Uhm> Are decisions being made in the best interest of the homeowners? Or perhaps some behind the scenes might be thinking of the land deals to be made in the near future. Ya think????
charlotte December 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM
I agree - very misleading headline! Nothing could be further from the truth.
George December 15, 2012 at 11:59 AM
PATCH, correct the headline now. The truth, the real news, is in the comments below.
1stcav December 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM
charlotte: You win a free coffee, as YOU hit the nail on the head. All those CA.. plates, & guys with handfuls of bills in them....Easier to deal with a big hotel taking up 1/2 the beach than 2000 PO little home owners , telling all on the Patch !!! Officals: DO YOUR JOB !!!!!! get these people back in their ( paid up over - taxed ) HOMES .......NOW !
Jack Wagon December 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM
@Halpha2 - You sound like a bitter yuppie wannabe, who just never put the effort into his own life that it takes to be a yuppie, and now you are reaping a sorry meager existence, while hating on those who made something of themselves. I'll tell you son, my prop. taxes pay for you & your bratty kids to enjoy the quality of services you get on the TR mainland. Your mayor(he certainly isn't mine) knows the barrier island is the golden goose that keeps TR running. I'd happily pay those taxes if the mayor & TR put half the effort that other barrier island mayors are putting in to get their residents back home. The reason I want a private beach is to keep riffraff haters like you off them. Taxes don't entitle you to private beaches. Those private beaches were paid for and maintained by home owners who shell out money every year to maintain them. You're bringing nothing to the table but your fat a$$ looking for a handout to get you on the beach. You've got your sense of entitlements all mixed up. and you're the reason why no other private beaches signed on to TR's "Gun to the head" deal other than Ortley. Keep the beach private, bite the bullet, pay the fees to have the dunes & beaches repaired, and make idiots like you pay full fair to have the privilege to sit on the beach and piss in the ocean. I'd vote to secede from TR in a heartbeat! What would TR do without barrier island taxes? Raise the mainland side and watch you cry. You'd change your tune real fast.
Jack Wagon December 15, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Oh, and I'm calling you "son" because I'm like the parent who pays for your existence anyway.
Halpha2 December 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Thank you jack wagon, that was exactly the response i was expecting.
Jack Wagon December 15, 2012 at 02:29 PM
As you should. Unfortunately, the moderator cut out our posts.
Sue December 15, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Christie will never allow another little fiefdom to be created. He's for consolidation of towns. All barrier island towns (there are too many!) should become one town. Their interests are different than the mainland's interests. Towns won't allow that, because each mayor, bldg. inspector, police chief, school supt., etc. love the little fiefdom they live in.
grace December 15, 2012 at 02:42 PM
wow i think lavallette mayor made a mistake telling residents to come back...i love that town but its not only about them ....this was a disaster and continues to be in recovery...and calling the people that live in that town taxpayers says it all
Chief Wahoo December 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
LOSS needs to become a barrier island town. It's a must !
Chief Wahoo December 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
LOSS needs to be everyone's slogan in 2013. Time is running out and it's time to wake up from your 20 year slumber. All status quo , statist lovers and sheep need not join. Kill the machine that has finically raped you all these years and now is trying to crush you. LOSS - LavaletteOrtleySeasideSeasideppark
Jack Wagon December 15, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I'm in Chief!!!!!
charlotte December 16, 2012 at 01:40 AM
FEMA has nothing to do with the denied access. This is strictly local government deciding when you are allowed back to your home.
Don Veix December 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM
A mass tax appeal would be effective due to the loss of use and value of all of these homes. Also, the bar to access is a condemnation and could support a lawsuit for damages. This would get Toms River's attention.


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