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Mayor: Toms River Parks Worth Highlighting

Mayor itemizes some of the park features in Toms River

Column as submitted by Mayor Thomas Kelaher:

In my last article I highlighted the activities of our Public Works Department.  In this issue I would like to present our Department of Parks, Buildings, Grounds and Public Lands.  This department, of course, has township wide responsibility; as set forth in its title to be responsible for all township properties.  The obligation to look after our parks, in particular, is somewhat extensive and I would like to list all of the parks that come under the jurisdiction of this department: 

  • Winding River Park
  • Riverwood Park
  • Skippers Cover Park (aka the Silverton Park)
  • Bayside Park (Ortley Beach)
  • Chadwick Beach Park
  • Shelter Cove
  • Weatherly Park off of Route 527
  • Deer Hollow Park
  • Oak Park (Castle Park Playground)
  • Schencks Mills Field
  • Skyview Park
  • Bey Lea Park
  • Huddy Park

The department has the obligation of maintaining the physical condition of all of the above mentioned parks; such as lawn mowing, fencing, lighting, security, maintenance of equipment such as swing sets, tennis court nets, water fountains, and parking spaces.

The department has been engaged in upgrading these parks.  For example at Skyview and Bey Lea Park LED lighting has been installed along all the paths, restrooms and concession stands.  The LED lighting uses much less electric power and is longer lasting.  LED lighting is only 1/8 of the wattage of a standard bulb and the life expectancy is twenty times longer than the regular lighting equipment.  In Riverwood Park, where we have the new Rodeo Playground, we have in the planning stage new restrooms to replace the older antiquated facilities

At Winding River Park which runs from Route 37 up to the skating rink area, the department has installed over 3,000 feet of fencing around the ball fields.  Drainage has been improved and bathroom renovations at the north and south portions of that park are in the works.  At the present time Huddy Park, along the river in downtown, has not needed any attention since the new gazebo and bridge were built a few years ago.

As you may know from prior news releases a new playground facility known as Skippers Cove in the park in Silverton was completed a few years ago.  In Bayside Park (Ortley Beach) along the Barnegat Bay a new pavilion is about to be installed which is 24’ x 30’ and will provide shelter for the shuffle board courts.  We have also just received a new swing set for that location.

In Shelter Cove we have installed 4,000 feet of fencing that was badly needed around the recreation fields.  In Deer Hollow Park there was a new Cricket field installed.  Cricket has become a somewhat popular activity, especially for our residents who come from India.  Also, we have installed basketball courts at that location.

One of our most popular parks is the Oak Park across from Police Headquarters, the site of our Castle Park Playground which is always a favorite of the youngsters.     

Schencks Mills Field just east of Oak Park is now available for soccer and the drainage problem that did exist there has been alleviated.

The responsibility to attend to the buildings operated by the township primarily focuses on our largest building, the Town Hall.  The front part of Town Hall was originally the residence of Dr. Phil Citta who maintained his practice out of this home on Washington Street prior to World War II.  Dr. Citta was serving as an Army doctor when he was killed in a plane crash during World War II and eventually his home became the Town Hall.  As the town grew there were some extensions to the existing building, but in 1975 the entire rear portion of the Town Hall was built.

In the 35 years that the new portion of the building has been in use there has been a need to upgrade the building and all utilities.  The air conditioning system was antiquated and malfunctioning.  We are now in the process of upgrading the heating and air conditioning system with a new energy saving system.  Also, the plumbing fixtures have been replaced in our restrooms with new modern automatic facilities that will save considerable money in the long run.  Also, all lighting fixtures in the building have been replaced with new fixtures that use less energy and have a much longer lasting life.

Our director of Parks, Building, Grounds and Public Land, Craig Ambrosio, works in close cooperation with the recreation department to coordinate the scheduling of all of our recreation activities in the public parks.  This coordination allows our residents to enjoy the use of all of our facilities.

Mayor Thomas Kelaher

Toms River

Bill May 09, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Nice parks but too bad that the top soil used for the soccer fields at Schencks Mill and Shelter Cove was unscreened. There are rocks throughout both fields ranging from the size of marbles to the size of my fist.
Bob Hockenfrocken May 09, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Winding River Park along Oak Ridge Parkway is disgusting. There are dead tree limbs, dead grass, overgrown brush and dirt from the bridge north to the traffic light. More specifically, the area around the ballfields along the bike path is in need of maintenance and a cleanup. There are rotten and old posts lying between the bike path and road. There is no maintenance conducted whatsoever in this area, it is an embarrassment to the township. Even the new grass planted around the Ice Rink is not maintained. Take a ride down Oak Ridge Parkway Mr. Mayor, tell me you approve of how the area along Oak Ridge Parkway near the ball fields looks. I am certain that you will be embarrassed too, especially after publishing this article.
walt tupycia May 09, 2012 at 08:24 PM
keep spending.
walt tupycia May 09, 2012 at 08:25 PM
what the hell is cricket?
Greg May 09, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I hope that with all of the upgrades that are being done at Toms Hall they are going to remove the mold that lays in hiding underneath the wall paper in the Council Room. Hopefully for the people who attend the meetings they will be able to hear what the council is trying to sell us with the removal of the HUGE fans that they have running so those people can stay cool. Hey Mayor, how about you get batteries so the residents that want to speak can be heard cause the microphones don't work all of the time.
Robert Bressman May 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Once again the Mayor is flapping his gums about something he knows nothing about! Frankly, Craig Ambrosio should be fired. The lack of concern for the safety of the kids that play at TRELL and the people who come to the fields and the take or leave it attitude of Mr. Ambrosio when the League asks for improvements is unacceptable. Again the Mayor fails to mention the drinking that goes on at Skyview ParK and really Mayor what women would want to go there when you have contractors hanging out there in the middle of the day? Shelter cove fields have been and continue to be a mess, rocks in the infield, sprinklers come on when the kids play there and the lights come on in broad daylight, another waste of taxpayer money, Mr Ambrosio is really on it . The reason we need all these extra fields is again the poor scheduling by the rec dept. The fields are given out for practice, but if there is a game scheduled at the same time the field is empty and no other team can use the empty field, just great coordination by the rec dept. Mr. Ambrosio is also the towns ADA compliant officer, it's apparent he is over whelmed with all his positions in town, does the town even care about special needs people? I don't know who writes this stuff for the Mayor, but sometimes when you don't know what you're talking about, you just shouldn't say anything.
Exit82 May 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I thought Ambrosio had a real estate business? Oh, wait, I get it.
1stcav May 10, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Mr. Mayor: The grass looks greener from a distance , but once your on top of it and have to cut it, it's a different story. Get out from behind the desk , into your car and walk these parks ! What everyone is saying is true, they are in bad shape, unkept and your solution is to build new, new is nice until they become old , like what we now have !!! Maintenance seems to be just a word in the Rec. dept @ toms river twpshp.
Pat S. May 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Absolutely on the mark! We've been asking for a water fountain for Bayside Park, which barely qualifies as one; the excuse is that kids break them. Even parks in Newark have fountains. Does the word "security" mean anything?
Can't shut me up May 10, 2012 at 09:52 PM
No wonder our taxes are going up. It's not the tax appeals, it's out-of-control spending.
smartzonemary May 11, 2012 at 04:33 AM
But then again just look at who is running things around here. If I was in charge things would be different and we would all be better off. First thing I would do would be to make beer free to everyone over 21.
1stcav May 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM
SZM; Leave your address so they can re-leave themselves on YOUR front lawn then ! Great selling point ( platform ) for YOU being in-charge of things Mary, being 21 must have been a changing point in YOUR life ! God help us all !!

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